Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
After having celebrated the high point of the Mystery of redemption during Holy Week (the Triduum) and Easter season, on this first Sunday after Pentecost, the Church reflects on the source of that Mystery – the Triune God. We have celebrated what God “does” for us at the Triduum and Easter, now the Church invites us to contemplate the Trinity as the God who is. As Mystery we reflect on God the Creator (Father), Christ the Redeemer (Savior) or the Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life (Jesus calls him the “Paraclete,” literally, “he who is called to one’s side,” – the Advocate; also the Lord calls the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of truth.” – the word “truth” meaning sincerity, honesty, or conformity with the facts). We can only know God through what God has done for us and how God relates to us. These are the insistent, firm ways that God reveals or communicates Self to us and God’s concrete traces among us. In every Mass we are made aware of how our communication, and also our worship of God, takes place. At the elevation before the Our Father the celebrant invites, and the congregation responds: “through him (Jesus), and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours for ever and ever.” “Amen.” The word “Trinity” reminds us that God does not exist in isolation but in a community of Persons in relationship to each other. The nature of being in relation is: to give. As God gives “within” the God-Self so God gives “without” to us; creation therefore is a natural extension of God’s being within God-Self — so we know God through God’s creation. And further we are made in God’s image which tells us that we are also created as a community of persons who are recreated through Baptism into the community of members that is the body of Christ. – It is the Holy Spirit who creates the fellowship among us with Christ that makes Christians children of God by adoption and so we can call God our “Abba, Father” and with Christ we are joint heirs to eternal life.
This solemnity reminds us that to share in God’s glory we are to give of ourselves the same way God gives to us in love and mercy. So we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17, from the second reading). Jesus says in the gospel that the disciples are to make disciples of all nations. It means we in turn are to give, to be sent out to all the nations. It is a tough assignment which brings out another quality of communication that people are to have in relationship with God: great trust is expected of us. Because Jesus tells us, “I am with you always,…to the end of the age.” There was no other assurance, “Just trust in me. I’ll be always with you.” A government official came to George Washington at Valley Forge, PA, to get a report on the actual field situation. He complimented him on his ability to hold the army together under such terrible trying circumstances. “You are a great leader, a great man, and an inspiration to us all.” Finally, Washington, standing in the midst of his suffering troops, broke in impatiently saying, “Never mind all that, just tell me where you stand in relation to the cause I represent?
This weekend we give our praise to the Holy Trinity, acknowledging God’s greatness, not only for what God does but for who God is. It is through Christ, and with Christ and in Christ that we participate in the glory of the divine, eternal life of God and offer due worship to God. If we are really listening to his Word we can hear Jesus say to us, “Never mind all that, just tell me where you stand in relation to the cause I represent? So the fullness of life you desire that is in the Holy Trinity, the ability and strength you need to live with integrity and to love the other in a life-enhancing way, all depend on whether you love Christ!
God Bless You,