June 19, 2021
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Trinitarian Love

Trinitarian Love

Finally, as much as it is humanly possible, our picture of God is now complete. Jesus came to earth to give us a picture, an idea of Who the Father is all about. From his teachings and, especially from his deeds and his passion, death and resurrection, we now know that the Father is LOVE.

Towards the end of his life, Jesus first talked to us also about the Holy Spirit as the Consoler, the Advocate, the Paraclete, i.e. the One Who would take the place of Jesus and guide us to the truth in its fullness. As he died on the cross, Jesus gave his Spirit to the first little group of disciples.

On the evening of Easter Sunday, he breathed the same Spirit on all the first disciples and gave them the power to do the humanly impossible: to forgive sin, to uproot sin from the hearts of people and replace it with sacrificial love. Then, on Pentecost day, the Spirit came upon an even larger group of disciples in a thunderous way to sweep away sin and evil and renew the face of the whole earth through the power of loving.

So now, after celebrating the feasts marking the major events in the life of Christ on earth; after celebrating the works of the Father for us His children; and after celebrating the official outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost Sunday; we are ready to contemplate the picture of the Holy Trinity in its entirety.

Right away, as we begin to contemplate the hardest mystery of our faith: three Persons equal in majesty, undivided in splendor, yet One God, Moses engages us by asking rhetorical questions that are designed to exhaust all questions about the uniqueness of our God.

Did anything so great ever happen? Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?  Or did any god take venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation?”

And so on and so forth. We get the picture.

Yet, if we allowed ourselves to be nourished every Sunday at the table of God’s Word and of His Flesh and we were awestruck by the mysteries which we celebrated and lived out, we should reply to Moses by saying:

“Dear Moses, we got news for you: all the great feats that you mentioned as being done by God in the Old Testament, impressive as they sound, they are small fry. Let us tell you what the very same God did in the New Testament…”

And here each one of us should list those mind-blowing aspects of our faith that have the most impact on our life.

I will tell you mine while you come up with your own list.

I must start off with the Incarnation, God taking human flesh like ours; the Words of life; the Eucharist,  “consuming” our God made available to us sacramentally so that we can become more and more like Him; keeping in mind our duty “to wash each other’s feet;” the new commandment of loving each other as Jesus loved us from the cross; the cross as the ultimate sign of God’s love for us; the meaning of suffering endured in union with Christ; the Resurrection as the compelling evidence that the victory of Christ over all evils is irreversible and unstoppable; the infinite mercy of God the Father, the Church, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (the power given to some men to forgive sins; the presence of Jesus in the weakest and the poorest; the inspiring example of myriads of martyrs and other heroic witnesses…

I am sure I missed more than a few. Add yours to mine and we ought to feel simply overwhelmed, speechless, enveloped in a spiritual daze.

The bottom line is nothing short of incredible: we are gods. In Christ we are divine, flesh and everything else included, we are the “Total Christ,” we are the second Person of the Holy Trinity! And, perhaps, what is even more astonishing is that we are the Body of Christ, despite our sins and flaws and defects and shortcomings, and embarrassing limits.

So, the question must be this: how is it that this thought does not change our outlook on life, the way we handle the ups and downs of daily living and its pleasant and unpleasant events? How is it that we are not more positive in our interpretation of what happens from day to day? How is it that we are so apprehensive? Why do we insist on having so much control over our lives? Could we possibly do a better job of caring for ourselves and our families than our heavenly Daddy can and does?

Basically, why are we bent on living in fear? For you did not receive a Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry: “Abba, Father! (Daddy!) (Romans 8:15)

And if we are God’s children, we are also in for the most incredible inheritance. We have all of God’s riches stashed away and waiting for us right after our physical death seals us forever into His loving embrace.

What should our reaction be before this unfathomable mystery that blankets us? We should spend some time, as often as possible, just basking in the love of the Holy Trinity, especially whenever life dishes out some unpleasant challenges. We should feel thoroughly uneasy about being one of the sinful components of the Holy Trinity.  Thus, we should strive to cooperate with the Spirit of Jesus available to us in the Word and the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, so that we may become more and more Christ-like in our thoughts, actions and reactions. We should embrace the Paschal Mystery in its completeness of suffering and resurrection with particular emphasis on the new commandment of loving and serving each other the way Jesus does.

This threefold commitment would be then a fitting way for us to celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Trinity and to fill the rest of our days on earth with incredible expectation of wonderful things to come.

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Written by
Fr Dino Vanin