I wonder what must have been Nicodemus’ reaction the night in which Jesus broke to him the greatest piece of good news ever: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
What is our reaction to it now? Decades ago, we might have seen those placards, posters, even big signs at ballgames simply saying: Jn 3:16.
The most astonishing news ever is encapsulated in that brief, incredible statement. Sadly, we Catholics get used to the crucifix in church, at home, around our neck, in many places. But no matter how many a crucifix we see around, we should never move our gaze from it without receiving from it an emotional charge: it is THE reminder of what God did to prove to us how much he loves us.
Today is the Most Holy Trinity Sunday. We are called to pause to grasp the significance of the Lord on the cross, of this awesome, historical fact designed to transform our lives completely. It could also be the key to achieving a real, though very modest human understanding of the mystery of all mysteries, the Holy Trinity; how 1+1+1 makes one! One God in three Persons, equal, co-substantial, co-eternal, undivided and totally, continuously interested and involved in our history, in our life.
The first reading (Exodus 34: 4-6, 8-9) already indicates how impossible it is for us human beings to begin to get a decent, half-acceptable grasp of God’s nature. Hence, in dealing with our human limits the Lord simply pronounces his name: LORD! Everything beautiful, powerful, compassionate, loving, desirable, hoped for is contained in that name; so much so that the Israelites could not even utter the Lord’s name.
“A merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity…”
‘This simple yet love-filled, compassion-filled revelation reached the minds and hearts of God’s people about fifteen centuries before the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was sacrificed on a cross; before he opened his arms on that crossbeam and told us how much he loves us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.“
The worrying, the confusion, the restlessness of our heart, our fears, anger, frustrations, any negative emotion which overcomes us from time to time, is a clear indication that we must look again at our Crucified Lord to settle down and begin to feel, think, and act as it is becoming of God’s children.
Hence, with more compelling reasons than those Moses had, we bow down; we worship our Crucified Lord, and we urge him to come along as we journey through life. We admit to him that we are still stiff-necked, still stubbornly insisting on doing things our way, on leading our life the way we see fit, even, occasionally, on messing it up badly. We admit to him that we need to be pardoned for our wickedness and sins. Yet, we boldly insist that he, who is infinite love, boundless compassion, receives us as his own.
This prayer, this form of worshipping the infinite love of our Triune God should be something that comes straight from our hearts, because we are often tired, hurting, disenchanted, concerned, apprehensive.
At times, we look with envy at our children, noticing how worry-free, how serene, how able to enjoy life they are. Reacting to our envy, the Lord whispers in our hearts: “Wouldn’t be nice if you felt as happy, as peaceful, as reassured as they are? Don’t you see my daughter, my son, that your children are happy and worry-free because they have seen many, unmistakable signs of your love for them?”
“Here, look at my outstretched arms; they will be open forever to embrace you and to reassure you; they will never be shaken in a gesture of condemnation, because they know nothing but love and forgiveness.”
Hence, my restless brothers and sisters, we shall fix our gaze on our Crucified Lord on the cross—and rejoice. This is what St. Paul (2 Corinthians 13:11-13) urged our brothers and sisters from Corinth to do. Not because they were immune to any trouble, but because they had fixed their gaze on their Crucified Lord; they felt holy and sanctified by God’s blood and sealed by the anointing of his Spirit of love.
Similarly, this must be our way of celebrating the Most Holy Trinity Sunday, by having our life transformed by the knowledge of the ultimate sacrifice of our God. He cannot do anything bigger than that. If the Father gave us his only Son on that cross, we shall never be in want of anything else for the rest of our life. (cf. Romans 8:32)
And so, from now on, we shall strive to live worry-free, in peace, with our Lord walking along to protect us.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with every one of us forever. Amen.