Saturday 30 May 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015 - TRINITY SUNDAY - Love and unity in diversity

To read the texts click on the texts: Dt 4:32-34; 39-40;Rom 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20

Trinity Sunday is a special Sunday in the Church year; it has been celebrated since 1334 when Pope John XXII fixed it as the Sunday after Pentecost. It is a Sunday which is not tied to any special event. We do not have to remember any special events or rituals. Instead, it is a day on which we remember God; it is a day to focus our hearts and minds on the mystery, and also on the reality, that is God. It is a bit like a birthday, when all we do is celebrate a particular person and their presence with us.

The French writer, aviator, and novelist, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, once said: “If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” The Easter celebrations ended with Pentecost. Through Trinity Sunday the Church is inviting us to return to Ordinary Time, by presenting us with the big picture of the “endless immensity of the sea” we call God.

When we are personally caught up in the mystery of the love of God, then we shall find the rationale and the motivation to work on our personal growth in Christian living. It is only when we experience the love of our God, who is a personal God that we can live out fully our Christian calling.

The Trinity is not an explanation of God, though many have tried to explain what the Trinity means. It is a description of what we know about God, albeit contradictory and contrary to logic as we know it. One good way to understand the Trinity, even if inadequately, would be to understand the Father, Son and Spirit as Lover, Beloved, and the Flow of Love between them that has constantly flowed since before time began. Through the Incarnation, the Beloved came to dwell among us. When we stand in the place of the Beloved, when we accept the offer to become the adopted sons and daughters of God, we also become the Beloved of God, and share in this same Flow of Love. However, even this way of understanding falls short and we must be careful not to reduce the mystery to these explanations. The Church teaches us that God is three persons in one nature; that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together are God. Beyond that is nothing more than the speculation of our tiny minds.

The first reading of today insists that, though understanding the mystery of God is beyond human comprehension, our God is a God who has immersed himself in human history. He is a God, who spoke to the people of Israel, and a God who translated that word into action by redeeming them from slavery and bringing them into the freedom of their own land.

However, this immersion was through human intermediaries. Since God wanted to show his love and care for the whole of humanity to the greatest extent possible, he made himself visible when he took on human form, being born as Jesus Christ. This was not all. He went even further when he embraced the Cross willingly and whole heartedly to show that there would never be any limit to his love. His death on the Cross, however, was only the beginning of new life. He was raised and, after his resurrection, gave to his disciples both a commission to continue to do his work on earth and the gift of the Spirit to enable them to do so.

The commission in Matthew is preceded by a revelation and followed by a promise; all three are prefaced by the universalizing “all”. The revelation is that Jesus has been given “all” authority. The commission is that the disciples must make disciples of “all” nations. The promise is that Jesus will be with his disciples “all” the days. He will do this in and through his Spirit.

It is this Spirit, Paul tells us in the second reading of today, which enables us to recognize God as beloved Father or Mother and to realize that, just as the Trinity is united by the bond of love, we, too, are called to that same union. It is the Spirit which gives us the grace to recognize that every human being is a child of God and that, because this is so, we are all brothers and sisters of one human family. It is the Spirit which enables us to accept diversity, knowing deep in our hearts that there is an underlying fundamental and basic unity.

Thus, the feast of the Trinity celebrates freedom, love, community, diversity, and inclusiveness. God does not exist in isolated individualism but in a community of relationships. In other words, God is not a loner or a recluse. This means that a Christian in search of Godliness must shun every tendency to isolationism and individualism. The ideal Christian spirituality is not that of flight from the world. It is not a spirituality that runs away from contact with other people and society. Rather, it is an immersion into the world with a view to transforming sorrow to joy, injustice to justice, negatives to positives, darkness to light and, death to life.

There is no one who is outside the kingdom of God. There is no “us” and “them”. There is only “we” And, we are all connected. The Trinity embraces diversity. We are not asked to be clones of Jesus. We are asked to offer our unique gifts for the good of the community. We are not asked to be the same. We are asked to seek unity even in diversity.

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