June 11, 2017 – Solemnity of the Holy Trinity
Exodus 34:4b -6,8-9 – Daniel 3:53-56 – 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 – John 3:16-18
“If I find favor with you, oh, Lord, do come along with (us) for we are a stiff-necked people.” (Exodus 34:9)
If Moses, who came the closest of any to actually encountering God, admits that he is part of a ‘stiff-necked people’ then it follows that we, too, ‘stiff-necked’ as we are, should find hope as we make our roundabout journey through the desert of our own lives. This Feast of the Most Holy Trinity tries to show us the extent of God’s love for his people: in the way he created us even knowing that we would stray from that love and then taking us back 70 times 7 times. Even with that in mind I think it’s good for us to go back to the very beginning and see, in some sense, that God the Father wanted to create a world and a people who would reflect his perfect love. God’s Spirit blows the breath of life into the first human beings and God looked about and said, “It is good!” even knowing what would eventually happen. We might even say that it was God’s sorrow that brought about the Son’s redemptive presence. And there in a nutshell we have a beginning concept of the Trinity. And the story goes on.
Jesus says to Simon Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” And that’s after Peter has denied Jesus at his arrest. Remember, it’s upon Peter that Jesus entrusts the leadership of His Church. In today’s second scripture reading from Corinthians St. Paul says, “In the meantime, we wish you happiness; try to grow perfect; help one another. Be united; live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2nd Corinthians 13:11)
Then we can easily see the presence of the Holy Spirit which keeps it all together: hovering over the chaos of our lives and bringing those fruits of his presence: love, joy, peace, patients, goodness, self-control. If we would live in the Trinity we must allow the Holy Spirit to bring those fruits into our lives. Without that we are nothing but a clanging gong! In the end, though, we have to complete our journey through this earth before we can fully understand and realize what the Holy Trinity really means.
They tell the story of a Bishop coming to a local church for confirmation. As was his custom, he asked the young folks, “Who can tell me what the Holy Trinity is?” A young person stood up and said something but the Bishop said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.” So the youngster gave the answer a second time, which the Bishop still said, “I can’t understand what you’re saying.” That was when the student almost shouted, “Of course you can’t understand! It’s a mystery!” And so we all continue to search for the fullness of understanding while we make our way to the Kingdom. That quote that I began today’s reflection with needs to be our own prayer: “If we find favor with you, oh, Lord, do come along with (us) for we are a stiff-necked people. Amen!”