Since Monday, the liturgical colour of the Church returned to green. It signifies we are back into Ordinary Time, but these are anything but ordinary as the world take its first steps exiting lockdowns. The virus is still somewhere out there but storm clouds have gathered over the economy. There is a pressing need to get out to repair lives despite the threat. The journey of life continues. We must get on with it.
Today is Holy Trinity Sunday, “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. The message we reflect on in today’s Gospel gives us the opportunity to be fully conscious of the one ordinary that has been constant, unchanged, faithful in our journey in life, through our daily “getting-on-with-it” and many extraordinary challenges in our personal life: God is unconditional love.
“God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” (Today’s Gospel)
Whenever the journey of life leads us into tougher terrain, we wonder where God is. If God is love, why does he allow this virus to destroy my life? There are big questions about suffering, justice and so many others. This wondering and pondering is good. It reawakens us to become fully conscious of the presence or absence of God in our life. Many times, God is absent because of our expectations of who God is, or bluntly, who we want him to be for ‘me’.
There are many misconceptions of who God truly is. God does not love. God is almightily authoritarian; he judges and punishes. He is an angry God. He is the creator of the universe so don’t preach the concept of a personal God. We all have our personal discontentment with God. In the time of Jesus, the people expected the Messiah to be an all-conquering king instead of one who hung limply on the cross in the name of love. Love at that moment was redefined through the Most Holy Trinity.
“The Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.” (First Reading)
God reveals himself on our personal journey through life. It is not that he intentionally holds himself back but just that he is so infinite and unconditional in his love for each one of us. Through our intellectual minds, we first learn about God as our Creator, the still distant God. God the Father desires a personal relationship with us, so as the Son was sent into the world, Jesus comes to be with us in our struggles. We must make the personal journey from head to heart to encounter Jesus. In the absence of any physical manifestations, the Holy Spirit allow us to feel, sense and know this truth about God.
The unconditional love of God includes his unmovable respect for our personal freedom of choice. That will never be taken away but with that respect his unconditional love promises to pick us up from the consequences of our choices, if they go bad, and often they do. God only judges at the end of time. Between now and then, our journey of life through this challenging terrain allows God, through the Most Holy Trinity, to reveal his love to us to keep us on the path to eternal life promised.
This virus has shown the interconnectedness among every person and our planet. Every action has a consequence. Planet Earth demonstrated this in its recovery as Man was locked away. We reap what we sow. And as we make for the exits of the lockdown, we must be aware that we are not alone. We are not alone as there are others with us and inevitably that we suffer some consequences of their action. But inevitably too, the unconditional love of God remains a constant with us as we journey through life. We are not alone. The Most Holy Trinity is with us.
God is nearer than we think. Our expectation leads to misconception. We regret the past and worry about the future, wishing and looking for God in them. In so doing, we miss his presence. God is present in the moment. If we still ourselves and come into the here and now, we will be fully conscious that nothing is harming us in each present moment. As we breathe, we feel our life and the unconditional love of God.
“Brothers, 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. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (Second Reading)
The Most Holy Trinity Sunday