THE MOST HOLY TRINITY-A
Exodus 34: 4b-6, 8-9
2 Corinthians 13: 11-13
John 3: 16-18
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: one God in three divine persons. The Trinity is “the central mystery of our Christian faith and life” [The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #234].
I ask you to make the Sign of the Cross with me now as we acknowledge the Trinity: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Yes, the Trinity is “the central mystery of our Christian faith and life.”
And on this Trinity Sunday we are face-to-face with two pandemic crises: 1) COVID-19 and 2) racial injustice.
I stood at the top of Saint Joseph Drive and Cleveland Avenue yesterday [Saturday, 6 June] afternoon at 1:00 PM to support those who were marching for racial justice – and who were doing so, for this important and timely cause, in a very spirited and respectful manner.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the African-American Archbishop of Washington, DC said this week that “the Church lives in society. The Church does not live behind the doors of the structures where we worship.” He went on to say that racism is similar to a virus in that both “are things that impact our lives and frighten us, but also come in silent and oftentimes undiscoverable ways.”
COVID-19 has us wear masks and keep a social distance from one another to protect our health. Racial prejudice causes people to wear masks of privilege and to keep their distance from anyone they believe is different from them, resulting in social injustice and an unhealthy society.
The life of the Trinity calls us to see others not as “those people” but as brothers and sisters, and children of our One God.
The feast of the Blessed Trinity offers insights on today’s challenges.
We can at times find the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity cerebral and up-in-the clouds. One God in three divine persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What of this?
Wait a minute, though. Two very practical lessons flow from the lofty doctrine of the Trinity.
For one, the Blessed Trinity is not way up there! The Trinity dwells in our souls. We have the very life of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – deep within us. This gift was given to us at our Baptism, is nurtured by faith and prayer, and is renewed and strengthened by the Sacraments.
This means, as the Bible tells us, that we are each temples of God, with the Trinity abiding within us!
Think of the moral implications of that. Would we ever do anything to hurt or disrespect ourselves, or someone else, if we really believed that we are all temples of God’s very life? From this comes our conviction about the God-given dignity of every human person and the sanctity of every human life, whether in the womb or on the sidewalks of Minneapolis or the streets of Lorain County.
The second pointer the mystery of the Blessed Trinity gives us is that Almighty God – who always was, is, and forever will be – exists in a community of persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Made in God’s image and likeness, we are to reflect right here in our hearts and in our living that community of persons. We are called to banish ideologies of hate. And to live as brothers and sisters of Jesus, as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, no matter what our race or country of origin. We are all God’s children.
We have seen inspiring evidence of our human family coming together during these last ten weeks of the dreaded coronavirus. We have seen our community at its best in our families, health care professionals, essential services, police and fire and emergency responders.
God forbid that the turmoil and injustice of racism – that can keep us apart even when we can be together – would now tarnish the luster of the community that has made so many strides to become more closely one in life-giving relationships – like the communal life of the Trinity. Today it is crucial that we stand together and declare that every life is sacred and matters, and that all people are to be treated as equal before the law in our nation and in our world.
We are living in some tough times. And we all need to do our part so that we come out of these crisis-times as better individuals, a better Church and a better society.
May Almighty God protect us from the pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice. As children of our One God and as brothers and sisters of Jesus, let us ask all these things, as always, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”