Today’s reflection is for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity June 7, 2020, and the readings can be found by clicking here. It was offered as a reflection after the 6pm vigil Mass at O.L.A., in Turlock.
Just last week we celebrated Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, and the truth of the Spirit’s coming to make his home in the hearts of all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus, and enter into the waters of Baptism. Now I just said the Spirit enters into the hearts of ALL who call on Jesus. Shortly after the descent of the Spirit, in a thoroughly Jewish-Christian community, the question arises, how great is God’s love? How open are God’s arms? How many does God love? The Christian answer is “You won’t even believe it!”
Today we celebrate The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, or sometimes referred to simply as, Trinity Sunday. The revelation of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost revealed the fullness of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Jews knew God as just one, the Father. Jesus’ disciples who already knew God as the Father, realized God also as the Son, and at Pentecost (head explosion here), God as Spirit.
The early Christians were amazingly courageous, and entirely open to what God was trying to teach them. In just three years they went from worshiping Yahweh, to Yahweh and Jesus, to Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit—the Trinity. And no sooner had God expanded their mind with how diverse was the inner life of God, did God challenge them also with how diverse would His People also be. No longer only Jew, but also Gentile. As St. Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (GAL 3:28)
Pope Francis puts it this way in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), “The salvation which God has wrought, and the Church joyfully proclaims, is for everyone. God has found a way to unite himself to every human being in every age.” (no. 118)
You heard it from St. Paul, you heard it from Pope Francis, and now you heard it from me, we do not as Christians, made in the likeness and image of our all-inclusive God, enjoy the right to be ex-clusive! Our God said about his own self, “but wait, there’s more!” And again about the Church and who could belong, “but wait, there’s more!” And he demands of us, his Church to say, about who has dignity, about who has worth, who has value, whose life matters, “but wait, there’s more!” Even George Floyd. Even those officers. Even those protestors. Even those politicians.
The media is covered with it, the bishops are talking about it, our bishop issued a statement, and even the Turlock Unified School District sent out a memo about it, all to say, “We do not stand for racism here!” And let me be very clear, racism is only the tip of the iceberg! In the heart of a Catholic Christian there is no room for racism, sexism, or classism. We do not care what color your skin, your country of origin, your height, your gender, your sex, or even whether or not you are a criminal! That’s right, the love of God and His Church reaches even into the prisons all across this country and others. We love. Period. That’s it. We do not judge. We do not slander. We do not discriminate. We do not hate. Here, in this Church, we love.
Moses said of the Israelites, “This is indeed a stiff-necked people.” How true that remains even today. My sons and I, like many of you maybe, are fond of watching the Marvel movies. Thor Ragnarok is one of our favorites. There’s a scene where Thor returns home unannounced, and his mischievous brother Loki, is upset by the guard failing to inform him of Thor’s return. He admonished the guard saying, “You had only one job. Just the one!” Of course, he failed miserably at the only job he was given. And often-times, sadly, so do we. Jesus says to us, “You had only one commandment! Just the one!” St. Paul encourages the Corinthians to, “mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” What timely advice…written 2,000 years ago, and our regular Sunday readings today. Thank you, God. This advice could not be more timely.
My brothers and sisters, listen to this, as though your first time hearing it, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but may have eternal life.” Our God loves everyone to death…death on a cross. We who are created in his image, born again through his Spirit, and believe in Him cannot settle for anything less inclusive than everyone. He gave us just one commandment, just the one. Love, that’s it. Father, have mercy on us.
For YouTube video presentations of this and other reflections, please click here.