6/17/19 Weekly Reflection
Jun 18, 2019
We greet you in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus.
May the light of the Holy Spirit of our Lord, the Lord of love, mercy, and compassion shine upon all of us and may He grant us the knowledge, patience and wisdom to understand the richness of His teachings and missions which are intended to nurture our hearts and our lives.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.
We should all recognize this. It is offered during Mass. But what does it mean?
This a is a blessing right out of Scripture (2 Cor 13: 13) in which St. Paul invokes the Trinity to a community that had traditionally known only the one God as understood by the Jews in their great prayer, the Shema. Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
In 2019, we are familiar with the Trinity. Aside from St. Paul’s blessing we invoke it every time we make the sign of the cross. But a question to ask yourself is, “Has the Trinity become meaningless to me? Does it make a difference? Is it just an abstract incomprehensible concept?”
A personal story: Have you ever been camping or outside at night?
My family and I often rent a cottage at the Outer Banks for a week in September. One night my daughter and I were out on the back second floor deck. The wind was still, the air was unusually clear, cool, free of clouds and ocean mist.
We were high enough to see both the ocean and the bay so the view was quite nice. But that night the earthly view was not what made the evening memorable.
Looking up, there were stars - lots of stars! The summer Milky Way was brightly stretched out across the sky. “What is that,” she exclaimed?
Now my daughter is an adult. As a family we have done a lot of things and seen a lot of places in the world but I was surprised by her reaction to that view of the sky. Is it possible that I, as a Dad, had never shown my daughter the stars?
I remembered a comment that I read recently wondering how many of us modern people had ever really seen the stars. Our cities and our neighborhoods are well lit. Lights are used for security and to create outdoor architectural environments.
It is rare to see a sky dark enough for all but the brightest stars and the moon to be seen.
Another commentator once remarked that, for our youth and young adults in the developed world, that’s RVA, it is possible that city folks have never really seen the stars.
Like the night sky, God is with us and just as amazing, just as awe inspiring. How many of us have really seen God, know God, understand God?
The glaring lights of everyday life, our culture, our politics our business blots out our perception of God and may even lead to feeling that God, much less the Trinity does not exist in any meaningful way.
In all the readings this coming Sunday (The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity), some “person” of the Triune God is mentioned. In the first reading from Proverbs, the Spirit called Wisdom, speaks about how she was there with the Lord (the Craftsman) at the formation of the earth, the waters, and the heavens. She also speaks of how she found delight in the human race.
St. Paul speaks of Jesus, who through the Holy Spirit, gave us faith in today’s second reading and how we gained grace (the Father’s friendship), endurance, character and hope through affliction (the Son’s Cross).
Jesus then speaks of the one who follows from our Father in Heaven, the Spirit of Truth. Interestingly, Jesus tells them “you cannot bear it now.
He is right. Even in the 21st century, we cannot bear it. St. Augustine said long ago "If you understood him, it would not be God.” Yet we seek Him. Others have said we have a God shaped hole in our hearts that must be filled. That is not due to sin but the way we are created. God made us to seek Him as earnestly as He seeks us.
The Trinity gives us a glimpse into the way that mutual seeking happens. It is in relationship like the Father, Son, and Spirt.
Think about the Trinity. Think and pray about how you seek God. Think about whether you have really seen the stars.