Daily Reflection
June 18th, 2000
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

The Holy Trinity - Solemnity
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalms 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22
Romans 8:14-17
Matthew 28:16-20

There is the little story of a bishop officiating at a Confirmation, who asked the young people to explain the Trinity.  One little fellow from the middle of the church stood up and mumbled something quite inaudible.  The Bishop kindly remarked, “I didn’t understand that.”  The lad spoke up louder, “You’re not suppose to, it’s a mystery.”  Indeed, the Church has wrestled with all manner of ways to understand a “Three-Person” God.  Is not the mystery of one God enough, but three persons, that takes more faith than words to explain.

We hear in today’s first Reading, Moses telling of the splendor of the One-God Who has fashioned Israel and protected her and provided for her, making her very special.  God made them a nation having both a land and identity, both of which called them to being responsible to the Giver.

In the Second Reading, Paul reminds his readers that they also have a new identity as adopted children and so heirs with all the people of God.  They have been made into the Holy Dwelling of God, not having a holy land of their own, but rather the holy place of God’s residing.  The Spirit of God continues the creation of the world and those of us who are God’s family.  In Christ, our earthliness is made holy and the Spirit labors for that earthliness to bring forth fruit, which are gifts for making God visible.

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus blessing His eleven apostles whom He sends out into this world to help know what it is and what it is for.  The commission to go out and baptize all “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is also the commission of instructing all peoples to observe  “all that I have commanded.” 

What Jesus has commanded are not laws or prescriptions for happiness, but to live on this earth in reverent relationships with that same earth, with those same people to whom He came and for whom He rose.  We are also commanded to live as children of God, who know where they have come from, why they are here and where their lives ultimately lead them.

So there is a Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as a trinity of relationships which we are commanded to observe; a holy relationship with this “holy land,” the earth, which is the creation of the Father.  We are commanded to have a holy relationship with ourselves and others as a result of the Incarnation of the Son.  We are commanded to live fruitfully and gratefully with the gifts we are and have been given, which is the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you have made some kind of art work, a statue, a poem or a painting.  You then are the creator of that work.  The painting is the creation with all its hidden meanings, color combinations and the like.  Your spirit of love, from which you created that work, would want others to see it, know it, celebrate it and enjoy your efforts and artistry.  You would want them to see this little thing and that intricacy.  There is a trinity at work then; the creator, the created and the love that is between both which moves beyond to sharing that love and reverencing the painting. 

The Trinity of God is definitely a mystery and we mumble our words in some attempts to understand that which cannot be understood.  The blessing of today’s Gospel is that Jesus reminds us that He will always be with us as His beloved art work.  We live as Christ’s brothers and sisters on this holy land and guided by the loving Parent Who can not abandon us to ourselves.  We are God’s and not our own.  The immensity of creation is God’s and not our own. 

“This is why you must now know, and fix in your hearts, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on the earth below, and that there is no other.”

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