By Brother Brian Boyle, C.PP.S.
Please recall Holy Trinity Sunday three years ago. That Sunday may have felt lonely. Chances are you attended Mass online. Chances are you would not have celebrated Easter as you did in previous years. Outside of the person(s) you lived with, you might not have had a lot of personal contact with the outside world. Your relationships suffered. The fear of getting an unknown ubiquitous virus was bad enough. Hunkering down with little outside contact may have felt unbearable.
The Trinity addresses this. The Holy Trinity is the ultimate “3-for-1 Deal!” No seriously, Trinity is three Beings in One. God even though is one, is a relationship in and of itself. The Father does not actively hunker down and away from the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son doesn’t just decide to go it alone. The Holy Spirit and the Father never conspire to throw the Son under the bus. The relationship is active and fluid.
Even though we may have felt alone, and worse, we may have hunkered down from God, gone it alone and conspired to throw others under the bus. God is always with us and wants to renew the relationship with us. The Exodus reading demonstrates that God wants to be with the Israelites despite their stubbornness. Even though God saved Israel again and again, the Israelites still could not surrender and let go. Ancient Israelites did not have a 3-in-1 idea of God. They believed that God had many facets: slow to anger, rich in kindness and many others.
In the Corinthians reading, Paul is attempting to sort out decisions within the early Church in Corinth. Paul is not asking for doctrinal uniformity. He is asking the Corinthian Christians to put aside their differences. At the end of the day, the Church in Corinth is stuck with itself, and he is asking the Corinthians to face this reality. Paul is not trying to be an arbiter of their differences to see who is purer in doctrine and practice. Thus, it makes practical sense to mend rifts with each other.
Have you ever had a vice president or some appointed consultant assigned to your department to “clean house?” You might have been on the wrong end of that as well. Today’s Gospel assures us that God is not sending Jesus to fire us. Jesus was sent to journey with us throughout our lives despite our stiff-necked ways, shortcoming and sins. The original hearers of this Gospel were Jewish Christians who were kept out of synagogue for their new beliefs. They were denied relationships from their greater community.
The Trinity has been presented to me as a pew dweller in years past as a very thick theological idea. Ultimately it is a nut that we will never crack. These readings present the Holy Trinity as a model to have relationships with others despite my differences from others. It also is an invitation that God wants to be with me despite my worst inclinations.
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