June 16, 2019: The Most Holy Trinity - Associate Pastor’s Corner
Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. Today we celebrate the Godhead itself, Love itself, Most Holy Trinity. Last week, we concluded the Easter Season with contemplating the Holy Spirit. And next week, we celebrate the mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Holy Trinity teaches us who we are and what we are meant to be. The interaction of the Three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – teaches us our purpose, and most assuredly, how to live up to the mission that Jesus calls us to.
The Holy Trinity teaches us how to love. Because you see, God the Father is Love. He isn’t merely the object of love, or the one falling in love, he is Love. St. Thomas Aquinas has taught, and many parents have confirmed, that love is an act of the will. It is active, it is movement. The Father continually and eternally loves the Son, the Beloved, who receives the Father’s love and willingly, sacrificially, and comprehensively, reciprocates His love toward his Father. And this love, this dynamic of giving and receiving and giving back, is the very Fiery Holy Spirit of Love that we celebrated last Sunday at Pentecost. The Father, you can say, is a complete gift to the Son. And the Son is a complete gift to the Father. And the gifting, is the Holy Spirit Himself.
And here is the thing. Their giving of self is so complete and comprehensive, that the only way we can differentiate one person from the other is through their very relationships. The intimacy that they share is so close and unique that the persons dwell within each other. We would remember in the Gospel of John when the Lord would often pray that the disciples would be in the Son as the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. This speaks to the intimate indwelling of the persons within each other. Their love for each other is so deep, intimate, and real that when they act and speak, they act and speak as one.
The Persons of the Trinity, in their relationship, in their sacrificial giving, show us who we are and what we are meant to be.
As the Three Persons love each other so profoundly, we need to ask ourselves: How much do I love myself? How much do I love my family? How much do I love my neighbor?
How much do I love myself? Am I too hard on myself, or not hard enough? Do I forgive myself? Am I willing to work on my foibles and those bad habits that keep me from loving myself well? Do I even know who I am?
How much do I love my family? St John Paul II said that the family is the school of virtue. Is this the place where we are learning virtue? Am I learning how to forgive and be forgiven? Can I accept criticism well from others? Are children truly learning virtues like obedience, patience, temperance? Are parents learning virtues like fortitude, humility, mercy?
How much do I love my neighbor? In some ways, this may be the easiest one, isn’t it? Have I given to the poor? Have I prayed for those who are struggling? Have I stood us for my faith? Am I sacrificially altruistic? When people see me, what virtues come to mind--and are those the kinds of virtues I want?
The Most Holy Trinity teaches us who we are and who we are meant to be. As the Trinity is Love, we are meant to be the clearest, most incandescent, radiation of that Love. May this love, over poured into us at Pentecost, continually ignite our love for ourselves and others.
- Fr. Isaiah Mary