Sunday, June 7, 2020

Reflection for Today

Reflection is taken from A Catholic Moment;

“A God that can be explained is not a God that you should worship.” This was told as the response of an Indian guru to a young man who once pestered on him to explain the existence of God.
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity as a mystery full of meaning is a nourishment for those who are concerned with living the life of the Holy Trinity. But it is also a source of confusion and loss for those who wish to have a logical conclusion of 1+1+1=1. The revelation of God is his self communication to his creatures; the communication of his love. This revelation is made evident in the three identical moments of creation, redemption and sanctification of creation.These moments perfectly reveal the concrete expression the Triune God. But the identity of this God is not meant to be a mathematical conundrum, nor a philosophical deductive and inductive analysis. It is a mystery of a perfect God, a perfect unity, a perfect love and perfect communion of undivided three Persons in one God.
The liturgy today calls us to contemplate this unfathomable richness of God and to live it as an enriching experience of faith translated in our daily contact with others.

FIRST READING: 34:4.6.8-9
The hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH is a name of God held in the Jewish orthodoxy as too sacred to be pronounced by mortals. Such attitude was developed as a result of the unimaginable works wrought by God that generated an esteem awe as well as an exaltation of his holiness and omnipotence against the gods of other pegan nations.Thus, the people preferred the use of Adonai (my Lord) which translates in the septuagint as ‘Kyrios’ when addressing Him in prayers.
But today, the author of the Book of Exodus narrates the revelation of God not in the purported image of a transcendental non relational and ‘a not worthy to be called YHWH’, but a God who revealed Himself to Moses as a personal God in relationship with his people. This is why the author underlines the fundamental elements align his relationship with his people (merciful, gracious, and loving) as the intrinsic character of this God. It is the image God revealed of Himself to Moses as he (Moses) climbed Sinai to meet Him again with two tables of stone meant to replace the first one. We recall that Moses had shattered the first tables of stone given by God when he came down from Sinai and found Aaron and the people dancing around a golden calf as their God (Ex. 32:19). This second tables of stone is meant to reaffirm the commandments already given by God in Exodus 20 and to serve as a symbol of God’s renewed covenant with his people.
The rewriting of the commandments on a new stone describes how eternally merciful God is towards his people. He never stops forgiving and loving them. In fact addressing Himself as Adonai (the only name the people are comfortable to use) in the text shows how God desired to be closer to his people.

Our God is never tired of us. We can’t just imagine how often He desires to be closer to us and longs that we come back to Him. Today, He asked Moses to bring a new stone. Yes His wish is to rewrite his love, his grace and his forgiveness on a new stone which is our heart. We just need to allow the old stone to shatter in order to obtain the new stone. He does not expect us to love Him the same way He loves us, but He just want us to love Him not for His sake but for our sake.

SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

St. Paul has this strong passion for a community life as an indispensable dimension of the faith and an engine force for the spreading of the gospel. That is why he is always concerned when individual weaknesses begin to crop up in the community which he sees as a threat to the strength of the community life.
Today he presents the Trinity to the community of Corinth as a model to look up to in building their bond of communion through accepting one another and living in peace.
And by using the trinitarian formula of blessing: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” , the Apostle did not only remind the Corinthians of their duty to emulate the Holy Trinity, he equally reminded them that their faith and identity as Christians is build on the foundation of the Trinity. Notice that Paul attached a ‘qualifying identity’ to each of the three persons of the Holy Trinity:

1. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…” The greek ‘charis’ for grace refers to a patron but also as one possessing the virtue of generosity. Jesus is ‘Patron’ of the Christian community, the head of the body the Church whose salvific mission can only be described as an act of generosity.

2. Paul used the greek ‘agape’ in reference to the “love of God the Father.” It affirms the unselfish love which the Father lavished on the world by offering his only begotten Son.

3. “And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Paul employs the Greek ‘koinonia’ (followship or communion) with reference to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity; the bond of communion of the Father and the Son, and as a uniting force of the christian community.

GOSPEL: John 3:16-18
This passage of the Gospel of John is one of the most famous, most cherished and most memorized and quoted passages of the bible. It identifies love as an intrinsic character of God and as the purpose of Jesus’s mission.
John reiterates the message of Exodus of a God who counted more on his love than on the fidelity of his people towards him. He forgave and renewed his covenant with them mediated by the tablets of the Law. John affirms that the revelation of this God attained its ‘summum punctum’ (apex) in the person of his Son who by mediating between the Father and his people replaced the tablets of the Law. He became a pledge of God’s love and forgiveness who chose not to condemn but to save. John further underlined that this salvation is a free choice. Anyone who believes in the One sent by God is saved; and anyone who rejects the One sent by God simply rejects the love lavished by God. And to reject love is to reject God who is love and the consequence of rejecting God is self condemnation.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity should not be approached just with the aim of enlightenment but rather should be a lived experience of all about a God who wished to reveal Himself to His people out of love. This revelation of God to His people has only one purpose, and that is, the salvation of His people. Thus the doctrine of Trinity teaches that this salvation cannot be attained if man does not live the life of the “Holy Trinity”. By this we mean that the Holy Trinity is indispensably the only model of the people of God.
The modern society has been so influential with its ‘I-and-I’ principle of unbridled individualism; an ‘i-sm’ ideology that puts the individual in opposition to the community, and the world constructed around and from the stand-point of the ‘I’. Yet the proponents of such ideology tend to forget that the ‘I-and-I’ principle reduces the human person. On the contrary, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity challenges us to adopt the ‘I-and-God-and-Neighbor’ principle. I am a complete human person insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and with others.
The other here must not have identity. It is not ‘selectional’. It is not racial, neither is it tribal. It is only the other.
Meanwhile, as Christians we are called today not just to celebrate the Holy Trinity but to live the Holy Trinity. It is useless to give a deep seated explanation of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity if we are not disposed to allow the life of the Holy Trinity to permeate us and influence our way of living. We must admit that we are divided. Humanity has been torn apart. There is immeasurable hatred, man’s inhumanity against the other, the claim of superiority and superimposition over others. Today we cannot lay claim of perfect union. Relationships are tearing apart. Divorce is the order of the day. Family crises keep flaming. Communities are in apathy. Nations are against nations. Kingdoms are falling apart. Religions are hostile to each other. Even in Christendom, there is a heinous division. The secular world is constantly increasing its wave of war and terrorism. Is that the life of the Holy Trinity? Certainly not! We must acknowledge that each one of us is not living right. We must accept our limitedness. We must begin to move away from the world of ‘the self’ towards the world of ‘with others’. We must break the walls of the ‘I’ in order to see the beauty of life. We must look at the Holy Trinity today as the only model which will open us to accept one another as children of the same Father having one common ‘eternal origin’ and not this temporal geographical origin that is just accidental. We need to begin to appreciate the life of communion and love. In doing so, we can then hit our chest and say that we are living in conformity with the Holy Trinity, and our life, our communities and our world will take a different dimension. It is not easy to love and to live in unity but is not impossible. It is only achievable if we are godly. We must break away from and renounce the worldly principles and turn to the divine principles. It is our vocation.

We pray with saint Catherine of Siena saying: “You, O eternal Trinity, are a deep Sea, into which the deeper I enter the more I find, and the more I find the more I seek; the soul cannot be satiated in Your abyss, for she continually hungers after You, the eternal Trinity… Clothe me, clothe me with You, O! Eternal Truth!”


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