Celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, that mystery of our faith that recognizes three manifestations of our one God, as Father, the Creator, Son, the Redeemer, and Spirit, the Advocate.
One of the many lessons we can learn from this mystery is the foundational importance of relationship. As humans, we are created in the image and likeness of God. If we hold that to be true, then the bond among Father, Son and Spirit, the Trinity, teaches us that human relationships are to mirror those of God, and to exhibit the qualities of respect, humility, mutuality, love. Theologian Diarmuid O’Murchu writes: “the essential nature of God is about relatedness and the capacity to relate… in the plain but profound language of the Christian Bible: God is love.”
The heartbreak of the death of George Floyd, and of so many before him, betrays the trinitarian model of behavior our faith is supposed to exemplify. We need to take a long, hard look at the ways in which we regard and treat one another, and try to integrate the tenets of our faith with the living of our everyday lives.
We have witnessed such extremes in behavior this week, from police taking a knee or marching in solidarity with protesters, to the firing of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. The former filled me with pride and respect, the latter filled me with anger and disgust. What are we to do with the situation we are in? How can we make sense of these events? How can we reach beyond them and emerge with a better way of organizing our civic lives, one that respects all people, one that serves both justice and peace?
A glimmer of hope rose in me today, as I left my desk in the parish office, having heard the sounds of a crowd on South Pine Creek Road. I looked out to see hundreds, perhaps more, mostly young people, mostly masked, protesting peacefully, shouting “Black Lives Matter.” They proceeded in an orderly fashion as they exercised their right to protest. I was reminded of scenes from the 1960s when young people marched in the streets against the war in Vietnam, and the varied reactions those marches provoked… as is happening today, some remained peaceful and some became violent. Why the difference?
Perhaps the ideal of emulating the Trinity in the living of our lives is just a dream. But I would submit that it is a dream worth pursuing. Our Trinitarian God models that ideal, our faith professes that ideal, but the question to consider is whether or not we are up to practicing what it is we believe… with the Trinity as our guide, I would say our chances are good.