Just a word… Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Just a word… Feast of the Most Holy Trinity… June 7, 2020

Sometimes there is a confluence of events that stops us in our tracks and makes us take account of the ways in which we live, forcing us to search for meaning out of all that confronts us. I believe we are in such a moment, when our natural word is screaming for attention. We are enmeshed in a global pandemic that has claimed far too many lives; swarms of locusts are invading African and Asian countries, devouring every plant in their path and depriving millions of people of their crops; thousands of Americans of all ethnicities in every state (and citizens in other countries as well) have taken to the streets in protest over the racial inequality in our country, magnified by the recent horrific deaths of Black Americans at the hands of some police officers who do not represent the vast majority; and our country is divided, our church is divided, in ways we have not seen in recent memory. And there is more…

Today we are supposed to be celebrating the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, that mystery of our faith that calls our attention to the three manifestations of our God…Father, Son and Spirit – the Creator, the Redeemer and the Advocate. Andre Rublev, a 15th century Russian iconographer, wrote an icon entitled “Holy Trinity” (pictured above) that evokes many interpretations. Among the lessons to be gleaned from this icon is the positioning of the heads of the three figures, leaning toward one another deferentially, listening as it were to one another’s thoughts. The scene is a peaceful one, evoking a sense of mutual respect and acceptance, of reciprocity, of love. It can be said that this image of our God, this Trinitarian depiction of the One in Whose image and likeness we are fashioned, is a model for how we are to behave toward one another, and by extension, toward all creation. One can argue that the timing of this feast is no coincidence, given our current circumstances with their attendant ramifications.

Where can we turn to find the courage to ponder deeply our faith and the demands that faith places upon us? Our Scriptures today can help us; Paul urges the Corinthians (and us) to “mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” Our Gospel writer John tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” The contemporary voice of Pope Francis tells us that “we have a chance to reverse course, to commit ourselves to a better, healthier world and to pass it on to future generations.” In addressing the civic unrest, the pope says that “we cannot tolerate racism and claim to defend life.” Okay, I agree. But where can we find the hope that is required to propel us forward toward the goal of a more peaceful and just world, where humans and the earth can co-exist and flourish? It is again our pope who provides a clue: “in the face of adversity, new paths always open in order for us to be united as a great human family.” May we all be attentive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit as together we discern those paths that, God willing, will bring us into a new relationship with one another and with the earth.

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