+SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY 7 June, 2020
We are a lot like fish in the water, immersed each day in the life of the Trinity but hardly think about it. As I began to reflect on this mystery I became aware of how many times each day we immerse ourselves into Trinitarian life by the doxologies we use throughout the Divine Office. At least forty-four times each day, we pray: “Praise the Father, Son and Holy Spirit both now and forever, the God who is, who was and is to come at the end of the ages” or similar words. Like Moses in our first reading, we are “bowed down to the ground in worship as the Lord passes before us too saying: “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness.”
God has been revealed to all of us and I’m sure the only reason we are gathered here this morning because we have tasted the mercy and graciousness of God. Each of us has been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit in living water. From the first moment of our Christian lives, God’s loving presence has been at work in us. Whether we were aware of it or not “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” have flooded our lives. These words of St Paul, as you know, are one of the optional greetings at the beginning of the Eucharist each day. None of us was worthy of so marvelous a gift as Baptism, so freely given when most of us were still being held in our mother’s arms.
Today’s feast invites us into a higher or deeper consciousness. This comes through clear as St John reminds 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.” Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it, to make us all sharers in God’s own divine life. St Julian of Norwich goes so far as to say that we exist within the Godhead where, to use her own words “we are enclosed in the Father, we are enclosed in the Son and we are enclosed in the Holy Spirit.” St John of the Cross tells us that God absorbs us into Himself and there “in the heart of the Trinity, God loves the soul within himself. (Spiritual Canticle,32:6)
We will never get our heads around the mystery of the Trinity however much we may try. What matters is to allow ourselves to be immersed in it, to reflect the Trinitarian life in all that we think, do or say each day. One of our early Cistercian fathers, Bl. Willian of St Thierry, saw our memory, intellect and will as the very image of the Trinity continually at work in each of our lives. To use these gifts in a loving way allows God’s image and likeness in us to become fully alive.
Never has this been more urgent than in our own day with the pandemic, and all that is going on in relation to racism that has such deep roots in the history of this country. Sharing in the life of the Trinity enables our human relationships to flower for the good of all. Through it, we gain respect for all of God’s children.
If I may return finally to the idea of our being immersed in God like a fish in water, Catharine of Siena tells us “God is closer to us than water is to fish,” (Dialogue 2). And isn’t this what the Eucharist is designed to manifest. For here is made present Christ’s supreme act of love in giving his life up for us, and through it he gives us his very Body and Blood as our food and drink. Thus we share in God’s own inner life, reason to be filled with thanksgiving.
Ex. 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2 Cor. 13:11-13; John 3:16-18