Dear Followers of Jesus,
As we enter the church, we once again dip our fingers into the baptismal water. We fling water over our bodies, marking them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We often do this gesture without thinking, our hands not quite reaching our forehead, chest and shoulders.
We continue this gesture before mealtime prayer or when we tuck our children into bed. This gesture has been handed down to us for generations. This gesture, of marking our bodies with the Sign of the Cross, is a profound action of our belonging to God and to one another. This gesture identifies us as Christians. This witness to Christ is from our baptism. We use this gesture of the cross on Ash Wednesday or during the Sacrament of Confirmation as well as the Anointing of the Sick. The cross on our bodies identifies our lives in Christ’s dying and rising.
On this Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity, we celebrate the union of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This mystery seems so otherworldly and often confusing. However, at the essence of this celebration, lies the deep communion of God. This profound unity of the Trinity teaches us how to become people of God on the earth.
Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost. The liturgical readings express our union with God and our call to be in union with one another. From the Acts of Apostles, we heard that people could understand one another even though they were all speaking their own languages. This understanding of one another came from the Holy Spirit.
We are called to live in unity on earth. This unity reflects our heavenly home. We are living in fragile times. We are experiencing cultural unrest and disunity. Violence rises when our voices are not heard, when our unity of humanity is threatened.
As Christians, we are challenged to enter the chaos. What we have to offer is a voice that needs to be heard by all sides, by all people, by all generations. What we have to offer the world is a voice of continuity that all human beings share the same value, no matter our race, no matter our political backgrounds. Our voice of unity falls upon deaf ears when we are not living lives with integrity. We easily fall into thinking that God must be on our side because we have power, authority, riches, wealth of respect, and that our opinions are always correct because of such power.
We are called as believers to live with humility. We need to learn how to be citizens in our culture that invite people together, not shun them, or make fun of the lowly, or cast blame upon people who we think do not have cultural power. It is so easy to blame the weak for anything we do not want to take responsibility for. So often, we want to dominate life and culture because of skin color and language, because of educational background and ethnic history.
We are called to gather people into unity, just a God lives. The Trinity gives us a template as how to live. Three persons in one, this is the model for us even here on earth. We are challenged to listen to people who feel they have no voice. We are challenged to explore speaking a language of peace no matter who we are or how we live. We are challenged by faith to end violence, racial divides and most of all to continue to discover our common humanity. We are one in God, just as God longs to be in relationship with God’s people.
Throughout our centuries, we have used flimsy images of the Trinity. The triangle or the shamrock have been held up to express the image of unity. The real image of The Most Holy Trinity is when we face divisions and allow God to heal them. The authentic images of God on earth are when we work toward living our faith and bringing all people into authentic personhood with cultural voices and equality. We are challenged in these weeks to work for the end of racial divides and follow The Most Holy Trinity by living among people with peace.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
God give you peace,
Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor