In God, we live and move and have our being. We celebrate in the feast of the Most Holy Trinity the ever-present love of God that is given as free gift to all of us. We celebrate God as creator of the universe and of each and every part of it. We celebrate our God in flesh, the presence of God in Jesus, the Redeemer and Savior of the world. We celebrate the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who leads and guides us, gives us counsel and courage, spilling forth the gifts of God for us to enrich this Godly world of ours. In this oneness and in this variety of expression and presence, we are given many examples of how this feast and the Triune God can give us hope, lead us on the way, and provide for us all that we need.
When Moses encountered God on Mount Sinai, he learned some of the characteristics of God. Exodus uses the words “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” Moses knew this was good news. His quick response to God was one of relief. He knew that he and all the others were stiff-necked wicked sinners. He knew that the only way this relationship with God would work is by knowing that God’s mercy and kindness were more powerful than wickedness and sin. Even today, stiff-necked as we are, we need to hear that our creator is one of mercy and kindness.
That assurance is not to soften us up and make us lazy in faith. Shame and self-hatred can allow us to lose hope in God’s mercy. We need to be reminded that God’s mercy is not in our power, but in God’s. In celebration of our God’s mercy on this Trinity Sunday, choose to make amends with those you have hurt or who have hurt you. Choose to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation, and hear the merciful love of God in pardon and forgiveness. Be ready to give mercy rather than revenge and payback. Be merciful, as our creator God is merciful.
God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus. God took on flesh and demonstrated teaching, healing and forgiving to give us the example to follow. In His name, He tells us that we will do even greater things and complete the work that He left us to do. Christianity is an enfleshed faith. Ours is not just a religion of beliefs and dogmas. Our faith is not just thoughts and opinions. Our faith, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, is a commitment to living and loving as Jesus did. Living, dying and rising with Jesus into the fullness of life is our mission and our destiny. In this way of life, we find true happiness, deep peace and life everlasting.
Just as Jesus gave His Flesh for the life of the world, we are called on this Trinity Sunday to do the same. For whom are you setting an enfleshed example to follow, even if they don’t live like you wish they would? Who have you despaired over? Will you continue to die for them? Where is Jesus asking another drop of blood from you or another difficult sacrifice for someone you don’t think deserves it? Will you?
We have heard in the Acts of the Apostles that the gift of the Holy Spirit, given in baptism, bears fruit in the individual who receives it. Do you see evidence that your reception of the Holy Spirit has borne fruit in your life? The Advocate leads and guides us, if only we seek first the wisdom of God before our own understanding. The Holy Spirit will bear fruit in us if only we are listening and humble. If each of us asks for a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit, imagine the prophetic and healing presence we could be in this world that God has created for us. Receive the Holy Spirit!
Father Wester is pastor of All Saints Parish in St. Peters.