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Saturday, 04/20/2024 at 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES | Heirs with God, joint heirs with Christ

SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY | Our relationships should take the form of the Trinity and should bear the same fruit

The Scripture readings for the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity remind us of the incredible inheritance we have as we have been adopted into the life of the Holy Trinity. The Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy reminds us of the privileged position of the chosen people to have “heard the voice of God and lived.” Because of this privileged position, we are reminded that responsibility comes along with it. We are to follow the Commandments of God, who has called us His own. Living in relationship with God and being called a friend of God carries with it the responsibility to act in godly ways and to treat others as God would treat them.

St. Paul reminds us that our inheritance from God will include a certain amount of suffering. In the same way that Jesus gave His life out of love and faithfulness for us, we are called to embrace the suffering that comes from love and faithfulness. We’re all familiar with the experience of suffering for love and we certainly know the cost. We know what it means to ourselves, to stand in compassion with those who might otherwise suffer alone. It is the kind of suffering that is fruitful rather than meaningless. It is the kind of suffering that we consciously choose rather than experience through meaningless living. It is the suffering that comes from loving someone who is making choices that we disagree with, but to whom we choose to remain faithful. It’s the kind of suffering that comes from being unappreciated in the many acts of sacrifice that we make for others. It’s the kind of suffering that we might choose to go without something so that others might have it. It’s the kind of self-denial that takes shape in humility and forgiveness. It’s the kind of sacrifice of love that humbly believes that we are not always right.

When Jesus says that He will be “with us always, until the end of the ages,” His faithfulness reflects the kind of suffering He has experienced for us out of love. Jesus participates in that incredible love that exists within the Trinity. That love has generated love in immeasurable ways and has given us the pattern out of which we are to act in love. Our inheritance has been given to us as love flows out of the Trinity toward us. Our relationships are to take on the same form and are to bear the same fruit. We are to relate to each other in such a way that we give life to each other, and out of that life flows life to others. Any relationship that closes in on itself and narrows the horizons of your life is probably not healthy or fruitful.

On May 23, we celebrated Pentecost — the gift of the Holy Spirit that can allow us to live with our fear and not to be controlled by it. This gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to communicate and unify in ways that we might not have been able to do before we received the Holy Spirit. It certainly makes sense that the Church places before us this weekend the celebration of the life of the Trinity. The God of all ages has given us the gift of creation, setting the world in all of its wonder. Our God has taken flesh and become one of us and shown us a pattern of loving that is both humble and powerful. Our God has come to us as a fire within us that burns away locked doors and breathes into us new and abundant life. To embrace the Trinity is to embrace the inheritance of our Trinitarian God. We are to use our gifts of selflessness, creative love and our ability to sacrifice for those we love, as well as our ability to inspire and inflame abundant life in ourselves and others so that the world may become the kingdom of God.

Let us approach the mountain to which God has invited us, so that we might be encouraged by God’s transfiguring presence and then come down the mountain to do the work that He has given us to do, making disciples of all nations and peoples.

Father Wester is pastor of All Saints Parish in St. Peters.

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