|by Angela Lambert|
June 11th, 2017; Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Gospel of John 3:16-18
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Consider for a moment this incredible fact: we are made in the image and likeness of the Trinitarian God. Although God’s essence exceeds our understanding, He has nevertheless revealed His nature to us and even given us an experience of it imprinted on our own human nature.
God has revealed that He is Love (1 Jn 4:8) and that He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19). From the Father, we observe that God is creative. From the Holy Spirit, we observe His immanent might and love operative in our souls. And from the Son, we learn that God’s creative, mighty, love, is sacrificial.
What does this mean for you and me?
We live in a culture that forms us to be autonomous, independent, and self-seeking. Humanitarian works and acts of kindness may be valued to the extent that they make life more pleasant in general, but not to the extent that it requires personal sacrifice – a real loss of some kind.
Human happiness does come through self-realization and self-fulfillment, but not in the way our culture defines those terms. The Trinity is a relationship of three divine Persons in mutual self-gift and love. This means that, as creatures made in the image of the Trinity, we achieve self-fulfillment through self-giving love.
It’s a paradox, but one that Christ emphasized over and over in both His teachings and His life.
|“For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake, will find it.” (MT 16:25)|
Christian discipleship means living and being as Christ. The Gospel today proclaims that Jesus came from the Father, for us. Pope Benedict XVI concludes from this that Jesus’ whole “being itself is service” (Introduction to Christianity; Ignatius Press). Avoid imagining Jesus as just a really nice guy however. Pope Benedict isn’t referring to volunteering more. He means that Jesus’ whole existence is one of relationship, and a relationship of service. Thus, Christian discipleship transforms us from self-centered lives, to God and others-centered lives.
To be God-centered, to be from God and for others as Christ was, requires a radically different worldview than our secular culture.
Pope St. John Paul II, as he examined God’s words in Genesis (2:18) that “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him,” concludes that the human person is made for relationship. He writes
|“ ‘alone,’ man does not completely realize this essence. He realizes it only by existing ‘with someone’ – and even more deeply and completely – by existing ‘for someone.’”|
He’s not saying that we must become slaves with no individual identity. Rather, he’s saying that men and women find self-fulfillment through self-gift. Self-gift, by definition, means giving yourself to someone. It means we find happiness in loving sacrifice.
St. Mother Teresa said that everyone has an opportunity to love as Christ did, and therein find happiness. To find that someone we simply need to look around us. As we celebrate the Blessed Trinity today, let us celebrate the gift of relational love. Mary always perceived the needs of others around her, let us pray for her intercession to see opportunities for self-gift around us as well, even it means sacrifice.
- Consider the eternal relationship of love between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Imagine the joy of heaven, where the saints share in that relationship of love.
- Reflect in a prayer of gratitude for each experience of loving relationship God has gifted you with.
- Pray for reconciliation in relationships that need healing.
Make a Resolution (Practical Application):
- Each day this week, find one way to love another person. Ask for Mary’s intercession.
~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2017
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