Excerpt from Take Time For Him: Some More
by Angela M Jendro
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Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Read the Gospel of Matthew 28:16-20
The mystery of the Trinity is so sublime, any words of reflection feel like an injustice. The revelation of the inmost reality of God, His very essence, far exceeds the scope of our limited human experience. Any attempt to imagine or explain Gods’ Triune nature feels inadequate and even irreverent. Yet Christ revealed this ineffable mystery to us and commanded the apostles to preach this truth to the whole world. In consequence, with the utmost humility, we ought to contemplate this essential mystery of the Christian faith, and the Triune God in Whose image we have been made.
Christ came to restore God’s image in us, which had been wounded by sin. He provided both the sacrifice for our salvation and the perfect example of how to live as children of God. Christ demonstrated concretely how to align our will with the Father’s and how to act with the love of the Spirit.
At every turn, Jesus remarked that He had come to do the Father’s will. Even in His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His human will resisted the impending Cross, but resigned “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). During the first thirty years of His life, Jesus even obeyed the will of Mary and Joseph and followed all the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law (Luke 2:51). Rather than usurp their authority (the only teen who really was smarter than His parents), He obeyed them and respected God’s ordering in the family. Jesus did not have to offer sacrifice in the Temple because He had never sinned, but He chose to because He wanted to share in our suffering.
This flies in stark contrast to our highly individualistic culture, fixated on self-assertion. However, despite all the attempts to do away with any personal or relational limits, definitions, and even the laws of human nature, our secular culture seems to only sink deeper into depression, anxiety, loneliness, and slavery to addictions.
Jesus illuminated the difference between license and freedom. License means doing whatever arbitrary thing we feel like. Freedom is the ability to choose the good. License leads to impulsivity and selfishness, but freedom is best expressed in self-giving love and obedience to the Father. St. Paul urges us to have the same attitude as Christ:
|“Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name” Philippians 2: 5-9|
To assume the attitude of Christ we begin by humbly surrendering our adolescent pride which thinks we know better than our Heavenly Father, and our foolish rebellions against His guidance and “rules”. When we allow ourselves to be taught by God and developed under His authority, we mature and blossom like a child who assents to his parents loving care through the turbulent periods of growth into adulthood. No adult looks back and says, “I wish my parents had been more weak and let me raise myself.” Most often, the opposite is true.
Aided by divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, the maturing soul increasingly appreciates the depth of God’s love and comes to see His Wisdom, making unity easier. At 15 many kids consider their parents’ rules overbearing and their views outmoded. At 25 they begin to thank their parents for those rules and see the wisdom in their advice.
Union with God produces greater unity within the human family as well. As God’s love fills the soul, the fruits of His Spirit emerge in one’s life: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). If trying to align our mind and heart with God, who is perfect, is so hard, how much more difficult to accomplish mutual respect with imperfect humans! Impossible. Thankfully, Christ assures us that what is impossible for man is possible for God (Matthew 19:26). These fruits of the Spirit are necessary for it to happen.
Union of mind and will can only be achieved in mutual love with the help of grace. Forced submission through violence or manipulation is not union, only domination. No political system, media blast, educational model, or diet can produce the mysterious reality found in the Christian union of mind, will, and heart, in freedom, joy, and love. The only place we can experience the peace we long for is in the Mystical Body of Christ, of which Christ is the Head. United in Christ, however, we exercise all the diversity of personality given to us by our marvelously creative Father while at the same time working toward the same end in harmony and mutual respect.
There’s no greater happiness than true love, and no greater love than that between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Lord invites us into that love and into His blessed happiness. The Father sent the Son, the Son redeemed us and sent the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us and fills us with the love of God, and we are then sent to share that saving love with others. What an incredible mystery!
- Take a few minutes to simply rest in the presence of the Triune God.
- Consider in awe the immensity of love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Consider how you are a fruit of God’s love.
- Consider how the closer you have become with the Lord, the more purified your love has become for your neighbor.
- Consider how the fruits of the Spirit produce loving union in human relationships as well.
- What often undermines developing a mutual understanding or working in alignment? (pride, anxiety, fear, stubbornness, hate, selfishness, over-ambition, self-assertion, etc.) Contrast these with the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Christ is the Head of the Mystical Body, and we are its members (I Corinthians 12). Consider times or ways in which you try to be the head and lead Christ, rather than the other way around.
- Make the sign of the Cross slowly and thoughtfully as a prayer to the Triune God at the beginning and end of the day.
- Exercise the fruits of the Spirit to bring greater unity in your family.
All Rights Reserved © 2020 Angela M Jendro