ALL GLORY BE TO THE FATHER AND TO THE SON AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
There could be no better way to begin today’s reflections, it being the Feast of the Holy Trinity. How many attempts have been made to unravel this mystery of ‘The Holy Trinity’! Surely, it must be something that cannot be penned down, and yet we need to understand this greatest dogma of our Christian faith.
God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, reveals Himself to us in the Bible, which clearly tells us there is only one God: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one God” (Deut 6:4). At the same time, over and over again we encounter passages in the Bible which show us that God consists of more persons - God the Father - the Creator, the Son - the Saviour, and the Holy Spirit - the Sanctifier, distinct from each other, yet relative to each other.
What is important for us to know is about God - His nature, His love and mercy and how we need to live our lives as true people of God.
Today’s first reading brings us face to face with an encounter between God and man - Moses. This was the second time that the commandments of The Lord were going to be written down; the first time, the stone tablets were destroyed by Moses himself in anger, seeing the impatience of the people in waiting on God and their quickness in building an idol to replace Him. The Israelites would have been consumed by the wrath of God but for Moses, who implored the Lord to relent and reveal His ways to him.
What Yahweh revealed to Moses was the essence of His divine character (vs 6- slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness to the end and His forgiveness) and for a human to "know" that, is to be welcomed into a higher level of intimacy in one's conception of God. In the last line of today’s first reading, Moses pleads with God to pardon their iniquity and sin and take them (Israelites) for His inheritance.
Did ‘The Lord’ (His name revealed to Moses) do that? Yes He did, and much more.. John 3:16 tells us of the limitless love of God for us, His people; that in order to redeem us from decay and death to sin, He sent His only beloved Son to suffer and die to bring us to eternal life. Do we understand the depth of this love? Of God the Father? For us? Can we love like the Father?
Jesus chose to obey this command from the Father out of love, and allowed Himself to be humiliated, bruised, scourged and crucified! Do we understand His love for us? Of God the Son? Can we love like the Son?
What is the driving force for us today? How do we believe in God? Who leads us? Who guides? Who comforts us? Jesus says “no one comes to me unless drawn by The Father (Jn 5:44a).” That is the work of God’s Spirit sent to us, to dwell in us and draw us to Him, so that we won’t be left orphaned. Have we encountered God the Spirit in our lives?
Contrasting the Israelites who built a golden calf, the book of Daniel tells us of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the blazing furnace for their faith in God because they refused to worship the golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar, even at the cost of being burnt alive. The psalm is the song of exaltation and praise to God that the trio sang in the furnace. A God-like appearance was seen in the furnace with them. They remained untouched by its flames and even Nebuchadnezzar praised God. A wonderful example for us - to stand by our faith - in the One God!
We need to allow ourselves to be led by God’s Spirit. Are we going to redo things that the Israelites did? Are we going to make time for God or give our time to other Gods - television screens, social media, etc?
Let us begin by starting to live peacefully with one another. St. Paul in His second letter to the Corinthians is concerned about the faith of the people in Corinth. He asks them to put things in order! Very true for us too! The essence of our Christian love is to live in peace with one another, agree with one another and this will lead us to receiving the peace and love of God.
As St. Paul says in his final blessing, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."