The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
What is the greatest love story ever told? It is a story that is ongoing as we speak; it is the story of God’s unfathomable love for humanity; a story that began at the very dawn of creation and has continued to unfold ever since. Out of Love, God created us in His image and likeness, but rather than reciprocate that love we kept on sinning but God never gave up on us.
In our first reading, we see a classic example of this. The people had just apostatized; while Moses was in the Mountain, they pressurized Aaron to make a Golden Calf which they took as their god. God saw this and His anger blew hot against the people but even in His anger, His love for mankind remained steadfast. God listened to the pleading of Moses. He did not destroy the people and as we see, God proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
This was only the beginning of the great love story. Mankind continued to sin behaving as Moses described; a stiff-necked people choosing evil over good, material goods over God. At the fullness of time, God, again moved by this unexplainable love for us, mere creatures decided to take our human flesh to be born as one of us, to live and to die for us. In doing this, God revealed Himself to us as Father and at the same time as Son; something that our human mind cannot comprehend.
In the last few weeks from Christmas to Lent, to Easter and all through to last Sunday, we have seen how God in the person of Christ Jesus was born, began His public ministry, suffered, died and rose on the third day. We followed how God ascended eventually to heaven promising to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Advocate and this promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
Now, this is where it even gets more complicated. While humanity was having trouble figuring out how God is both Father and Son at the same time (note that many still do not believe), God again out of His love for mankind and not willing to leave us without His continuous presence, revealed Himself once more as Holy Spirit who came down upon the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire enabling the birth of the Church and the spread of the message of salvation to the whole world.
Today, we are celebrating God just as we have always celebrated but then, today, we are celebrating this divine mystery that is beyond our understanding; the fact that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the same time. To put it in very simple language, today, we are celebrating love; yes, true love – God’s love for mankind; a love that made the one only God create us, take our flesh to redeem us and now remains forever with us. This brings us to our lessons for today:
1. God is Trinity.
We cannot fully understand God as Trinity because our human mind can only understand things by breaking them down into separate units yet God cannot be broken down. God is one. God is Jesus Christ. God is the Holy Spirit.
2. The Trinity Reflects God’s Love for Us.
The only reason we speak of God as Trinity is because of God’s attempts to show us the depths of His love for us. If God had not come to be born among us out of love, we would not know that God is Jesus Christ and we would not know that God is Holy Spirit. Don’t try to understand God, instead just ponder on His Love for you. God loves you so much that He is willing to do anything, I mean, anything for you.
Know this: God loves you and He alone can love you this way. He even went to the extent of becoming like us to taste our human condition just to be so close to us and as if this is not enough, He died for us and He continues to be with us right now. Who else can do this for you? What love can ever be greater than this?
3. Because He Loves Us, God Does Not Force Us.
Another lesson we learn today is that God has done everything needed to be done for our salvation but we now have to choose it. As St. John tells us, God came as a man not to condemn us but that we might be saved through Him. You know how it feels when you love a person so much and go out of your way to prove your love for this person but the person tells you to leave him or her alone? Yes, in such a situation, the best way to love that person is to respect the person’s decision and leave them alone.
I learnt long ago that the best gift you can render to a person you love is to let them be if they remain blind to your love. Pestering them continuously, following them about, stalking them only makes things worse; just let them be and continue to love them. This is what St. John means when he says: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already.”
4. Not Only Does God Love us, He Himself is Love.
St. Paul in today’s second reading gives us a great theological exposition of the Trinity when he said, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2nd Corinthians 13:13). By the way, we recite this verse at the beginning of every Mass. Pay attention, you may have heard this verse over and over again that you think of it only as a greeting. It is more than a greeting, it is our Credo.
Jesus, God the Son is described in terms of GRACE, God the Father is described in terms of LOVE and God the Spirit is described in terms of FELLOWSHIP. The three persons in one God reflects perfect unity and perfect love. God the Father so loves God the Son that there is a fellowship (communion) between them. This fellowship or expression of love is the Holy Spirit.
Conclusion: Agree with One Another, Live in Peace.
Just as there is a fellowship in the Trinity, God desires that there is a fellowship amongst us. We who worship God ought to reflect God in our lives by loving our neighbours as ourselves; by being united rather than racial or ethnic or divisive. As we celebrate the Trinity, let us think of our oneness as humans; the fact that we all came from one God and we are all related to each other. If we trace our family origins, we would discover we are more united than we often assume. Stop fighting; you ultimately hurt yourself more. As St. Paul says, “Mend your ways, heed my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the depths of your love and help me to extend this love to others. Teach me to forgive, to stop fighting and to stop wishing evil to others. Amen. Bible Study: Exodus 34:4-6,8-9, Daniel 3:52-55, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, John 3:16-18).