O most Holy Trinity,
Holy God, Mighty God,
God Immortal, be adored.
(Hymn “O God Almighty Father”)
In order to stay sane, I start each day with an acknowledgement of God, preferably in our backyard. To find God the Father in the creation of each morning’s sunrise, the incarnate Son in the sensation of my feet standing on the ground, and the Spirit riding the winds in the sky that often blow around these parts, saves me.
This creates a trust in me of how the God of three persons will inform my thoughts and actions for the day. It quiets the anxieties of the challenges I know must be faced because my plan is only to execute the actions I know to be those of the three.
The only questions are will I be able to sustain my trust today, or will I be distracted off track, misinterpreting what is me versus what is not me, what is God and what is not.
Fr. Winston Rye SJ would say “Sometimes you have to sit back in awe of all God’s wonderful work.” Actually every day, one should sit back, listen and follow. It’s not like being a mindless zombie, for a choice must be made; it is being that contemplative in action.
Reflection on the events that have occurred during the day is important, but being open during the entire day to witness revelation and to follow – that is a goal that makes for consolation that is in real-time.
The idea of there being three parts to a whole is not that hard. Three leaves on a clover and the sea, sand and sky on a shoreline are easy ideas. I think there is the risk of falling into a trap of separation of the three. The easiest trap is in time.
The Father created the world, promised to send his Son, who came at the right time and place, and then left us with the Holy Spirit as our Advocate.
When visiting St. Paul’s in London, England, the audio tour recording made note of the image of Jesus ascended into heaven looking down on us, leaving a clear impression he remains at the right hand of the Father, having traversed the divide between earth and heaven, never to return until the final judgment.
We are left with the Holy Spirit traveling the earth inspiring and informing our thoughts and actions. Is it that simple?
Jesus himself taught us to pray to the Father we share with him. In human terms, the ideal father is one who watches closely, mentors, supports, and loves. Does a loving Father, “who art in heaven,” exist so far away?
Is Jesus really so far away, so removed?
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)”
The Spirit’s coming is promised by Jesus after his resurrection, but is seen at the beginning of the world.
”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”(Genesis 1: 1-3)
The Trinity is present for eternity, beyond the beginning of time to its end, simultaneous and inseparable but still distinct, like the sea, the sky and the land; Perhaps to make more sense to us, each is perceived and stated one at a time, though always a whole.
In time, God sent His Son to be a witness to finiteness, from birth to death, while showing us the way back to eternity. Yet he remains with us always, and he remains with us most mystically as the Eucharist. God, not bounded by time or space, reappears in a clearly physical yet glorified way.
We do not just commemorate the event of the Last Supper; we receive the bounty of that sacrifice whenever we seek it. Isn’t that amazing? Perhaps even “prodigal”?
The incarnation, which we have witnessed at Christmas, demonstrates the value that God puts on our physical world and its inhabitants whom he formed. This is the promise made and fulfilled.
The generosity shown by the coming of God to join us as a fellow vulnerable human is what inspires our gratitude, and our generosity and our love during the Christmas season. God became our brother. Now we’re family. Isn’t that story of love what makes Christmas special?