‘All who are led by the spirit of God are children of God.’
A woman once went away a long weekend retreat with the group of women from her church. About halfway through the final Monday morning session, she suddenly jumped to her feet and left the room. Concerned, a friend followed her to see what had caused her to leave the meeting so abruptly. She found her friend just as she was hanging up the telephone in the lobby. Is everything all-right she asked urgently? Oh yes the woman responded. I didn’t mean to cause you alarm. A bit sheep sheepishly, she added, I suddenly remembered that its Monday morning trash day. Trash day? Isn’t your husband still at home? Surely . . . Yes, the woman interrupted but it takes two of us to put out the trash. I can’t carry it. And he can’t remember it. Relationships are meant to be complementary to pulling together as one, not in competition, but in mutual association. Learning how to work together and how to live together is the maintenance of love.
Despite advances in the social psychological sciences, we still have trouble relating to one another at times as families let alone children of God. Many of our friendships are superficial. Marital breakdowns are becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Why is this the case? Why do we not relate to others in more meaningful way? Perhaps it’s due to the kind of world we live in: a world where business comes first, were so many scramble to make a living and have little time for fostering deep relationships. We live in a world were sometimes it seems every person if for them selves. Were war, is sought above peace? Were as a song currently on the radio says children have to play inside so they don’t disappear. Marriages fail due to a lack of communication and trust. Where respect for human life seems to be treated as if it were nothing, were numbers of abortions out number births. Family members stop talking to each other often over petty differences. It seems we live in a world that is turning upside down rather than pushing forth into a new dawn, a new awaking in Gods grace.
Whatever the cause, there is a remedy. We find it, at least implicitly, in the readings for this Trinity Sunday. Why implicitly? Because the three readings point directly to our relationship with God. We are reminded that we are God’s children created in God’s image. That as human beings we must learn to respect human life, we must learn to respect each other, we must learn to respect ourselves, deepening our relationships with each other, wether family, friend, or foe.
The book of Deuteronomy gives us the basic rules for fostering a right relationship with God our creator: We must keep his statutes and his commandments. Doing so guarantees our “own well-being and that of our descendant’s after us” as scripture says. St. Paul makes clear that we are children of God. As such we can cry, Abba! Father! He adds we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus, in very clear terms, commissions us: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
How do these three readings help us to deepen our relationships with one another? Because, through baptism, we are all children of the triune God. This makes us faith brothers and sisters; we are a faith family bonded by Trinitarian love. But although our baptismal call makes us brothers and sisters, we must strive constantly to come to a deeper love and respect one another. This includes those who are not baptized, for we are sent to them also. They, too, are made in God’s image. As Christians we have a commission to go and live in the world as God’s children, helping to spread the faith, living as community caring for one another. Holy Trinity Sunday should remind us of how great God is, God who created us in his image, who sent his only Son into the world to die for our sin, who with the Son sent us the Holy Spirit to be with us to the end of the age.
Holy Trinity, is not about trying to figure out something that is above us, that is infinite, rather we should rejoice today in the Glory of God, that God loves us so much that we are indeed made in the image of God, each and every one of us, we are Children of God. We should rejoice in the reality that every human being has immense potential. Living as God’s Children working together, and helping others explore and develop their potential is our great challenge. May we pursue it diligently, with love and humility, in the likeness of our triune God.