Reflection for Sunday – June 4, 2023
Readings: Exodus 34:4b-6,8-9; 1 Corinthians 13: 11-13; John 3: 16-18
Preacher: Sr, Barbara Moore RSM
The feast of Easter is followed by three important Sunday celebrations. Last week we focused on Pentecost, today the Trinity and next week, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, often referred to as the feast of Corpus Christi.
As we reflect on these celebrations, they all refer on some
level to the importance and power of community.
Jesus returns from the dead and a community of believers is
formed around his life and message. The Holy Spirit on
Pentecost comes to a community gathered in prayer. This
Sunday speaks of the community among the three persons
within the Trinity and, as a community we are fed by the Body
and Blood of Christ as we gather in our churches. One of the
central aspects of the Christian message is the importance
and the contributions of communities of faith. Our faith as
Christians is not a solo activity.
The members of the Trinity whom we name over the
centuries as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has these days
received new names as we more deeply understand their roles
and their meaning for us in this century. While the above
titles carry great weight and history, recently more
contemporary and perhaps more accessible titles have
emerged. We hear the Trinity referred to as “Creator,
Redeemer, and Wisdom” as well as,” Creator, Liberator, and
Advocate.” While “Creator” is common for the person called
“Father.” Jesus is frequently referred to as the “Word” and
the Holy Spirit as “Sophia,” that is, Greek for Wisdom.
Each one of these persons is known for the love that is shared among them and that quality goes to the heart of who they are and describes their role and importance. And as we all know, God is referred to as “love” and, we in Jesus’ words are called to “love one another.”
And that brings us back to the power of community that the “Three” represent. And that concept of community is sorely needed in our wounded world and nation. We are often surrounded not by love and respect for one another but lies, negative words, and misinformation that is so often used. Guns are used in political adds, books are banned and some riots like January 6th are lauded as “patriotic” events.
Our Christian faith invites us into a community of believers at our Baptism. And in the name of the Trinity, we are provided with a community to walk with us as we grow, make decisions, and try to follow the Gospel.
Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza in her important book, “Discipleship of Equals,” in 1984, selected the following poem she wrote for a German publication. It is a powerful reflection on the Trinity.
Invoked with a Myriad of names
God our mother
God our sister…
Holy One have mercy on us
Christ our friend
Christ our nurture
Christ our justice
Holy Wisdom have mercy on us
Spirit of life
Spirit of courage
Spirit of truth
Have mercy on us…
Our language is insufficient
Our intellect does not grasp you
Our imagination cannot get hold of you
Although we do not know what to call you
We are called by you.”
Whatever name you desire to use to identify the Trinity, the
important qualities to remember about them are “love” and