Sometimes we MSBT are called “Trinitarians.” I hate to dispute the nickname, (which can confuse us with another congregation of sisters) but it does elegantly capture our chief devotion. This month holds our two biggest feast days, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. Trinity Sunday is a really big deal for us! Which makes what we usually get for a homily on that day all the more painful.
I have traveled a lot and so I can safely say I am not singling out anyone here: it seems to be a widespread problem. According to my un-scientific poll, priests typically just do not know what to say after they finish the Gospel reading and look out at the assembled faithful. What follows very often sounds like this: “No one can fathom the Trinity. It’s a mystery. So I am going to preach about something else today.”
Well then, what good is it? If it’s a central doctrine that only scholars understand, it’s not really helping us regular folks be a power for good in our daily lives, is it?
I don’t wish to turn my humble little blog into a rant! Instead, let me invite a constructive approach. When you hear Trinity, think relationship. You don’t have to know what Thomas Aquinas or Augustine said. We Missionary Servants have a tradition of doing things in threes, so let me put it this way: Relationship. Relationship. Relationship.
Just because something is a mystery does not mean we can’t talk about it. The Eucharist is a mystery too, but we have lots to say about that one. So, here is one single, simple thing we can say with confidence about the mystery of the Trinity: Our God is a God of Relationship. If God were made out of stuff, and if relationship were stuff, God would be made out of pure, 100% relationship. I know it’s crude, but it’s still better than saying “we can’t understand, so don’t try.”
So I ask again, what good is that? Remember, each of us is made in the image and likeness of God. So, being in relationship is written in the very core of our being! It’s the reason belonging to a particular church (not simply “The Church”) is the right and best way to be a faithful Catholic. It’s the reason I should keep trying with my grumpy co-worker who never returns my smile. It’s the reason I should go help my Muslim neighbor clean the hate graffiti off her house.
We do not have to understand our neighbors, or agree with them, or even like them. But we DO have to be in relationship with them. And maybe, by persisting in simple kindness, by endeavoring to be a power for good even in the face of rudeness or rejection or violence, we will become more holy, more like the Triune God we profess. We will become saints. Blessed be the Holy and Undivided Trinity.
“Live more in the Presence of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Realize more and more that every human being whom you meet is the living image of the Blessed Trinity.” ~ Fr. Thomas A. Judge, CM
Blog writer Sr. Deborah Wilson, MSBT is currently serving on the MSBT General Council in Philadelphia, PA.