Reflection by Sr. Padraigin McKenna OP
FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
“Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations … and know that I am with you always
yes to the end of time.”
Over these past few weeks we have been reflecting on Mission and Discipleship, and how each and everyone of us has heard the summons “Come follow me – Come and be my disciple”. We have also come to the realization that we do not necessarily have to go to the other end of the world to carry out this mission, nor do we have to do great works and wonders. Very often it is the simple act of love, the smile, the handshake, the reaching out to those in need that leads others to see Christ working in and through us.
Sometimes it is not easy to continually live out our Mission. There are times when we can be discouraged, disappointed, frustrated and ready to throw it all up, wondering just what it is all about. There can be despondency, criticism and rejection when we feel we are worthless witnesses.
And yet today we hear about the wonderful promise of the ever abiding presence of God with us through his Spirit. We are never left alone and when the going is rough we can always call on God to be with us and He will never let us down.
But sometimes we forget about this reality of the presence of God and we try to go it alone and fail to be aware of the presence of God in the bits and pieces of life. Prayer, of course is essential, and Lectio Divina is a wonderful way of keeping in touch with God. It is a way of listening to his Word and of putting it into action.
When I was a small child my daddy used to read out of the Bible for us every night. On one particular night he read the beautiful story of Noah and the Flood and at the end of it he simply said: “God put his beautiful rainbow in the sky as a sign of his great love and care for us. Every time you see a rainbow, just remember that that is God reminding you that He is with you!” That was more than sixty years ago and yet I can still remember it all so vividly. So often over the years, especially when I was feeling low and disheartened, somehow a rainbow suddenly appeared and all I could say was: “Thank you Lord.” For me the rainbow has been one of the great blessings of my life and it has never failed to lift my spirits, never failed to remind me of the ever abiding presence of God with me.
I have often told this story to people who have lost hope or who are worried or discouraged. Only a few months ago I was coming down from Dublin to Galway in the train. On the other side of the aisle was a very angry irate passenger who was so enraged that he flung his mobile phone on the floor. The old lady who was opposite him was absolutely terrified and came over beside me. We started to talk and I soon realised that she was very upset and disillusioned with life, with God and especially with the Church, with the priests and religious. I knew there was no sense of talking to her about God so, having listened to her I told her the story of the rainbow. I do not know whether she was listening or not! As we approached Athlone, the sky suddenly darkened ominously and suddenly there appeared in the sky the most brilliant rainbow I have ever seen. There was silence and the lady burst into tears. She cried and cried and told me her life story. In reality it was herself who had the problem, but she was blaming God. We started to talk and as we arrived at the station in Galway she turned to me and said: “I am beginning to believe in God because of that rainbow!”
Yes, God is always with us. He keeps his promise to remain with us to the end of time, and it is up to us to do our part and to be open to the signs of his presence with us. Let us never forget his promise “I am with you” and let us strive to live in his presence always! Let that be our challenge on this Feast of the Holy Trinity.
May the Lord be with you always and may you bring the Lord with you wherever you go.
Sr Padraigin McKenna O.P