I happened to be working on this meditation for Sacred Space during the Laudato Si’ week (16th-24thMay) and was drawn to the prayer of Pope Francis to the Trinity at the end of the encyclical, which says in part
Triune God, wondrous community of infinite love, Teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe for all things speak of you. Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made. Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is…
Reading the contributions from the communities to the Website during our “cocooning” I was struck by how many of us were doing just that: so many spoke of contemplating the beauty of growth in the gardens which we had time this year to appreciate, and how it led us to praise and thanksgiving for being joined to the littlest of things, such as hoverflies or even dandelions! We have come to realise in a new way that “all things speak of you.”
The doctrine of the Trinity is not a mathematical problem to be solved, but an entrance into the meaning of relationship within God and with God. Today’s readings give us different insights into how we can penetrate those relationships.
The first reading from Exodus (34:4-6.8-9) has Moses experience the awesomeness of God on Mount Sinai. Having been on top of Mount Sinai once as the dawn broke over the red granite mountain range, I can well imagine how he must have been overwhelmed by the mysteriousness of it. However, it is not the otherness of God which is stressed in the reading, but God’s turning towards a “headstrong people;” God is revealed to Moses as “a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.”
The Gospel (Jn 3:16-18) shows how that “God of tenderness and compassion…” is poured out for us in the coming of Jesus, because “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son.” The Gospel of John as a whole is like a commentary on the difference that coming has made to the world and on how it has brought us deeper into the relationship between Father and Son.
The second reading (2Cor 13:13-16) points out that it is by “the fellowship (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit” that we are enabled to live out that relationship with God and with one another. Paul, in his epistles often uses the word, koinonia, to speak of the sharing that is part and parcel of the Christian life. I think the word, “togetherness,” which is so much in vogue today in reaction to the Pandemic, might be a good translation of koinonia: the “togetherness” which is at the heart of the Trinity calls us to “help one another and to be united,” as Paul puts it. It is heartening to see so much evidence of this “togetherness” even when we have to be apart.
Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ constantly links care for the environment with care for the most needy on the Earth, in what he calls, “integral ecology” and so he ends the prayer I mentioned at the beginning by praying:
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
Help us to protect all life to prepare for a better future,
For the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you! Amen.