“God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
Today we are promised eternal life with God the Father, Son and Spirit. Life is an adventure where God the Creator, the Redeemer and the Giver of life joins in the earthly journey which leads beyond death to new life. 400 years before Christ the philosopher Socrates became famous as a deeply thoughtful person who spent his whole life searching for the truth. As he approached death he shared this opinion. “Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation and the dead have no consciousness of anything, or it is really a change.. a migration of the soul from this place to another”. Socrates chose the second view that there is a future after this life ends. St John knew about philosophy but also relied on the word of God, Jesus himself, to fill in more details about God’s plan. He believed that God the Creator is so interested in humankind that He came among us in the person of His Son and left his Spirit to inspire us to be in communion with each other and with our Maker forever. The far-beyond God is close!
On the feast of the Blessed Trinity we explore first how God the Creator gets in touch with us. In this period of absence from the normal workplace many of us have more free time and less pressure and so there is an unmissable opportunity to see more deeply; to notice the mysteries of nature, the beauty of the environment and the variety of wildlife. Spring has awakened new life, fresh vegetation, amazing colours and shades.
One father writes of “observing his children sitting quietly, gazing at a sparkling stream, happily lost in the soundscape of water, breeze and birdsong. Their minds have shifted gear, receptive to the mystery of life.
Their souls have been unlocked to glimpse something eternal, something which permeates nature and goes beyond the senses. They have found a space to get in touch with the Creator God! “ St John asks us to practise this meditative contemplative approach to life, as in this trinitarian prayer.
We bless you Father, Lord of life
To whom all living beings tend,
The source of holiness and grace,
Our first beginning and our end.
The second Person of the Trinity speaks especially to people who are put under great pressure today. St Thomas advises: “Model yourself on Jesus because he satisfies the two great human longings: we seek for the truth and He is the Truth in person. We seek for a continuation of this life and He is Life.” Jesus, the Son of God, the Truth and the Life, teaches that we are made to love our neighbour as ourselves and to love God as the Origin of all. True life is to follow the light of Christ and to see better what needs to be done, to be healed and heal, to listen to God’s Word and learn how to advise, to face death and overcome fear. Jesus helps you achieve those deep human desires for truth and life. He bears the human burdens, the sinfulness that thwarts our best efforts. The Son of God has come from his Father to overcome human failures and so prepare us for the greater gift, life for ever. You can ignore him and make the same old mistakes. You can be selfish and defensive and basically afraid. Or you can make yourself available to respect others and live in obedience to Christ’s commands. Christ brings life to everyone, as the poem about God continues:
We give you thanks redeeming Christ,
Who bore our weight of sin and shame.
In dark defeat you conquered sin,
And death by dying overcame.
If you follow the Son in obedience to the Father’s will you will receive the Spirit of God. His Holy Spirit helps you forgive others and be reconciled because God forgives first. He strengthens you to face evil and overcome temptation. Cleansed by the fire of his love you can become who you really want to be; who you are created to be. The Holy Spirit gives gifts: a sense of God’s activity here and now. With this wider perspective on reality you develop the capacity to make good judgements, you become more courageous and better informed about the love that makes the world go round. You can grow in reverence for all and gain a deep sense of wonder at the mystery of life. You have your eyes opened to see new life hidden deep down within things.
Come Holy Spirit searching fire
Whose flame all evil burns away.
Come down on us with light and love
In silence and in peace to stay.
Now is a good opportunity to celebrate the feast of God the blessed Trinity. Nowadays it seems people have more time to admire God’s handiwork, escaping for a while at least from the relentless rhythm of trying to control everything in the world around them. Others are challenged every day by suffering and loss and find the strength to bear new burdens on behalf of the needy. Many find themselves talking more to friends and connecting with people they haven’t spoken to for ages. They are accepting the new opportunity to try the Christian way, the way of the Trinity. God the Father continues to create, God the Son repairs and makes things new and God the Spirit brings together in silence and in peace. You are invited to join in the adventure.