THE HOLY TRINITY
(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE MOST HOLY TRINITY [YEAR A] – Sunday, 11 June 2017)
Gospel Reading: John 3:16-18
First Reading: Exodus 34:4b-6,8-9; Psalms: Daniel 3:52-56; Second Reading: 2Corinthians 13:11-13
The Scripture Text
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned, He does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18 RSV)
In today’s reading, Jesus explains to us the real reason He came into the world. He did not wish to condemn us or to scare us into obeying God’s laws, but rather to show us He loves us and wants us to respond to that love by loving Him in return. The Bible often compares this love between God and His people to the love between a husband and wife.
A husband who knows his wife doesn’t like to pump gas, fills the tank before she uses the car. A wife who doesn’t like science fiction movies attends a Star Trek film festival with her husband because that’s his favorite show. The husband and wife do these things not because they have to but because they want to express their love for each other.
Our relationship with God is very similar. Just as the husband and wife communicate their likes and dislikes to each other, God communicates His likes and dislikes to us through Scripture and just as the couple show their love for each other by doing certain things and avoiding others, we show our love for God by doing what pleases Him and avoiding what makes Him angry. That sounds simple enough but, in reality, showing our love for God is often very difficult.
Sometimes we think of the Ten Commandments simply as a list of do’s and don’ts and maybe only reluctantly follow them because we don’t want to go to hell when we die. When this is how we view the Commandments, we are forgetting the reason God gave them to us.
Because the Commandments are God’s way of telling us what pleases Him and what does not please Him, obeying them is like the wife watching Star Trek or the husband pumping gas. Following the Commandments, then, shows our love for God. If we understand them in this way, we will no longer ask if we have to obey them but will want to obey them because that is what loving God is all about.
(Adapted from Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels, pages 112-113.)
PRAYER: Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, grant us in our misery that we may do for Your sake alone what we know You want us to do, and always want what pleases You; so that, cleansed and enlightened interiorly and fired with the ardour of the Holy Spirit, we may be able to follow in the footsteps of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and so make our way to You, Most High, by Your grace alone, You who live and reign in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified, God all-powerful, for ever and ever. Amen. (A prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi  at the close of his Letter to a General Chapter).
Jakarta, 8 June 2017
A Christian Pilgrim