Trinity Sunday: An Invitation to Love and to Be Loved

Jun 7, 2023 | Spiritual Life

With the celebration of Pentecost Sunday on May 28, the church reentered Ordinary Time. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the season of Ordinary Time as:
“a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ.”

God is relational

The Sunday following Pentecost is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. On this feast, we celebrate the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In experiencing God as Trinity, we understand God as relational. In becoming human, God reveals God’s desire to share in relationship with each of us, individually and collectively. In this year’s Gospel for this Trinity Sunday, John reminds us that Jesus Christ is a gift of God to humanity: “For God so loved the world he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

How have we allowed the gift of God’s Son to penetrate our lives and our history?

During his farewell discourse in the Gospel of John, Jesus makes the connection between the loving relationship of God in the Trinity and our lives .“As the Father has loved me so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:9).

We remember that Jesus’ command is to love one another as he has loved us. “God so loved the world…” God loves each and everyone of us – loves us in all our uniqueness, all our individuality, and all our collective humanity. This way of loving is how God loves in God’s self – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is this loving relationship that God shares with the world through the gift of Jesus.

God shares God’s self out of love for the world

In the ordinariness of our lives, we are called to see each and every human person as precious. We are called to see the worth and dignity of every human person and to treat each human person in accord with this worth and dignity.
Some of us may experience the challenge of loving others this way.
– We may struggle to see individuals who have hurt us as precious in the eyes of God
– We may struggle to see the worth and dignity in people we have been taught to fear or to see as somehow less than us
– We may struggle to put into practice the self-giving love that is exemplified in God’s sharing God’s self with the world out of love for the world.

For others, the challenge may be accepting that we are loved.
– We may struggle to see ourselves as precious in the eyes of God.
– We may see the places where we fall short as keeping God from loving us.
– Hurtful and harmful actions of other human beings, that may have been called loving, may be limiting our ability to see and experience genuine love.

As we enter ordinary time, can we see the ordinariness of our lives as precious and loved? Can we see the ordinariness of others’ lives as precious and loved? As we deepen our experience of the preciousness of all life in God’s eyes, can we allow that love shared with us by God to penetrate ever more deeply into our lives and into the life of the world?

Fr. Brian Conley, S.J.

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