Many of us retain in our mind phrases relating to God. When things have gone well for us, we have said, “Thanks be to God”. We experience a pleasant unexpected happening and we may say. Glory be to God”. When someone dies people often say, “God rest her/his soul”. On becoming aware of impending danger, we may hear, “God between us and all harm”.
I recall a greeting expressed by a man entering our home many years ago – “God save all here”. This greeting was said in a very loud voice that reverberated throughout the house. The response to this greeting was said spontaneously by those present – “God save you kindly”. When a person was going away, people said, “God be with you”.
In today’s feast of the Blessed Trinity, we are made aware of the special manner in which God is with us. The saving power of Father, Son and Spirit is within us. In the 2nd reading of today’s celebration, we learn of St. Paul’s deepest desire for the Corinthians. He wishes them to be happy, to be united, to live in peace, and that the God of love and peace will be with them. In the final blessing he wishes them to love the fulness of the Godhead. He desires that they have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Without using the word ‘Trinity’, Paul desires them to have this community of love within them.
In the Gospel for the feast of the Trinity, the story of Nicodemus, the man of the night, reaches a conclusion. It is brought to a close in the light of faith and love. The ever-flowing love within the Trinity enables us to be renewed again and again. God loved the world so much that he gave his Son to save us. It is implied here that Jesus was to be crucified. Our focus is on Jesus himself – belief in him engenders life in us.
The great liturgical feasts celebrate the significant events in the life of Jesus and his people. The celebration of the Trinity draws our attention to the depth and the richness of God’s presence within us. Through the indwelling of the Trinity, God is with us in a most profound and dynamic way. This community of creative energy and love, if allowed, will penetrate our being and will impact on our attitude and activities; it will foster our respect for others and the creation of community wherever we are. It is likely that this understanding of community will enhance our sense of being in communion with the whole of creation.
“I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.”
Kathleen Egan OP