Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trinity Sunday -- 2013

When gathered together in the place we often designate as the "upper room," the disciples heard much from Jesus, especially during what was to be their final meal together.  The gospel reading today is a part of the "final discourse" or farewell remarks to the dedicated followers.   This is the Evangelist John's account of the Last Supper.  It is different from the recollections of the other gospel writers' history of this most significant dinner among the apostles.  So let us move on to consider what John perceives as so important in what Jesus says.  For certain, Jesus instructs his colleagues that what and who he is and what his message and mission are meant to be are not learned or understood in just a few departing thoughts.  His who I am and what his message is require some time for prayerful consideration.

What Jesus gives to Peter and his band of friends is the key to understanding the future for them and ultimately for the Church that Jesus founded.  For them and for us today grasping all that Jesus is goes beyond the graces of our Baptisms and Confirmations.  To believe that we "get the message" from just a few chapters of a catechism is simply to fool ourselves.  Trinity Sunday with all its mystery and complexity should remind us that never in this lifetime will we fully comprehend the mystery of who God is, who his Son is and who the gift of the Holy Spirit is.

It is the Holy Spirit, our Advocate from God, who will interpret for us what God is saying through Jesus.  It is the same Advocate who seeks to open for us the message Jesus brings to us from the Father.

This sacred threesome, as we consider them with our finite, human minds, is what has been called a "faithful guiding presence."  At times we say that we are going to seek God's presence in our lives.  The reality is this:  God is always present in our lives.  Regardless of any situation we might interpret as needing God's presence, we should not forget that our God, this Trinity we celebrate today, has never been apart from us.  God is simply and powerfully ever present to us.  It is our challenge to be of such a mindset that we never fail to realize that God is always with us.

God is present to us as teacher.  Isn't this the role that Jesus considered such an important part of his life on this earth?  Teaching us the Father's will for us has been and continues to be the role of Jesus bringing us the work of God among us.  If we follow Jesus through prayer and study, we are guided by God presence among us as a unique teacher.

While this feast should remind us is that the Trinity, through the Holy Spirit, is a guiding listener.  As Jesus told the disciples:  "He [the Holy Spirit] will speak whatever he hears and will declare to you the things that are to come."  Just as Jesus is the voice of the revelation of the Father, it is the Holy Spirit who signals to us how we are to follow Jesus in our lives.

Also we come to know, through this mystery of the Trinity, that God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit as a guiding advocate.  Remember what Jesus said: "When the Advocate come, he will testify on my behalf."  It is the Holy Spirit who proclaims to others on our behalf that we belong to Jesus.  It is the Holy Spirit who claims you and me as belonging to Christ Jesus.  The Holy Spirit enables us to give clarity to others who we are when we say that we are followers of Jesus Christ.

Trinity Sunday is but once a year.  Yet do we not celebrate the Trinity every day of the year?  We do every time we proclaim we are praying or doing works "In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  It is this Holy Spirit we celebrate today that guides us each day as we walk our journey of faith, our experience of knowing and loving God.   

So let us not forget each day that this Holy Trinity is a "guiding presence, a guiding teacher, a guiding listener and a guiding advocate" for us.  The Trinity if our Faithful Guide.  How much stronger our faith can be if we maintain this theme in our daily lives especially each time we invoke the Trinity in our prayer.  (NB this theme is the work of GraceWorks, a homiletic service.