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Scripture Reflection - June 4, 2023

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Exodus 34:4b-6;8-9; Daniel 3:52-56; 2 Cor. 13:11-13; Jn.3:16-18

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

“God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Son.” - Jn. 3:16

These words from today’s Gospel of John are some of the most quoted from the New Testament. They are popular with street evangelists, have appeared on signs at sporting events, and summarize the message of today’s readings.

In the first reading from Exodus, Moses went back up Mount Sinai at God’s command bringing two stone tablets with him. These were to replace the ones with the ten commandments he had received earlier from God. He had broken them in his anger and frustration over the behavior of the Israelites who, impatient at his delay in returning, had constructed a golden calf and were worshiping it.

In this mountaintop encounter, God revealed the divine name and essence: God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger and rich in kindness, and faithfulness, all attributes which are relational rather than autocratic .

Hearing God’s words Moses bowed down and worshiped, acknowledged the sins of the people, and asked God to pardon them and accompany them on their journey. In the passage from Exodus that follows this one, we see that God agreed and made a covenant with the people as a sign of God’s mercy and love.

Just as God pardoned and remained with the Israelites, we can believe that God loves us, remains with us on our life journey, and desires to be in relationship with us in spite of what we might do to fracture that relationship.

Paul affirms this in today’s second reading when he promises the Corinthians that if they encourage one another and live in peace, God will be with them. He is asking them to put aside any differences they might have and be a positive influence in their world.

How simple this seems and yet how often has humankind done just the opposite, fostering negativity, division, and war rather than peace? The current state of our world is a perfect example of this. Yet in spite of it, God remains faithful, desires a relationship with us, and continues to love us.

As John recounts in the gospel, God showed this faithfulness and love by sending Jesus so that all who believe might have eternal life. Jesus was not sent to condemn the world but to save it. He continues to do that through the countless people in our country and throughout the world who mirror God’s love, working for peace and reconciliation in what seem to be hopeless situations.

This boundless love of God is demonstrated in the mystery of the Trinity, the feast we celebrate today. While theologians tell us, we shall never understand this mystery, they assure us that it is about relationship. Our God relates to us as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, dwells within us by the grace of our baptism, and invites us into communion with the Trinity and all of creation.

It is in our human nature to desire to be in relationship, to be in communion with the divine, and with others. But how can we experience that communion when there is so much divisiveness, anger, and separation all around us? How can we foster understanding and relationships in spite of the misconceptions, fears and suspicions surrounding those who think differently or who are different?

This feast of the Holy Trinity provides a perfect opportunity to think about these questions and hopefully find some answers. One answer might be to resolve to learn something about those we view as ‘other’. Another could be to invite someone, whose beliefs or opinions we don’t share, into a peaceful conversation, a conversation that might lead us closer into that communion modeled by the Holy Trinity.

Let us pray:

God of creation, help us respect the uniqueness of all creation; Incarnate Word, help us grow in love and understanding of all people; Holy Spirit, give us inner strength to grow in relationship with all. Amen.

Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP


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