Sunday, Jun. 7th 2020

Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity

 

Today's Mass Readings

 

As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, it is helpful to recall what we hear in our first reading today. Moses is addressing God: “This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins and receive us as your own.”

I think that many Americans, including many Catholics, have a problem with God’s ways in their lives because they have a big problem – one that’s hard to face – with their guilt! They really do not know what to do with it. Pretending it does not exist is a futile way to deal with it. Moses knew what to do with it – he took it to God: “yet pardon our wickedness and sins and receive us as your own.” He believed in God, and he trusted in God.

God knew what to do with our guilt: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” God sent his Son to us to teach us that his God is actually a community of life and love. It is a community of divine acceptance and forgiveness.

The entirety of the spiritual life is aimed at disposing us to receive the indwelling of the Holy Trinity, who brings us the grace of acceptance and forgiveness. With this indwelling we are disposed to humility – that is, to the acceptance of our true condition as sinners, flawed creatures but having a complete dependency upon our Creator.

The psychic atmosphere in which we live – that produced for our consumption, for example, by the media – is aimed at trying to make us serve a phony ideal of self. For example, we are told that what matters is how we look, how witty we are, what degrees we have, etc. All of these things can produce a false self: the self we think we would like to become. But it is not the real self we are or, for that matter, the self we really desire to become.

What we most desire is to come into that ‘place’ where we find our true selves. It is the place of the conscience. Here, where we can admit our limitations and sins, we are given the chance to choose going out of a false self and enter into the vast mystery of life, which is so much bigger than we are.

We can hear it again in Moses in our first reading. “Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.” It’s a fine image of what we must do: bow down before the God of the universe. But to come to this freedom, we have to be willing to deal with our guilt – both false guilt and authentic guilt.

It is really an ongoing invitation we give to God:

‘Come into my life, please. Come into my existence – the existence which is so full of sin and weakness and human failure; the existence which so often lets itself be judged by what others think, instead of what You think. It is a self that so often does not like itself because it doesn’t come up to its own standards. In my best, moments, O loving God, I know you judge by less harsh standards than I do. How wonderful is the dignity You call me to! How grand and free the real self You created me to become! O, Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit come, dwell within me and teach me, empower me, to learn that your idea of me is the best. That is the self I desire to become!

Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB

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