The Easter season has come to an end, and we might have expected that the Sunday after Pentecost would be simply one of those Sundays of the year ‘in ordinary time’. The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday, gives us the opportunity to reflect on the mystery of God, the God who has been revealed to us above all in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, and in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In our gospel reading Jesus teaches Nicodemus, who is searching for the truth, about the basic motivation of God in sending us the only Son. This motivation is love. In creating us God also makes it possible for us to accept the love of God with complete freedom, for we can refuse this love. Believing in ‘the name of God’s only Son’ means acknowledging the reality of the love of God for each of us. We are challenged to allow the love of God into our lives again and again in the daily decisions we must make to embrace what is good and to shun what is evil. If we reject goodness, it is not God who condemns us. We condemn ourselves.
The essence of God’s attitude towards human beings is clear already in the first reading from the Book of Exodus, when the Lord is revealed as a ‘God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, and rich in kindness and faithfulness’. These qualities of God are illustrated as the story of salvation progresses and most fully when, in the fulness of time, God sends the incarnate Son to live and die for us, and pours out the Holy Spirit to be the constant presence of God’s love in the world.
St Paul’s final greeting to the people of Corinth in the second reading sums up our prayer on this feast: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’
Have I accepted in my heart that God is ‘a God of compassion’?
Do I understand that faith is essentially trusting in God who loves and saves me?
Pray for a renewed sense of the awesomeness of God.
Pray for those who struggle with the notion of a God who loves them.