A group of three young mothers who lived on the same street agreed to pool their time and resources so that they could help each other take care of their kids and at the same time provide one another with a little free time. It worked out great; the kids liked it, the dads liked it, and, most important, the women liked it. They discovered in practice what they had heard so often in theory: it’s easier to do things as members of a community than as isolated individuals. They bragged to their friends in other streets about how well their little community worked and how everyone should try to imitate them. But then one of the moms began to tally up the hours she gave the community effort and concluded that she was giving more time than the other two. They added up their own times and concluded just the opposite. In fact, they accused the first woman of making up numbers so she could escape her fair share. They began to call each other “free loader.” Soon they were not even speaking to one another. Their community collapsed under the pressures of success, resentment, and envy – in that order. “See, we told you so,” said the neighbors on other streets. Later none of the three could figure out what went wrong. [story from Andrew Greeley]
In the Most Holy Trinity, we see that at the very heart of God is a relationship. God is a community/a communion of love, of complete and mutually-reciprocating self-giving. And the love of God – Father, Son, & Holy Spirit – is generous and generating, a love that has borne fruit in Creation, “of all that is visible and invisible.” This communion of love that has existed before time created the world in love and saved the world in love.
How amazing and wondrous it is, then, that the love of God is not just shared among the Three Persons of the Trinity, but is extended to us as well. In the Church, we are baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” and so are caught up in this great communion of love, brought to share in this relationship as beloved adopted daughters and sons of God. In the Eucharist, we are united in this love in an even more intimate way, sharing the self-giving and saving love of God in Christ, given and received in Holy Communion. In the Sacrament of Marriage, husband and wife reflect in a special way the mutual and reciprocal love of our Triune God.
As people made in the image and likeness of God, we are made in the image and likeness of Love. The relationship of love of the Trinity is in large part who we are, and so who we must continue to strive to be. We can’t do this all on our own; we’re meant to be in community, relationships through which life is shared—the life that we have in and through God.
In all of this, we are called to share in the divine life of love, both now and for all eternity. Let us never forget that we are caught up in the great self-giving life and love of the Holy Trinity. When we are tempted to live in isolation; when we are tempted to form virtual (not actual human) relationships, or let technology distract us from the person in front us of; when we are tempted to keep count of what we give to others; when we are tempted to harbor division; when we are tempted away from forgiveness, kindness, mercy, compassion, and generosity; when we are tempted to be takers, and not gracious receivers…let us never forget that we share in the very life and the love of God.
When we enter into the mystery of this communion, grow in this communion, and live this communion, we actually are grown more and more to be who we truly are meant to be. And so, even in times of difficulty, we can “boast in hope of the glory of God…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
©2017 St. Peters Catholic Church Huron Ohio.
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