God is Real – Not a Doctrine But a Person
“When the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide you to all truth. Everything that the Father has is mine; He will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”. John 16:12-15
TRINITY SUNDAY Cycle C
A young catholic student was new in a foreign land. On his first Sunday abroad he went to a catholic mass. But he was not welcomed inside because he was wearing shorts and jersey t-shirt. What disappointed him more was the rude attitude they accosted him with. Fortunately he chanced upon a protestant service nearby. When the ushers saw him at the door, they joyously called out to him welcomed him immediately to a group that was sharing. He was impressed with the enthusiasm with which they sung religious songs. But especially with the real experiences each shared on how the Lord acted in their individual lives.
“Christians must follow the Ten Commandments, of course, but Christianity is not about following rules, it is about having a relationship with Jesus”, Pope Francis said. Let me repeat that for emphasis: Not rules but relationship. Rules like the Ten Commandments are important, but so also is our relationship with God and with others: the way we experience God’s action in our lives and the way we interact with one another.
Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. We already know much about the dogma: first that there is only ONE God and second that God has THREE DIVINE PERSONS Father, Son and Holy Spirit each one different but each one equally God.
God is Father who created us. But ask yourself: do you experience Him as being solicitous for health and for your safety as every parent would? How many of you can share His providence when someone you love was critically ill in the hospital? When everyone you know was turning his back from you?
God is Savior who died a long time ago to save us from the devil. Again ask yourself can you share how Christ has continued to intervene in your life to save you especially when you made your biggest mistake – as when you were sunk deep into addiction to sin?
God is Holy Spirit. Have you felt His assistance when you were most confused at what right decision to take, when you were most afraid to pursue your goals, when you lost all hope of ever rising from your deepest problem?
God is not only a dogmatic teaching to be learned by heart but a person we can relate to – a person that is real and active in our lives.
God is Trinity but I guess He is not concerned that a child in catechism must know that there is only one God having three persons. He is more interested that this child will call Him and eventually experience Him as “Father”. Jesus is not worried if a teenager is unaware that He is both human and divine. He is more anxious if that teenager bullies a school mate or gets bullied himself. God is Spirit. He is more concerned that we become better versions of ourselves than getting the correct answers in catechism.
St. Augustine first saw the Trinity as a dogma that he could fit in his small mind. But as he later confessed it was already too late that he realized that God was just inside Him, so close and so real. “You were within me, and I was outside where I rushed about wildly searching for You.”
Addenda: Augustine encounter with angel on the sea shore
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