Last Sunday, with the descent of the Holy Spirit, we celebrated the birth of the Church. Through the activity of the Holy Spirit, at work both in those who proclaimed the Good News and those who listened, the many became one. They were no longer a disparate crowd fragmented by language, culture and history. They had become, despite their many differences, a living community of faith, united in their response to Christ’s invitation: “Come, follow me.”
Community – the life that we share with God and each other – can never be understood as an accidental by-product of what we are when we come together in prayer and worship. The Holy Spirit was given to the Church that we might be one, that we might reflect, in all that we do and say, the perfect unity of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Day by day, with the family at home and in our parishes, we strive to become that perfect communion of faith revealed in the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We live in a world whose social media are obsessed with relationships. This is hardly surprising. We were never created to live in isolation and the social media, however superficially, feed our deepest longing: that we should not be alone, that we should both love and be loved, that we should both understand and be understood.
The history of our salvation, reaching back to creation itself, is the history of our relationships. Above all, it is the history of our relationship with God, the one relationship that makes us whole, becoming the foundation of our relationships with each other. Ultimately the history of our relationships with God becomes the revelation of the Trinity, a life lived in communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Only a love that is freely given, that can never be earned or deserved, truly conquers the isolation of our fallen humanity. Such was the love revealed to Moses and the people who accompanied him into the loneliness of the wilderness. Here, despite their repeated infidelities, God revealed himself as pure love, pure grace: “Lord, Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.” Moses begged that such a God should always accompany both him and the people. On this Trinity Sunday, let us pray that this same God of compassion might walk with us always, that he might forgive our faults and our sins, that he might adopt us as his heritage.
This prayer of Moses was fulfilled in Jesus, since it was in Jesus that the depth of God’s love was fully revealed. “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.”
Jesus is more than the cold revelation of the God who exists. He came as the revelation of a Father whose love had called us into being, whose compassion reaches beyond our failings, who longs to become the eternal life in whom we are truly alive.
We, who fear the isolation of condemnation are called to a fellowship that surrenders itself to the love revealed in Christ Jesus. “No one who believes in him will be condemned, but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already.”
The Holy Spirit, at work within us, reaches from the head to the heart, recreating our lives as a living communion with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. St Paul’s blessing to the Corinthians expresses all that we celebrate on Trinity Sunday: “The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”