Friday, June 9, 2017
Some time ago, Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at Wellesley College. She voiced thoughts that might help us deepen our sense of this weekend’s Feast of the Holy Trinity.
Barbara Bush said to the graduates, “Whatever choice you make about the future direction of your life, I hope you will always remember that, in the end, it won’t really matter much to you whether you pulled off one more million dollar deal, that you scrambled to the top of the corporate ladder in your firm, or that you were listed among the Fortune 500. In the end, what will really matter will be the people in your life – your husband, your wife, your parents and children, your family and your friends. The important thing in life is not how much you made, or even how much you accomplished, but how much you loved and who you loved and who loved you.”
The truth of the matter is that we were made for love – to love and to be loved. We came into existence because two people loved one another. Our early lives depended on the love of others for us. In fact, we still depend on love to get us through daily life.
Why are we this way? Why is it that we can’t we live in isolation? Why do we need others? Because faith tells us that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Just that. On this Trinity Sunday, we celebrate our gracious God, who is not just an idea, a power or a solitary being. Trinity Sunday celebrates our God who is Three Persons bound together in a love so intense that it surpasses all our experience and understanding, our ability to grasp it fully or to explain it. What’s more, Trinity Sunday makes it clear that when I share my life, my love, I am most like God who is always sharing life and love. This God of ours is not a distant God, but one who surrounds, sustains and encourages us day after day. God is to be plumbed by my searching mind. God is to be celebrated even when darkness descends. God is to be trusted when I do not feel like trusting.
There’s even more. Our God is not a dour and solemn God. Our God is a joyous and dancing God. It’s easy not to believe that. After all, hasn’t our God been promoted by preachers as serious, and unengaged by delight? Yet the mystics have believed over the centuries that God dances for joy and they found their own joy and delight in welcoming God this way. We certainly like to laugh and dance. Go to any festive gathering and this is what people do. We image God in festive times as much as in any other time of our day and maybe more so.
God’s life is full of light and God’s embrace brings light into our lives. Heaviness in our life does exist, as we endure pain and suffering. But this heaviness does not come from God. There is no heaviness in God, or when God holds us close. In God, there is joy. Let’s be sure of that, and happy to be joyful ourselves.
So today we celebrate God who is Trinity and we say, in the words of Richard Rohr, “God for us, we call you Father. God alongside us, we call you Jesus. God within us, we call you Holy Spirit. You are the eternal mystery that enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things, even us and even me. (The Divine Dance)”
~ Sister Joan Sobala