“Transformation in the Trinity”
Trinity Sunday – B
In an episode of Star-Trek: The Next Generation, alien life-forms dressed in monk-like robes stealthily transport crew members from the Enterprise to their world to study them, especially to learn how they are put together physically. Alien life forms do nasty things like that. They conduct these experiments in a pocket of Enterprise-like universe that they have created, while also attempting to create a pocket of their own universe on board the enterprise. All this very sinister activity threatens the ship and its crew, but eventually things get back to normal.
Could creating or re-creating a universe be what is at the heart of the Holy Trinity’s saving work in this world? Could it be that the persons of the Holy Trinity are gently transforming this world into a pocket of the heavenly world, into the reign of God?
Today’s opening prayer, which I prayed earlier seems to suggest this:
“God our Father, who by sending into the world the
Word of Truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known
to the human race your wonderous mystery. . .”
We, as human people are the crown of God’s creation, and it is there in the depths of our being that God gives life and love. Moses and the Israelites knew something of God’s life and love during their desert journey to the Promised Land. By means of testing, by signs and wonders, by a strong hand and outstretched arm, God was transforming them into God’s holy people. This transformation was not painless, but transformation rarely is. God’s chosen people came to know that in the power of god’s life and love, they were to speak and act as God would have them do. Because the Lord had chosen them, daily they would have to choose to make the Lord the center of their world, of their lives, and so must we!
Centuries later, St. Paul knew something of God’s life and love. Through Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, Jesus Christ became the center of Paul’s world. He came to know that God’s life and love are God’s gift, not a reward. God’s life and love is a person, God’s own Son. He is God’s gift to us, God’s adopted sons and daughters. In Christ, through the Holy spirit, we have a new relationship with God: we are (heirs) children of the God who loves us with the love of Father and Mother.
The first disciples of Jesus rejoiced to share this new relationship with Jesus and his Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit. They knew that this relationship began in baptism and lasted a lifetime, even into eternity. But they knew that this relationship was not for them alone; it was to be God’s gift to all people through baptism and discipleship. This became their mission.
Baptism, for us, is the point of entry into that very same mission. Baptism in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit makes each of us an integral part of the Mission of Christ, his work, in this world.
What really transforms our universe into God’s universe is the presence of Jesus Christ with us and within us as he said: “Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world.” (Mt 28:20) At the end of time, this world will be revealed as God’s world, completely and eternally transformed. On the way to that day, God gives us glimpses of how God is transforming this world into God’s world, glimpses of what the final transformation will be like. We get our best glimpse of the Trinity’s transforming work right here at the Banquet Table of the Eucharist.
Here, in this liturgy, God the Father sends the Word, Jesus Christ, into our hearts. The Spirit comes to hallow our gifts of bread and wine, so that we, God’s church may be transformed into holy people as we share these holy gits. Here, in these sacred words and actions, God responds to our prayer of supplication and thanksgiving. Every Eucharistic celebration that we celebrate gives us a glimpse of the universe transformed: a world where the life and love of God are shared among all people. Where we come to know the truth of what we sang in today’s responsorial psalm: “Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.” That is quite a universe to live in, don’t ya think? God bless us, and all who live in simplicity of heart.