How was it for you? Easter? Pentecost? Trinity Sunday?
Walking alongside our elect, we have trod the lenten path in preparation for sacraments of initiation at Easter. We have rejoiced with them in the Easter Vigil, and have lived and shared our faith with our new Catholic members throughout the 50-days of the Resurrection of the Lord. We havecontinued with joy through Pentecost, and yesterday, with the feast of the Most Holy Trinity we again gathered together as a parish community, Body of Christ, to know, celebrate and experience how much God loves us. I was very struck by the Opening Prayer yesterday – in the current 1973 Missal translation: ‘
Father, you sent your Word to bring us truth and your Spirit to make us holy. Through them we come to know the mystery of your life. Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons, by proclaiming and living our faith in you.
The 1998 Icel text, also in our current missals as an alternative opening prayer reads:
God, we praise you. Father all-powerful, Christ Lord and Saviour, Spirit of love. You reveal yourself in the depths of our being, drawing us to share in your life and your love. One God, three Persons, be near to the people formed in your image, close to the world your love brings to life.
In the first Reading God proclaims Godself to be ‘a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.’ In the second reading we are exorted to ‘try to grow perfect, help one another, be united, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.’ In the Gospel ‘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.’
If we are praying these texts, opening our hearts and lives, they will have an impact – they will renew us and shape us, and be the lens through which we see the world and respond to people and events in the ordinary every-day of life. Every moment, bidden or unbidden, God is with us, revealing Godself in the depths of our being, drawing us to share in the Divine Life and Love. Wow! It’s all a mind-blowing mystery. We are made new! We dont have to react in the same old way when the wrong buttons are pushed. We can see things differently, we can take the long view. Summer is a great time to allow this renewal to get into our bones – like vitamin D from sunshine, we need it. In quietly reflecting on our experience of the liturgy – what did I hear? What did I see? What did I sense? What did I touch? – we will find ourselves living it! Yes, the Lord is with you! The words and actions of the liturgy reflecting our relationship and sharing in the life of God, are echoed in the actions and words of daily events, daily encounters with others. As St Benedict use to say when he encoutered an old friend ‘It is Easter indeed!’
Tune in and be consciously aware more often during the day – to the Word and the Spirit at work in YOU, achieving so much more than you can ask or imagine!
Look out and see just how close God is to the world his love brings to life.
In your journeys to and fro, God direct you. In your happiness and pleasure, God bless you. In care, anxiety, or trouble, God sustain you. In peril and in danger, God protect you. (Archbishop Timothy Olufsen, 1918-1992, Nigeria)