Solemnities abound at this time in the Liturgical Calendar: Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi and we can have a feeling of there being too much of a good thing! And so for the week in which we celebrate The Most Holy Trinity I offer a trinity of mini-reflections and accompanying images. May they bring blessing in some guise or other.
Firstly, the lectionary readings for the Solemnity.
The final part of the Deuteronomy reading is a gift for those newly initiated intent on ‘deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery and making it part of their lives’ [RCIA paragraph 244] as disciples rather than neophytes:
“So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Keep his statutes and his commandments which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendents after you, so that you may long remain in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” [Deuteronomy 4: 39-40]
But then, very much in the mystagogical spirit of ensuring that the whole community be inspired and renewed by their experience of the sacraments [RCIA paragraph 246], we find within the gospel another gift: a reminder of the real purpose of all our membership and ministry:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. [Matthew 28: 19]
Truly – the power of three!
Secondly, an extract from a current ‘best seller’.
Mack is the main character in The Shack [Wm Paul Young 2007, Hodder & Stoughton] and is beset by what becomes known as ‘The Great Sadness’ when his much loved daughter is abducted from their holiday tent and presumed murdered. He is called, supposedly by God, to make a journey to the shack believed to be the site of her murder. On arrival he encounters ‘the Trinity’:
“Thoughts tumbled over each other as Mack struggled to figure out what to do. Was one of these people God? What if they were hallucinations or angels, or God was coming later? That could be embarrassing. Since there were three of them, maybe this was a Trinity sort of thing. But two women and a man and none of them white? He knew his mind was rambling so he focused on the one question he most wanted answered.
“Then,” Mack struggled to ask, “which one of you is God?”
“I am” said all three in unison. Mack looked from one to the next, and even though he couldn’t begin to grasp what he was seeing and hearing, he somehow believed them. “
Through his encounter with these three beings, Mack’s life is transformed and his relationships broadened, deepened and renewed.
A very different power of three!
And finally, for RCIA team members.
A diocese in the North of England is planning an evening offered in four venues during the early summer. Called Reflect, Refresh, Renew they are offering a chance to engage in this trinity of catechetical activities. Each separate component represents an important dynamic in the life of catechists and RCIA teams. Developing as reflective practitioners will ensure their ministry remains grounded in the reality of their particular context and the needs of their enquirers and catechumens. Ongoing ministry over a number of months, and often years, becomes stale and lifeless without times of refreshment and inspiration. To renew implies review: openness to an honest appraisal of how things have gone, and whether the aims and processes articulated at the beginning of the journey have been met. This then enables a renewal of the vision and fresh heart for the journey. Put the three separate components together however and what is on offer has the potential to be much more powerful than the individual components: a different energy, a more complete process.
Indeed – a very different power of three!