Holy trinity

Loved, forgiven and empowered, the actions of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

The three meditations are truly Trinitarian: they each express the action of one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. We are loved. We are forgiven. We are empowered.

June 16, 2019

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Readings: Proverbs 8: 22-31;
Romans 5: 1-5;
Gospel: John 16: 12-15

For many years, I have encouraged people, young and old, to join me for a daily brief meditation that can transform our lives. I first heard of this mediation over 20 years ago when I attended a seminar given by Fr. John Fullenbach SVD. I don’t know if he’s the originator of meditation, or if he’s just promoting it. Meditation is simply focusing on three thoughts: First, God loves me with unconditional love. I must love to realize that I am loved and lovable. Second, God forgive me, I must forgive myself. And third, God is with me. Whatever I do; I can do with him.

The three meditations are truly Trinitarian: they each express the action of one of the persons of the Holy Trinity. We are loved. We are forgiven. We are empowered.

We are loved. The Father loves us. God loves us. Sometimes we focus on the point of view of God the Father as the Awesome, El Shaddai, the Creator. We envision him as the mighty old man with the beard creating the world and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. All of this is valid. But He is also the Divine Lover. John 3:16: He loved the world so much that he gave us his only begotten Son. His son told us to call God Abba, really daddy. Our God loves us as a parent loves his children, unconditionally. He loves us for who we are. Good parents don’t love their children for what they do, even though they are often proud of it. Good parents love their children for who they are, their children. We are sons and daughters of God. We are loved.

He, the Father, sent us the One who saved us. We believe in God the Son. We believe in Jesus Christ. We make the sign of the cross to affirm that Jesus saved us by being crucified for us. We believe that God’s love for us is so intense that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity has become one of us while remaining One with the Father. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Perhaps we use the term Savior too loosely. Maybe it has lost its meaning to us. Without Jesus Christ, we would be prey to hatred, sin and death. With Jesus Christ, we are swallowed up in love and life. When we say “He frees us from sin” we mean He frees us from the misery that makes existence intolerable. With Jesus Christ, there is no situation in life that cannot lead us to his peace and happiness. Jesus Christ is the one who brought God’s forgiveness to the world. God forgives us, not only as a people, but as individuals. We must forgive ourselves. No matter what we have done, we must let go of our guilt and trust God. We do not have the right to refuse to forgive ourselves. We are not more powerful than God.

The Word has become one of us, Christmas. He died for us, Good Friday. He conquered death and restored us to eternal life, Easter. He ascended to the Father, but His Spirit and the Spirit of the Father, the Holy Spirit, were given to us at Pentecost and remain with each of us. We each have the Presence and Power of God within us. We can make God present to others. We believe in the God who gives us power. We believe in the Holy Spirit. We can do anything in Him who strengthens us, as Paul stated in Philippians 4:13.

And so we begin our prayers in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We begin our prayers in the name of the Father who loves us unconditionally, and of the Son who made this love concrete by becoming one of us and dying for us and bringing us the forgiveness of God, and the name of the Holy Spirit, who is God who dwells in us, gives us power. The sign of the cross is an affirmation of our faith. It is a statement of who we are: people whom God loves, forgives and strengthens.

As we grow in the knowledge that God loves us, as we experience His Love more and more in our lives, we are transformed by His Love. We want nothing more than to nurture this Love. We want to spread this Love.

When we recognize that God forgives us, we realize that His Love is infinitely greater than our sins. We need to stop fighting and let his forgiveness enter our lives. So many people in the world, so many of us, are giving up on life because we have surrendered to ourselves. When this happens, we enter a downward cycle. We keep doing things that lead to spiritual disaster because we think God will not forgive us. Jesus Christ is our Savior, he saves us from ourselves. He forgives us. He calls us to spread the Good News, the Gospel to others. He challenges us to let everyone know that if they are committed to God, he will forgive them too.

He gives us the power to lead others to Christ. Each of us has a unique ability to reflect the love of God in the world. Each of us is able to instill in others the seed of God’s love. We can change others. We can lead them from a life of meaningless to a life of eternal fulfillment. We have the Power of God in us. We have the Holy Ghost.

And so we begin and end our prayers with a statement of who we are and what we are. We are people who are loved, forgiven and empowered. We find our meaning in life in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. – By Bishop Joseph A Pellegrino