Jun 10, 2017

Within God

The Most Blessed Trinity

During these past 10 days our parish has seen two of our sons ordained into Holy Orders - one as a deacon, the other as a priest. During each of their ordination Masses much attention was given to the ritual of the liturgy, the choice of Scripture, the power of the prayers, the laying on of hands, and the vesting with the sacred robes of office. However, one sacred action, very personal to each one of them, not only brought them to their knees - it ensured that each one of them would would literally collapse into the very gentle hands and the most loving embrace of the Almighty God.  

Before being ordained, both Deacon Chuck and Father Nathan had to lie face down before the altar - they had to abandon themselves completely to the overwhelming power and purifying love of God - and to do so, trusting - not in some cosmic or supernatural higher power - but trusting their lives in the hands of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - a God who is Fatherly, a God who has a human heart, a God who is a secret intimate friend.

Of course, in our theological language, we identify God as a Trinity. "What" the Almighty is, is one God. "Who" the one God is, is the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. We can draw diagrams, use symbols and offer allegories to help explain the three distinct persons united in one God. But that's as far as we can go. Human language and imagination will never understand or fathom this divine mystery.

But, the Good News is that because our minds can only go so far, little by little, God gently reveals Himself to us, slowly unfolding for us the pattern of His unimaginable thoughts (Proverbs 8:22-33). We don’t have to be theologians or philosophers. Through the language of harmony and beauty that we sense in the universe, we gain some insight that God is the perfection of harmony and beauty, but so much more than our perceptions. (Psalm 8:4-9).

But proving his existence or trying to understanding what God is, is not our goal.  Experiencing God, is. Christ is God's very own self-portrait! But more than that. A portrait can be looked at from a distance. God, through Christ's humanity, from that first instant of His conception in the womb of Mary, brings us into direct union with Him. 

God, allowed Himself to be mothered (for our sake). God allowed himself to live in the limitations of flesh and blood, God with us, reaching out to us, wanting to draw us closer and closer into his divine life, talking to us directly with words we can understand, lives with us intimately in a love that we can experience, sharing in our joys, in our sorrows, in our pain and also our suffering. To know Christ is to know the love and compassion of God.

Christ is God being personal with you and me, inviting us even into His own experience of being God - the love between Father and Son.  Of course, our experience of this type of relationship is limited to our own experience or only as great as our best imagination. But Christ invites you and me into His very own perfect relationship that He enjoys with the Father - a relationship of the most perfect love between two persons that can ever exist, not contained or constrained by time itself. 

Christ invites all of us, all humanity, through His Body and Blood, into the very "divine life" of the One He dares to call “Father”, “Abba”. And that Divine Love - is not a force or a feeling - it has It's own personality - the Holy Spirit. A Christian, in that same Spirit also dares to call God, Father - "Abba".

So, don't try to get your head around this. Instead, get your heart around Christ and you will find and experience the greatest intimacy, the closeness that God desires to share and draw us into.

This is relational, not conceptual nor imaginative.  It is insufficient to simply bow down or even kneel before God. Like Deacon Chuck and Father Nathan on the day of their ordination, we too, and every day, must have the courageous faith to simply abandon ourselves into the very life of God, trusting in His power, His Heart and His life-giving love, on earth as it is in heaven!

Rebuilding Blocks

Vigil of Pentecost Genesis 11:1-9 & John 7:37-39 Tonight sees us making the necessary preparations in anticipation o...