Our Capacity for Love and Union

in Reflections by

Today is Trinity Sunday. Here are some of my thoughts for the readings we had at Mass.

The reality of our Triune God is something revealed through various places in Scripture. Beginning with Genesis when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Notice that in Genesis God says ‘our image’ and ‘after our likeness’ in the making of man. Without explicitly saying it in Genesis, man is formed in the image and likeness of the Trinity. With that being the case, contemplating the nature of the Trinity is to also contemplate the foundations of our existence.

One thing we know is that the Trinity is a union. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are the three distinct Persons in the one Godhead. They are and always will be united as the one, true God.

In being made by God, coming from and though the Trinity, says something about our nature. Being made in Their image and likeness, an image of perfect union, gives us an indication of our capacity for union. Imprinted in our nature is the capacity to grow in union, not just with others, but also with God. The means to do this is also a part of our nature. We have the capacity to love one another. Love, when it is true and pure, builds relationships and forms a union with the other person. This is not something that only happens for spouses but also between family and our closest friends. Those unions and friendships we form now are semblances of the greater and perfect union we are invited to enter; a union with God.

There are many places in the Gospel where Jesus speaks of us becoming and remaining one with Him.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
And again Jesus speaks of us being one with ‘Them’.
that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:21

With all the mention of becoming one with God, who is Love, there is no coincidence that the greatest thing we are commanded to do is love. Sounds rather simple right? It does. However, we learn through time that love is not always the easiest thing to give. There are times when loving becomes incredibly difficult. Loving authentically (being truly selfless) can become a real challenge. There might be difficult people in our lives, ones that are difficult to love, or there could be pain or anger towards certain people, or there could be sin and a disordered love for the other things. Ultimately there could be a number of things on that list.

From the reading for today Moses did something that many, if not all of us, have done many times in life. Moses admits that he cannot lead these these difficult people on his own (Exodus 34:9). He asks God to be with him and in the company of these people. Moses admits that loving these people that God has put into his care is going to be difficult. Rather than turning bitter or angry towards them, Moses prays for the help to love them as he should. Who better to call on to help with love than the God who is united in perfect love? I think there are times we forget about that image and likeness we were made in. I think we forget that we came from Love, from God. He made us in love and for love. He saved us in love as St. John reminds us in the Gospel for today. We have been told and believe that we are invited to live in that union and Love, who is God, for all eternity.

Being able to love and to receive love from others is such an amazing thing. Let us remember in our thoughts on the Trinity that all three Persons of the Trinity have and will love us greater than any other person we meet. Like Moses, may we always turn to our loving God and ask Him, Love Himself, to be in our company and help us love as we ought.

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