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In the Name of the Trinity

Mary Jo Tully
Chancellor, Archdiocese of Portland

June 15, 2014
The Most Holy Trinity
Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
John 3:16-18

Each day, we are reminded that none of us lives alone. Our very being is dependent upon our relationship with others. We need one another. As infants, we count on that relationship for food, shelter, and cuddles. As we mature, we need others for intellectual development, ideas, and insight. More importantly, we need each other for the development of our interpersonal lives and our values. All of life is relationship. Today’s liturgy reminds us of the perfect relationship—the Trinity. Our celebration challenges us to live in this relationship.

The most familiar Christian gesture is undoubtedly the sign of the cross. It is likely the first prayer we learn to pray. We cross ourselves many times every day almost without thinking. We begin and end our prayers by invoking the Trinity…before and after meals, when entering the church, before we sleep, when we hear an ambulance. The sign of the cross is a continual reminder of our relationship with God. It is a way of “checking in” throughout the day. Most of all it is a reminder of two essential Christian doctrines: The most Holy Trinity— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — and our salvation through the cross of Christ. When we make the sign of the Cross, we are praying to the community of love. The love of the Father and the Son is so strong that it is the Holy Spirit. The gradual accomplishment of a people living in the image of the community of the Trinity is the purpose and mission of the Church.

The key sentence in today’s Gospel reflects the interaction of love in our understanding of the Trinity: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” We are given eternal life because of our faith shown in our love for one another in the Church.

The Church is all her members. Each of us must be an expression of the Christian's willingness to lead. This is what being Christian is about. It is about becoming visible, about presenting oneself to the community as Christian, not because we have "made it" but because we know that we are "on the way." Love leads. We know that the future is filled with hope. We know that what is "already" is not enough. We look with longing to the "not yet." We live the life of the risen Christ. Theologically, the Church's message is a simple one. It is the conscious articulation of redemption brought about by love.

Each day, we are confronted with the Church which is and the Church which is becoming, with the "already" and "not yet." Clearly, this is the Church today. Because Christ continues to share with us the fullness of the Father, and because we are constantly echoing his Word, we are always becoming more Church.

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