Wild Lectionary: The Trinity, An Invitation

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The Trinity, Andrei Rublev, 15th C

Trinity Sunday C

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8:4-9
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie

Several years ago, Sarah and I were on a Global Awareness Through Experience or GATE program in Mexico. One of the places we visited was a café-general store and guest house in Cholula (Mexico) run by an Aztec family. While we were chatting with owner’s daughter, our GATE program director asked her, if God was male or female in Aztec theology. Her answer gave me one of those “Yes!” moments. She said, “God is neither male nor female. God is energy.” The gods and goddesses in the Aztec pantheon are aspects of the Divine Energy that attends to a specific need of the people at a specific point in cyclical time, for example, harvest time or during drought , etc.

I relate this story to demonstrate how we have been taught to think in dichotomies: male/female, good/bad, rich/poor, us/them. What would it take—and imagine the impact—if we thought instead of wholeness, of circles or spirals?  I remember, in Catholic Parochial school, being taught to picture the Trinity as a triangle. What if we thought of the Trinity as an amorphous circle, with all of creation at its center? We know that God is Love and at different times the center is in need of a different form of Love Energy from the Bountiful Amorphous Circumference. Think of each of us and each individual being as a cell of the body of Creation. Each cell is nourished by God.

The Trinity always existed in the creative energy of Love that is the Breath of God. Genesis, chapter 1, says, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Hebrew actually says “vibrated over the face of the waters.” In the opening of the Gospel of John, we hear “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.”

The Trinity always existed in the creative energy of Love that is the Breath of God. Our Trinitarian God invites us into their generative circle of love like the invitation suggested in Rublev’s icon of the Trinity. In our first reading, Wisdom shouts to all that lives that she rejoices in God’s inhabited world and delights in humanity.  The Psalmist suggests that when all creation is considered, it is amazing that God is mindful of us and cares for us. The Psalmist also writes that God gave us dominion over his works.

For the first time I considered the word ‘dominion’ in a different light. I considered how God’s exercise of dominion over us is filled with love and care. The gift of free will shows that God’s dominion over us is not tyrannical rule. So, we too, are to base our dominion over God’s works as also filled with love and care and not with destruction. The second reading tells us, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” Open hearts accept this gift and treat all that God has created with that same love.

At one time in our history, God the Parent, gathered a particular group of us and groomed them to be the recipient people of the Word-Made-Flesh. Then at the next stage in our history, the Word-Made-Flesh in Jesus, came to continue the formation of this community. Consider, for a moment, that Jesus came to teach us how to live, how to treat each other with love, justice and compassion in spite of what is going on in the society around us. If we look at it this way, we can further envision that we are to imitate Jesus, by living as he taught, and indeed, how he lived.

Now to use another analogy, as children we go to school and as young people (and in my case, not so young), we go to university. Eventually, we have to leave school and university behind and use what we’ve learned to make something of our lives. Our professors are no longer there for us, they have helped us acquire the tools for analysis and inquiry but basically, we’re on our own.

What Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel is that he’s not leaving us on our own. He has given us the tools—and He is sending the Holy Spirit to guide us. Although not in the flesh, Our God is, and always has been, with us, inviting us closer into the Trinitarian Circle of Love.

What are your thoughts on the Trinity?

 

Victoria Marie is co-funder of the Vancouver Catholic Worker, on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She is a priest, member of Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada, spiritual director, and pastor of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Inclusive Catholic Community and author of Transforming Addiction: The role of spirituality in learning recovery from addiction (Scholars Press, 2014). This reflection is a shared or dialogue homily where Vikki gives a short “homily starter” then those present offer their reflections.

Wild Lectionary is a weekly blog on ecological justice themes in the revised common lectionary, curated by Laurel Dykstra, gathering priest of Salal + Cedar, Coast Salish Territory.

2 thoughts on “Wild Lectionary: The Trinity, An Invitation

  1. I love the thought of God as energy. A woman I knew with amazing spiritual gifts always referred to God as The Light. That works for me! And the Quakers always have understood God as interior, genderless, SPIRIT. Making God male has hurt us for milennia and is still hurting us today. Enough!

    • Oh yes!!! Indeed God is energy! Nothing is more energizing than love😄.
      It jars me and troubles me every time someone, almost automatically (or, perhaps, automatically!) says God-the-father as though there can be no other. Our otherwise awesome parish priest does this a lot and, of course, it’s “God, the father of mercies” in the prayer of absolution.
      At Mass, just before the Gospel is read, when we make the triple cross over forehead, lips, and heart, my silent prayer is always, “May the God of Love be in my thoughts, in my words, and in my heart.” I say this prayer often at other times as well.
      So, yes, God as Energy is a wonderful, loving God who is present to – and, hopefully, in – all we think, say and do.
      Thank you for this inspiration💕

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