Thoughts on Faith: the prayer of community
We declare the Trinity frequently in our religious practices, but I have to admit I don’t think about it very often. I mean, for me, the Trinity has always been presented as a kind of academic topic. God is three persons in one. We declare this regularly during our profession of faith at Mass. To me, it’s seen as something we have to believe. But I can’t say it makes a big difference in my life.
It struck me once, though, that there is significance to this truth that is powerful and instructive. If God — Creator and Sustainer of all that is — is three persons, then at the heart of all that exists is a community. If we are created in God’s image, then perhaps we cannot fully experience and express this unless we too are part of a loving community.
Of course, all of us are part of some kind of community. Whether it is family, work, school, church or some other organization, all of us are involved in relationships that involve some form of commitment and trust. The love and commitment and trust of the Godhead might be our inspiration and example.
In today’s second reading, the Apostle Paul calls the early Christians at Corinth to “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you…. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
If God is three persons, then at the heart of all that exists is a community. If we are created in God’s image, then perhaps we cannot fully experience and express this unless we too are part of a loving community.
Paul calls the church to set aside differences and live in peace, and promises that if they do so the peace that binds the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be with them. The same, I expect, is true for all of us.
Peace in our lives and our hearts can be elusive, and we may try to find it in removing stress in our lives. Today’s celebration suggests that peace may be more readily found by taking the necessary steps to resolve tension and conflicts in relationships.
At the center of our faith are relationships. For most of us, relationships are the center of our lives. If they’re not, they ought to be. Nothing is more important than our connection to God and to one another.
Trinity Sunday reminds us that God is all about relationships, and challenges us to live in the same kind of loving and committed relationships. It may be the only way we can fully embrace and enjoy ourselves as created in God’s image, and it may be the key to finding real, lasting peace in our lives and in our communities.
Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .