The Three Musketeers lived by the motto, “All for One and One for All.” As we live the mystery of the TRINITY, we ought to reflect upon this commitment to unity of purpose, unity of heart, and unity of service — the importance of the One and the importance of the group are held in equal regard and balance.
As I type this reflection I watch the fighting in Iraq, the TEA Party’s victory over Eric Cantor, the President commenting on the 74th school shooting since Newtown, and Donald Sterling’s change-of-mind that he will not accept the deal to sell the Clippers.
Reminds me of the question asked by Rodney King: Can’t we just all get along?
But, oh how we can be a “stiff-necked people”! We can be too quick to pass judgment, too quick to categorize, too quick to point fingers, too quick to condemn. Too quickly we can decide that we are right and the other is wrong.
With the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, we can say, in a sense — that the ever-present God — was now “complete” — the Father sent the Son … the Son returned to the Father, but said he would be with us always — and then the Spirit was made manifest. A triune God spoke one message, but was heard by all “IN THEIR LANGUAGE” …. in a language that was more than English, Spanish, Aramaic, Greek, …. in THEIR OWN WAY, Where they “were”.
We’ve got to step back, take a deep breath …. resolve to seek the unity of God in the situations in which we find ourselves. “In essential things, unity — in non-essentials, liberty — in all things, charity.” This is a quote often attributed to Augustine, but in truth may have another origin — doesn’t matter, it offers a supreme challenge.
So — let’s look at this weekend’s excerpt from St. Paul to the Corinthians [2 Cor. 13:11-13]: Brothers and Sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways and encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Live in Trinitarian peace — AND THEN, the God of love and peace will be with you. To know this peace and to live in this peace — here are some thoughts:
1. There is but one God, and thank God, it is not ME!! With all the problems of the world, it is not up to me to fix everything. Got to quit worrying about what is not within my power to change. Why obsess? Why waste time talking about those things I cannot change? Want to know serenity —- step back and deal with what you can deal with — and some things can wait until later and some things will be left for others to deal with and worry about.
2. We are all different — and that is ok!! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — three distinct persons but one. Men and women — old and young — Anglo-Saxon and Hispanic — Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim — husbands and wives …. first-born and last born … all are different. AND, THAT IS OK. I have NO POWER to change anyone and why should I have such power?
3. As stiff-necked as I am, I expect God to forgive me — I better be ready to forgive. Can’t be happy today if I am still fussing about yesterday. Can’t know peace today if I am still irritated about what was messed up yesterday. We really do have to learn to move on — to forgive others and we expect them to forgive us.
4. Do I want to be happy or right? If I want to argue to the last drop of my blood, so be it. If you want to stay up at night finding a way to defeat me — so be it. If I ultimately want to know peace and unity within my being — then, “winning” has to lose some of its glamor. Some things are just more important than “winning” — being at peace is one of those things.
Defining the Trinity could be a task for this weekend …. understanding the mystery can be something we try to achieve. Living the mystery of three-in-one seems more important to me. We are stronger together. We are better together. This is true for a family, for a Church, for a community, for a workplace. We are better TOGETHER.