June 7, 2020 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060720.cfm)
What is your relationship status? The state of your relationships – your being with others?
Social media netizens nowadays have the option to post in public their own relationship status in their profile. This is more than just about their usual civil status of being single, married or separated, but more so about the description of the present state and quality of their relationship with an-other special person: be it in-love, complicated, available, committed and others. (perhaps same way as MU: mutual understanding and SS/DU: Sikit-Sikit/Dili Uyab, as we used to describe before).
As others may concern about their relationship status, we might as well consider our relationship status at the time of social distancing in today’s pandemic world. Quarantine and social distancing have rendered us nowadays isolated and distance from others and with one another. And surely this has affected the quality of our relationships with others: be it too/less close or far; too/less deep or hollow, too/less presence or absence. Social distancing during pandemic has deeply and uniquely affected our social relationships. While it may have shaken and threatened our family, community and love life to possible break-up, dryness and dying, we could not deny also that our distance from and/or being “stuck” at-home with them may have also re-ignited, rekindled, renewed, and deepen our relationships with another. So also as we consider our relationship status during these times, healthy for us to consider our faith status – our relationship with our God: on how social distancing have affected the state and quality of our relationship with God.
Today, first Sunday after Easter Season, is Solemnity of Most Holy Trinity or simply called Trinity Sunday. More than just a reminder of our Christian faith in the Triune (the three in one) nature of our God, our celebration today invites us to reconsider our relationship status with God.
In our gospel, (as the key text and core message of St. John’s gospel), Jesus gives us the description of the status and quality of God’s relationship status with us. God is so in-love with us that He gives us His Son to believe and follow, for us not to be condemned in life but to have eternal life with Him. With these words, we can highlight here two points to describe the quality of God’s relationship status with us: God is in covenant with us and God is in collaboration with us.
The word covenant roughly means “coming together”. To describe God’s relationship status with us as “in-covenant” would mean that God “comes together” with us – God is one, in community, in loving marital relationship with us, because He is so in love with us. Moreover, the word collaboration would also roughly mean “working together”.
To describe then His relationship with us as “in-collaboration” would mean that God “works together” with us – God is in sync, tandem, partnership with us by offering us to adopt and be co-responsible for His Son in our life and faith. By His Love for us, God is in relationship with us, and by giving us His Son, God is responsible for us and with us. This is how blessed we are and should be, for God is in covenant relationship and in collaborative commitment with us.
Now, what is and should be our relationship status with God?
Moses wished that though we may stiff-necked and wicked, God may “come along in our company” and “receive us as (His) own”. Paul prays that “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, BE with all of Us.” It is thus the hope and prayer of the forefathers of our faith, and still now, that we also may be “in covenant” and “in collaboration” with God – that our faith, our relationship status with God is in sync also with God’s status with us – however righteous, limited or stubborn we might be.
A wise man once said, “Each one of us are but angels with one wing. We can only fly by embracing one another.” True enough, this saying not only affirms our limited human nature of being one-winged, but more so highlights our spiritual nature of being angels. Our present life then is and should be in relation, in sync & in tandem with God and one another, so that we can sore and rise above to the occasion of living our lives to its fullness as we journey back to our heavenly home, and share in God’s offer of eternal life with Christ.
Ironically to protect and keep us safe, our pandemic world rendered us now limited, restricted, set apart and distanced from one another. However, our natural longing to be social – to be one and together with one another and God offers us breath, life, hope and support in the during these trying and difficult times. And putting value anew, upgrading and working out to improve the quality of our relationships status (our being with God and others) could somehow alleviate and bring more purpose and meaning to our present predicament.Though limited angels with one wing may be and due to pandemic realities now set apart from one another, may we always keep the faith, and come and work in one – together with our Triune God, as He is forever in covenant and collaboration with us. Amen.
(By: Fr. Aphelie Mario Masangcay CSsR, a Filipino Redemptorist Missionary stationed in Gwangju South Korea, though now still stranded in Cebu until further notice for available flights.)