“The Father is love, the Son is grace, the Holy Spirit is the one who unites.”
On the surface, this Feast is a day for the dogmatic theologians to unfurl their insights into the gift and mystery of the nature of God. Some would prefer if we just believed. Other say the same God gave us brains and we should use them to explore this revelation; and so, after many years of debate, we came up with the expression that in God there are three divine Persons and the book publishers have enjoyed the follow up for centuries.
But the dogma has grave implications for the human race!
The theologians remind us that God, in essence, reflects relationship and community. Given that we are made in “the image and likeness of God” then the conclusion is obvious; unfortunately, we creatures constantly wish to follow our individualistic ways and, a little like Nicodemus, find it hard to allow the Word to enter our lives.
Ultimately this Feast celebrates the gift of Jesus who alone makes God known. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a teacher of the Law, a ruler of the Jews who came to Jesus by night…(you can’t be too cautious when entering a life changing dialogue). He, used to judging and living by Moses, the Law and the Prophets, now finds that he must accept that judgement flows from the acceptance or refusal of the proclamation of Jesus. That involves realising the importance of community and relationships; which truth has challenged humanity, baptised and unbaptised from that day. Successful movements in the life of the Church have accepted that challenge, be they Parishes or YCW or Teams or movements like the great monastic establishments, let alone the many religious institutes.
Nicodemus turned up on Calvary. His journey was still in the dark, but he kept trying. Our journey today is in a period of darkness. Let’s keep turning up.