Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. -John 3:16-18
I love mysteries—the Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie type—not religious ones like the feast we celebrate today, the Blessed Trinity. I’ve heard many reflections on this and other religious mysteries. None come to mind however, as I sit to share my reflection today. Why, I wonder couldn’t God just explain all this life business to us in simple human terms instead of these unsolvable mysteries.
On another note, this “Sheltering in place” has reawakened in me my love for a good piece of bread. I vividly remember seeing a vocation movie (it would be called a video today) as a seventh grader, in 1957, of the Passionist starting their day after rising and celebrating the liturgy together, standing in a corridor off the “refectory” eating bread and drinking a cup of coffee. In the ‘60’s that corridor at the Passionist Prep High School in Warrenton morphed into a room off the kitchen for the professed with yes, bread, but also jams, jellies and other condiments. I think this simple custom continues today.
Even before that as a younger child I remember visiting my grandparents’ home and seeing loaves of bread all over the kitchen which my Irish grandmother just pulled out of the oven. The aroma was intoxicating and there was much ceremony over sharing that newly baked bread and adding a good hunk of butter and watching it melt. I don’t think the monks added the butter.
Maybe God does make it simple for me to understand. Just look at bread, a simple gift from the grains of the field along with the loving attention of the farmer, the miller and the baker. That’s kind of a mystery too, isn’t it? All these elements coming together to bring life.
Speak to me today God, and let me choose you, the God of love and the Trinity, that I may bask in your loving, nourishing and delicious life. Help me to identify my role in this process and lovingly embrace it.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.