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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Franciscan Friars "God is with us." This Week's Reflection from Fr. Bob Warren


Franciscan Friars
Franciscan Friars
"God is with us."
(John 16:12-15)
 
It has been said by saints that no greater love story has ever been told than the one that Jesus shared with Nicodemus... that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Martin Luther called this declaration of love a gospel in miniature, because he said it speaks in only a few words of the immeasurable dimensions of God's love. Blessed Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop of San Salvador, said that if this short text represents the gospel in miniature then Christ is the homily who keeps on explaining to us that God is love, that God is power, that the spirit of God is upon Jesus, and He is the Divine Word.
Jesus told us a great deal about God. He told us that God is love, life and goodness. To be a whole person, we must have a relationship with our God. We humans do not like being out of relationship with those around us or our God. Think of the worst moments of your life, when you were rejected, when you were divorced, when you were cut off from family and friends. Perhaps you felt betrayed by a friend or you felt isolated. We do not even like to go to the movies or out to dinner by ourselves, do we?
We human beings are in desperate need for union. Rejection is such an intolerable hurt because we need to be connected. The driving question is why? Why this existential driving need for union? Why do the young flock to malls and single bars? Why are the best moments when unions occur? And the worst when it is absent? The answer simply and profoundly is today's Feast of the Holy Trinity. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and God is communion, is relationship and therefore, so are we. We reach out for companionship. Every hug or embrace gives indirect testimony to the Trinity. The Trinity says that God is relationship, and so we search. The Trinity says that God is community, and so we seek. The Trinity says that God is love, and so we love. We cannot help ourselves. We are made in that image and likeness. We mirror our origins.
God is love, unity, undivided, and we strive for the same. Think of the most satisfying moments of your life. I would suspect that they were times when you felt safe and loved. When you sat on your mother's lap, when you were held and hugged. When you were affirmed, when you were simply in the silent presence of someone you loved. When you had someone in your life.
I was once a chaplain at a retirement home. After a while, you noticed the residents who lived long and happy lives, were the ones who had constant visits from family and friends. So what is the meaning of today's Feast? It is all about relationship. Relationship is what God is all about – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So it is no wonder that we, who are made in God's image and likeness, are also essentially about relationship. No wonder when the angel announced that God would become human, she said that you shall call him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.
God is our creator, redeemer, sustainer. God is intimate and transcendent. God is eternal, but also present in our history. Can any word capture the one who is beyond our language? Of course not. So if anyone asks you about the Trinity, do not try to explain it. Just say, "It's about me, and it's about God, and it is about relationships." When it comes to God, we are at a loss. Humanity will never understand divinity.
There was a boy flying a kite on a cloudy day. The kite, up in the clouds, was out of sight. He was asked, "How do you know it's still up there?" The boy answers, "True, I cannot see it, but I can feel the tug. I know it is there when I feel the tug."
We should not get caught up in the details of argument about the existence of God in the Trinity. Just reflect on your experience of God and soon, like the holding of the strings of an invisible kite, you will find sight is unimportant and words are unimportant. When it comes to God and the things of God, what is important is, like the boy with the kite, you feel the tug.
Fr. Robert Warren
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Robert Warren Signature
Fr. Robert Warren, S.A.
Spiritual Director
Franciscan Friars
www.AtonementFriars.org
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