Trinity Sunday, Year C-2010

From VincentWiki
Whoever is without love does not know God (1 Jn. 4:8)

Commenting specifically on “the Father is greater than I” in Jn. 14:28, Rodney Whitacre writes [1]:

The false teaching of Arius is still quite prevalent,
and thus the issue of Jesus’ deity continues to be debated.
But even among those who accept his oneness with God there is
dispute over the nature of this relationship. Since the life of
the church derives from and is to reflect the pattern of the
life of God the question of hierarchy and equality within the
Godhead has significant implications for our view both of God
and of the life to which he calls us. Unfortunately, most of
the debate seems to be between those promoting hierarchy on the
one side and equality on the other. Few are wrestling with what
seems to be the biblical picture of both hierarchy and equality.
Fallen human society can understand hierarchy and equality separately,
but to have them both at the same time is a concept found rarely if
ever in fallen humanity. But then Jesus is quite clear that his
kingdom is not of this world (18:36; cf. 8:23; 14:30). The patterns
of kingdom life proposed by both hierarchicalists and egalitarians are
altogether too much of this world. We need to take more seriously the
otherworldly revelation John is passing on to us. We need now as much
as ever the Paraclete to instruct us.

Indeed, we need the Holy Spirit, to guide us to all truth, as today’s gospel reading says, or to teach us everything and remind us of all that Jesus taught, as is indicated in Jn. 14:26 and 1 Jn. 2:27. The world is of no help to us in knowing Jesus Christ, and him crucified, as the wisdom, the revelation, the presence, of God. In the first place, the world has not seen or heard, nor can it even have a concept of, this mysterious, hidden, wisdom (cf. 1 Cor. 2:7-10; Jn. 14:17). In the second place, since this wisdom is a matter of divine revelation, worldly or natural categories or words, therefore, will not do; to the world, this divine wisdom will only seem to be but foolishness (cf. 1 cor. 2:12-14).

But above all, we need the Holy Spirit, through whom God’s love has been poured out into our hearts, so that in him and through Jesus Christ we may have access to the Father and be given a share in divine life as the Father’s adopted children (Eph. 2:18; Rom. 8:11, 14-17; Gal. 4:6). By the power of the Holy Spirit, then, we can remain in Jesus and in his love, keeping his commandments just as he has kept the Father’s commandments and remained in his love (Jn. 15:6, 10; 1 Jn. 2:24). And thereby is our life confirmed to derive from and reflect genuinely the pattern of the very life of God, wherein hierarchy and equality are not mutually exclusive and equality with authority, or the source or fountain of divinity, means humble service and obedience as well as finding delight in the human race (cf. Phil. 2:6-11 and today’s first reading).

And let me bet that they have easier time grasping both hierarchy and equality in the Most Holy Trinity and allowing themselves to be caught up in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, those in whom the heart of the Church especially throbs, namely, the most humble, the most abandoned, the poor who have the true religion (cf. Robert P. Maloney, C.M., “Some Helpful Distinctions in Catholic Life,” Seasons in Spirituality [Hyde Park, N.Y., New City Press, 1998] 104). These have easier time, perhaps, than those who are criticized in three letters to the editor in the May 24, 2010 issue of America either as hiring and firing at will teachers and administrators, or as leaving one with little confidence of their being capable of reform, or as needing a good dose of Christian poverty. Any one of these three letters might as well accuse those it criticizes of showing contempt for the church of God and ending up not eating the Lord’s supper because they make others feel ashamed and fail to wait for one another when they come together to eat (cf. 1 Cor. 11:17-34).