We are all children of God

26 May 2024 Trinity Sunday Year B

The Jesuit spiritual writer, Mark Link, begins his widely read book Experiencing Prayer (1984) with an extract from Eugene Ionesco’s play The Bald Soprano (1950). In the scene, a couple meet and enter dialogue about their lives. They discover that they share much in common – they live in the same city, on the same street, in the same apartment, and they each have a daughter named Alice.


Much to their surprise, they also discover they are husband and wife.

As Mark Link observes, this story is repeated in many households, where husbands and wives, sons and daughters, rarely develop deep and abiding relationships. They never truly come to “know” their life partner or sibling, as their relationship remains “largely on the surface.”


Similarly, our relationship with God is often superficial. Outwardly we may appear committed to our faith. We wear crosses, scapulars or miraculous medals. We attend Mass every Sunday. We can recite the Nicene Creed by heart, proclaiming that in Jesus, God became human.


However, many of us do not really “know” this God who became like us. We do not share an intimate relationship with the divine, the ground of all being, the life that gives us life, despite our belief in the Incarnation.


Today’s gospel reminds us that we were baptised into a community that has for centuries been initiating catechumens into the faith via the Trinitarian formula of Father, Son and Spirit (Mt 28:19; cf. 2 Cor 13:13). Paul writes to the Romans (8:14-17) in our Second Reading, that through Baptism we are adopted into the family of God, liberated from slavery, and called to intimate relationship with the Father through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.


Like Matthew, Paul and the first Christians saw in the coming of Christ an invitation to commune with God whose essential nature was a mutual sharing of three persons in one Godhead. As John says elsewhere, “God is love; so, whoever does not love, does not know God” (1 John 4:8).


It is because God is a trinity of persons that we can speak of God as love. But it also because God the Father sent his Son into the world that we can both know and participate in the love of God. While we can come to appreciate the love of God by looking at the divine handiwork in creation, we can only truly come to “know” God’s through the divine Word made fully incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth.


The story of the Incarnation and its revelation of the Trinity teaches us that because God became human, we can become like God. Entering communion with God through Christ, we are transformed and empowered by the Spirit to transcend our limited existences, live lives of love and self-sacrifice, and inherit eternal lives in God.


Like the couple in Eugene Ionesco’s play, we are called to a conversation with God, which leads us to discover we are children of God.


Ian J Elmer

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