We’re back in Ordinary Time! But just because it is “Ordinary Time” doesn’t mean that it is an ordinary Sunday. This Sunday we celebrate the Holy Trinity! For many of us, we’ve been signing ourselves with “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” since we were toddlers. We’ve memorized every analogy possible to explain this mystery. At times it’s become so common to us, the theology of the Trinity has lost its meaning.
We live in an individualistic society, a “dog eat dog” world. We claw and push our way to the top with no regard for who gets left behind. We vote based off of how it will affect us personally with less concern for how it will affect our neighbor. We see someone in need, but don’t want to spend our time getting involved with someone else’s drama. There is a line of cars sitting patiently in traffic and we zip around them to jump in front, neglecting to care that we’re just making everyone else wait longer. We love encouraging others by saying, “You have to do what’s right for YOU.” It’s ingrained in us to think about ourselves first.
And then there’s the deeper personal pain of living a life of individualism. We show up to church with a big smile on our face, despite spending the weekend crying over a recent loss. We tell everyone all about the wonderful things happening in our lives, hiding the family drama, the mental illness, our own personal failures. We’re treading water, barely making it through the week, and then we feel bad asking our community for help. We feel a sense of guilt when even our best friends help us. We should be able to do it alone!
But that’s not what Christianity says. We’re not meant to do this alone. Even God, the Father, didn’t do this alone. The Trinity is our example. “This God models to us what the dynamic Trinitarian life is all about -- communication, relationship and affection. The quality of our Christian life is based on imitation of the interior life of the Trinity. The Trinity is the model of every human community, from the most simple and elemental, which is the family, to the universal Church.” (Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB)
You can’t live a healthy life alone, so stop pretending that you can. Pick up the phone and call your friend. Be honest about the pain you are suffering. Be humble with your spouse, rather than feeling the need to ‘be strong’ for your family. Admit your shortcomings, your pain, your failures. Allow your church to be your family. Trust that we will love you regardless of what you’re wearing, how perfect your make up is or how big your smile is.
Vulnerability and authenticity are contagious. Consider making a commitment to living in authentic community with at least one person this week, opening up about your struggles or your imperfections. Or consider being a loving ear for someone who needs you, a friend who will drop what you’re doing to serve those in our community. Watch how it encourages others to do the same. We’re all walking the journey of life together – why try to do it alone?