..about 8am each morning, I sit down at my desk in my office & open my computer..log in password & suddenly I am open to the world for the rest of the day; a vast window of opportunity, & yet 2hrs earlier, I had logged into a far more vital & potentially life changing worldwide network. As Matins begins at 6am, I make the Sign of the Cross on my lips, our spiritual password, which brings us on line to the Trinity..helping everything we do to be done in the name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit. Amen. This is Trinity Sunday, the day to acknowledge our divine inclusion into the relationship of the three divine persons in one God.. In 1st rdg Moses asks “Lord come with us; true we are a headstrong people, but forgive us & adopt us” the chosen people then, & now us, asking God for a second chance.. notice it isn’t “Lord we’d like to come with you”..it is “Lord come with us “.. the wonderful invitation God dreams about..being invited into your life, into your home, your prayer, your lockdown, & especially into your heart.. ..to “come with us”, to journey with us on our “at-home” camino..
..the Father, who lovingly imagined you into his life 3 million years ago.. “precious, not to be lived without, & greatly..” ; Lord have mercy ..the Son who came to teach us by example how to love & how to be loved.. “my son my daughter, all I have is yours..” ; Christ have mercy …the Holy Spirit who came to breathe into us the life love & truth of the divine.. “come down O love divine, seek you this soul of mine” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..a short powerful gospel..of separatism..what our Catholicism is best at or worst at, depending on which side of the divide you find yourself..”find yourself”..eventually discover your real self in real relationship with God himself..”my Lord & my God”.. remember the eucharistic acclamation which was deleted some years ago..thankfully never forgotten, the words of our doubting Thomas when he was invited not just to see the Risen Christ but to touch into His wounds, to realise that from now on Thomas’ own inevitable wounds of daily life would have a divine context “do this in memory of me”.. & suddenly Thomas found himself, his real self..& the password?..one word “believe” to believe whether we have seen or have yet to see..to be open to the opportunity of seeing the divine wounds in a Covid ward or a broken heart in a fractured family relationship damaged by lockdown, inflicting a life changing injury..”not I Lord surely?”..”why has God dealt me this hand?..why am I always left on the outside looking in at a family sitting round the fire enjoying themselves?”..separatism..is it a life threatening virus or a life changing opportunity?..how have you read it thus far?..& are you open to being given the password which could could be lifechanging & no longer life threatening?..essence is in gospel..”no one who believes will be condemned; whoever refuses to believe is condemned already” divine separatism at its finest..Johns theology is realised eschatology ..[don’t switch off thinking it is too complicated ]..”realised” simply means it is here & now..a reality..eschaton means the last times..some call it the day of judgement..totally different to separatism you & I were schooled in & dragooned into..sheep & goats, rock & sand, saint & sinner, chiselled painfully abusively into our conscience when Our Lord writes on our heart at the moment of our birth “mine forever, my beloved, retained & redeemed”..for John there is no one final day of judgement, each day of our life is a day of happy reckoning, of celebration..of growth towards wisdom maturity..we all have bad days, when we slip back away from the love we call divine by a few poor foolish self-centred decisions, a day of setback of bad choices..but week on, month on, & year on, we can honestly truthfully acknowledge the good days far far outweigh the bad, the goaty days, & we gradually journey closer to God & divinity on our on-line camino..perhaps most inspiring story I have heard of pilgrims walking the camino to Compostela is of a handicapped woman in wheelchair who set off alone to wheel it..& she completed it “together”..as fellow pilgrims, each with their own infirmities handicaps addictions, self-distancing from their real selves, met her & themselves in her, black sheep grumpy goats existing in invisible prisons & gradually finding a way out of lockdown, through image of a covid ward & a nurse holding hand of a dying patient in persona his family & his Creator..three persons in one God”together”..our gospels are littered with casualties of separatism..the father of the prodigal son, unthinkingly starting celebrations before his workaholic elder son got home; the bridegroom unthinkingly starting wedding feast with 5 squeaky clean bridesmaids with full flasks of self-preparedness in a locked wedding hall..& not waiting expectantly for the 5 far wiser ones who had gone to refill flasks of oil..locked out in a story written by those unhealthily attached to a points-based system of entry..where I wonder have we heard that recently?..as foolish goats & late guests now labelled excluded as migrants..”Lord when did we see you late, lacking certificates of worthiness, excluded, outside looking in?” & pray, where I am in these stories of disappointment, on outside looking in at a holy family having a great time sitting round the fire” together?..I read some time ago of Sue Perkins, star of Bake Off & a seasoned presenter of adventurous stories of the distant & distanced..”I am never alone; I need to connect with people..without words I am lost..I only see grey”..filming one documentary about Karung tribe in Northern Cambodia at head of Mekong river..long trek to get there & half way the translators, who were vital to help communicate across 3 dialects, walked out..she & crew continued their camino & reached settlement feeling totally isolated with 30 women looking at them..& what came to her mind? “we are all the same” she broke ice unknowingly by sitting down in some pig poo..3days into stay with smiles nods & no words, as Sue went through Kashi forest one of women, holding her hand, she thought to herself “how can I feel so much for a stranger with whom I don’t share a language?” & she said to her in English “I think I have known you all my life”..the woman muttered something in return..2months later back in BBC studios, producer called her over “you must listen to this” he said..they had, by then, been able to translate the womans words, voiced to Sue on their walk holding hands; the woman had said to her in her own dialect “I think I have known you all my life” would you believe it?..the togetherness we all seek & few find..Sue spoke of a life spent with words & bluster, hiding her sentimentality & vulnerability, of “being outside looking in; as a woman, because I don’t have kids, & I am not 20 any longer, there is always a reason to be outside the glass” ..until the “now” of Pope Francis, when we no longer worship devoutly the Trinity from a pious distance but realise now our need of them, & their need of us “let my Lord”, Father Son & Holy Spirit, “come with us”..the sacrament of the present moment to invite them, in or out?, to our side of the glass which, for a lifetime thus far, has socially & spiritually distanced them from us..from me..a kairos divine time moment to begin to believe in that everlasting relationship between my Lord & my God & me..in process of becoming for millions of years & never ever to end, when our earthly camino ends & the infinite journey of accompaniment with through & in God continues..it is what we pray for at each Mass; in each Mass a pause moment on our sacramental camino/ pilgrimage when priest, at end of Eucharistic Prayer, proclaims the great Amen..”through him & with him & in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour & glory is yours Almighty Father, for ever & ever..Amen.”& then what do we go on to recite & believe in “as we say together.” together..the Lords Prayer “our” Father..of sheep/goats black lambs/strays sand/rock sinner/saint, believer & as yet unbeliever, with the only one distanced & self-certificated excluded?..the one who refuses to believe, self-condemned, self-sentenced to hell..& what is image of hell I share with my student groups? “to look through the glass of separation from the outside, looking in on the holy family having a great time round the fire” & because of my conscious decision to refuse, over a lifetime, any sense of the divine, now in self-isolation for infinity..the pain fire of which is to find oneself lost “being outside looking in” & for infinity..when all that was needed..is needed “now” not later today, if you can break free from the shackles of postponement, but “now” to voice your gentle faltering words of invitation “let my Lord come with me”..tell him what he already knows, but is delighted to hear it translated from your heart into a shared language of intimacy & love “I think I have known you all my life..” a love story in the making, & password protected.. [ Trinity Sunday Yr A Jn 3;16-18 ]