2022.09.30 Sunday Gospel Reflections

Lord's Day Reflection: ‘Transformed in the Holy Trinity'

As the Church marks the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Fr. Marion Nguyen, OSB, offers his thoughts on the day’s liturgical readings under the theme: “Transformed in the Holy Trinity".

By Fr. Marion Nguyen, OSB*

Begin with the end in mind. It is Steven Covey’s second of seven habits of highly effective people.

A similar idea is presented when Jesus enjoins the disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).

This is the official beginning of the life of the Trinity on earth because the Father sent the Son into the world and has accomplished the work of salvation, and the Holy Spirit has descended upon the apostles and believers.

Now is the beginning of the life of believers that initiates with the Trinity. The presence of the Trinity should make all things new for us (cf. Rv 21:5).

Trinitarian life changes our life and transforms it. It changes our life by becoming its new end, or, telos.

We no longer live for ourselves but for God by invitation (cf. 2 Cor 15:5; Jn 17:21). Because of this new end, our life is transformed.

It does not need to be mastered by desires and inordinate inclinations; instead, these are tamed by wisdom, self-control, fortitude, and according to their ability to bring us to our end.

A transformative effect of this reality is that our desires are not negated, but find deeper meaning and give glimpses of the life to come.

Desire for food no longer needs to be a temptation for gluttony, but simply gives life to the body. This alludes to the feeding of the mind with the Word (Mt 4:4) and the nourishment of the Body and Blood for the soul (Jn 6).

Injustice no longer needs to be an occasion for outbursts of anger, but simply a recognition of a need for healing that can inspire personal commitment to acts of mercy (Mt 25:31-46) and increase hope for the Sun of Justice to return (Ml 4:2).

These are only a few examples of the transformative effects of the Trinity; the truth is, the Trinity encompasses all.

Hadewijch of Antwerp, the 13th-century mystic, envisioned it in one of her letters: “God is in everything… God is the unitive storm that condemns or blesses each thing according to its worth. He has fruition in himself in his depth, according to the glory of the being that he is in himself”.

Begin with the Trinity and everything regains its appropriate dignity in the Trinity now and in the world to come.

*  Abbot of St. Martin Abbey, Lacey, Washington

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25 May 2024, 15:00