I've struggled with writing today about what should be a joyous celebration of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity and what that has to do with the current world situations. I can't help but be troubled and yet thankful at the same time as I consider the love of God and the Blessed Trinity for each of us. I put this out there knowing that by the time you read this it may already not be current. This world around us is changing so quickly with so many critical issues. And yet, in God's wisdom He has placed the celebration of the Most Holy Trinity on this weekend. So how do we explain Trinitarian love in light of the chaos in this troubled and broken world?
I'm sure we are all disturbed and deeply troubled by the killing of George Floyd last week. So many thoughts have run through my head in this past week - the words don't seem to fully describe how I'm feeling - outraged, sickened, angry, confused, disgusted, in disbelief - so many thought and emotions! How can this still be happening in our world today - I think back to the civil unrest of the 60's, Martin Luther King Jr.,Rosa Parks, I think of Rodney King, there are so many instances just through my own life to today, how can this be? Aren't we more educated, more compassionate, less judgmental by now? Or are we kidding ourselves? Have we not learned anything from the past?
We've changed laws, we've elected a black President, we have black mayors, black police chiefs, black political leaders, very intelligent and influential black leaders of all backgrounds and yet we still have such injustice and division. Through the week I've thought of all my black friends, colleagues, and co-workers - who are hard workers and smart - I look forward to being around them and talking with them. I tried to think of them all by name and realize it's futile because I don't think of them by color, it would be like me thinking of other friends, colleagues and co-workers as Irish, Polish, Italian, German, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, .... - I don't think of any of them in that way, but I hurt for them, I hurt for us as a nation, as a people.
Personally, I couldn't watch the whole video of the brutal killing, but I saw the end of it - I can't get the image out of my mind, similar to how I can't get the images of Auschwitz out of my mind, nor should I. I read a post that was shared with me of a black man who lives in Myrtle Beach, he's college educated, owns his own appliance repair business, he's considered one of the best repairmen in the area, yet he said he gets pulled over in his work van, in uniform at least 6 times a year "just because." He hasn't broken any law and there's no good reason except that he's black. He doesn't go out after dark even though he could use the business, but if he's called and it's after dark, he doesn't go out - he accepts all of this as it's "just the way it is." Del & I worked with a nurse for many years, a good nurse who is black, who shared that when she walks into a store most times someone is watching her every move so that she doesn't steal something, she has come to expect it. We may take offense to the accusation of being one of "white privilege," I've read some perspective on this - maybe "privilege" isn't the right word. In many case, it's more that we are given more opportunity. Opportunity needs to be equally distributed, the most qualified, the most deserving should be given the opportunity - on a level playing field. I don't worry about getting pulled over "just because", I'm pretty sure someone isn't watching me every time I go into a store.
I read of a man talking about how upset and shaken his 19 year old son is. He told his dad and mom that since he received his drivers license his greatest fear is being stopped by law enforcement. He said "dad, my plan is to call you and put my phone on speaker." He can't focus, he was trying to study for a science exam and couldn't get past the events going on around him. This same man also described his 7 year old son while watching the news asked "Why did the police officer do that? Where was the good cop?" He was visibly disturbed and afraid and asked again "Why didn't the white police officer take his knee off the black man's neck?" The dad didn't have an answer. All he could say is - let's pray about it son - and so they did.
The big question for us is: "How can I change this?" "Can I change this?" We can't do this alone - and that's the key. We don't have to!! The relationship of the 3 distinct persons in the Trinity are One, and we are invited to be one in relationship with them. Jesus is one with the Father, the Holy Spirit is the exchange of love between the Father and the Son who unites them into one being. Jesus promised to not leave us alone when He ascended to the Father by sending us this Spirit of love which is that same love between Himself and the Father so that we can be united with them.
I don't know about you but I need a re-start, I need to get my bearings for where we are as a country, where we are as brothers and sisters. For some reason I keep coming back to the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, the pledge we said each day in school, as we do in our Holy Name meetings, with our hand over our hearts.
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I'm going to keep my flag out until at least Independence Day, and say those words of the pledge each day - slowly , and with meaning, thinking of each word - especially "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We are a divided country, a divided people - we need unity, we need to reach out to our brothers and sisters and have dialogue, we need to listen - to understand, if we are to move forward as Christians and as a Christian nation. Without liberty there is no justice; without justice, there will be no liberty.
No matter where we are on this journey, we have further to go - and more to do. The central mission of living the Trinity message is one of loving and having relationship with our brothers and sisters and with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What that means is personal to each one of us, we have unique talents and gifts and we each encounter different people at different times through each day. The reality of our lives right now is that we are living through one crisis after another that has affected every part of our lives. Will you allow the love of the Blessed Trinity to be in your thoughts, words, and actions today? Tomorrow? And every day? I invite you to take some time this week to think about the 3 distinctly different yet united persons of the Trinity and work to develop a relationship with each one individually and as a whole and use this to grow in relationship with your brothers and sisters in the world.