STATEMENT FROM THE JUSTICE & PEACE DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE ON GENDER VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA The last couple of weeks have seen the media inundated...
These reflections are, more often than not, composed against the
background of music or opera. The music is, generally, straight
classical – and the opera is Italian or French but I do enjoy a little
Benjamin Britten, some of George Gershwin, and a fair amount of
Wagner. As long as the music is harmonious I am happy. I am not an
admirer of anything written on a discord – so Sibelius, for example,
is not much sought after. Schoskatovich?
I like harmony. I am uncomfortable with discord.
It is the harmony of the Trinity which attracts me
. The three persons of the one God, creating, working and living,
TOGETHER – in perfect harmony. If, as we are told, we are created in
the image and likeness of our God, then the Trinity is the model of
our living. In addition, the Trinity is the model of every Family,
Parish, Diocese and the Church Universal – at every level the Church
must be creative, working, and living in harmony. HOW DO WE SHAPE?
I must be comfortable in my family – family of home, parish and
church. The Father is comfortable with the Son – and each of these
comfortable with the Spirit. None of them are mischief makers! You may
well recall that Saint Peter in the second reading on the Seventh
Easter Sunday warns against any member of the community being a
Mischief makers destroy harmony and introduce discord. The question
‘how do we shape’ was asked a little earlier? It is not easy to always
be harmonious in our relationships but it
IS what we called to be. I start to be a mischief maker when I stop
being creative, working or living. No doubt my problem is that I do
not understand Sibelius or Schoskatavich? Neither do I understand the
Trinity, but I do understand its harmony.
If we read
THIS SUNDAY’S PSALM [DANIEL 3: 29 – 30. 31 – 33. 34] with care we can
come to only one conclusion – THE PRIMACY OF GOD OVER ALL AND
EVERYTHING. We cannot afford to pay lip service to this truth. Discord
enters my life when I place myself in overall command and choose to
forfeit the living work of a creative Christian. How creative am I as
a disciple of the Lord?
Take a look at
OUR FIRST SCRIPTURE [EXODUS 34: 4b – 6. 8 – 9]. “The Lord passed
before him, and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and
gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and
faithfulness’.” Is this not the best description of the Trinity? If we
reflect carefully, we may well discern in these words the loving,
living, working and creative reflection of Father, Son and Spirit.
Indeed, we should also notice that it is a self-portrait! Another look
at this self-portrait may well provide us with a penetrating
examination of conscience. How do I destroy the harmony in my life and
the life of others? Am I merciful, gracious, slow to anger, with a
love and faithfulness which is way beyond the norm (abounding)? Hear
the words of Paul in TODAY’S SECOND READING [2 CORINTHIANS 13: 11 –
13]: “mend your ways, heed my appeal, agree with one another, live in
peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
The Trinity is a hard act to follow. Yet we were baptised in its name,
called to be a reflection ….. we bless ourselves, and others,
WITH and IN its name. We have to hear its call as well as its
challenge. We have to enjoy its harmony – almost know it by heart, but
be aware that it is a harmony as one movement of the symphony
(concerto) follows the others. There are as we all know, many
different symphonies and concertos in our life and living, different
stages, moods, drama, sadness and joy. The harmony and movements of
the Trinity fit them all. All we have to do is to learn and know them
well. The Trinity is the CD of our life and faith.
However, it is no good merely having it in our possession. No good,
every now and again, taking it off the shelf and looking at its
contents. It has to be removed from its case, placed in the cradle,
press ‘close’, then ‘play’
THIS SUNDAY’S GOSPEL [JOHN 3: 16 – 18]
provides the clearest, simplest, and basic message: God loves, he
sends – and we believe.
We believe in the creative, living and working ways of our Trinitarian
God. It is a masterpiece of harmony. It is the Lord’s own composition
and is easily available on CD which is our basic possession of faith!
Play it regularly …. hear it as a reminder, a challenge – but always
as balm for living and encouragement to be creative, with yourself and
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: to God
who is, who was, and who is to come.