For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,John 3:16
so that everyone who believes in him
might not perish but have eternal life.
This weekend is marked, ecclesially, by the celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity, which is revealed throughout Scripture, tells us that God is a community of persons, a community of love.
God’s love is so great it is expansive. It doesn’t remain closed in on itself. God’s love is so great it includes the whole world. God the Father so loved the world that he gave his Son and sent their Spirit.
Also, not far from our thoughts this weekend is the tragic situation unfolding across our nation over the past week: the twin scourges of racism, which is very real, and violence, which is always to be regretted. Each has come, in a truly surrealistic way, in the midst of a global pandemic. It has created a scenario that was literally unimaginable.
It is said we only really believe the parts of the Bible that we put into action. One of the most illuminating passages of Scripture on the Trinity is John 3:16, which teaches us that God’s love has no borders or boundaries. If we really believe that, then love is only really love when it’s doing something. We begin with those around us but we reach beyond them too. Application makes all the difference.
Passively avoiding racism and violence is a good start. But Trinitarian love calls us deeper, towards an active work of justice and reconciliation.
How do we make application of God’s word in such a time as this? What can we do? What can we, as individuals and together, as local church communities, do in the face of deeply entrenched, systemic racism and incoherent violence? These problems seem insurmountable in good times; during these difficult days they can become overwhelming.
First thing, we can turn to Scripture and prayer. The feeling of helplessness that has become apparent in the last week is paralyzing and will keep us from the work that we can do. It’s vital that we turn to the Lord and allow Father, Son, and Spirit to move our hearts.
Second, we can use this time to learn what the Church teaches about racism and is doing to combat injustices in our country. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has plenty of resources on their website.
Third, if you’re a member of our parish or would like to get involved at our parish, check out http://www.churchnativity.com/missions. We work directly with partner organizations who live and work in the communities we serve. Locally, we have safe and rewarding opportunities to serve right here in our city of Baltimore. And meanwhile, why not join us this weekend in our “Virtual Café” for a frank discussion of the lessons of the weekend’s Scripture after Mass.
None of these steps are going to change the world. But prayer, learning more, and getting involved through simple, specific acts of service are love in action. And love in action can change the world.