Exodus 34: 4b-6, 8-9 – 2 Corinthians 13: 11-13 – John 3: 16-18
When praying the Liturgy of the Hours, which has been known in the past as “The Office” or “The Breviary,” I occasionally repeat the words found in Psalm 14: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” The denial of God is not a recent phenomenon. As may as 2600 years ago the author of the Psalms laments it.
Our attention today, as we celebrate God as Trinity, as Father, Son, Holy Spirit, is directed to the Nature of God. How is God known by us who do not deny God, but profess faith in God? Going beyond what wonders of nature, what the marvels of creation, tell us about God, we are willing to accept how God has been revealed to us. We consider how others, through the centuries, through millennia, have known God. In reality, we are willing to accept what is a very simple and direct idea. As magnificently as human beings are capable of so many great things, still we are but creatures, we are not the origin of what we are, there is a source that is beyond us. Some understand this as a “higher power.” Simply stated, our faith is that there is an origin, a source, a power beyond us that we know as a creative and loving God. That is what we profess as believers.
What we understand of this creative and loving God is echoed in the words of Scripture that we have heard today: “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity” “God (who) so loved the world that he gave his only Son so everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.”
As often as these same words have been repeated throughout history, they have not been fully grasped, nor understood, nor believed, nor lived. In our weakness, our self-centeredness, our sinfulness, we have refused to accept the simple notion that God loves us and loves creation. God loves all of us. We have refused because the acceptance of this understanding of God demands a true sense of humility – a humility that is genuinely reflected in our lives. If this is how the God who made us, who made all of creation, is, then this is how we ought to be: merciful, gracious, slow to anger and of great kindness. We, too, ought to reflect a deep-seated love for the world and for all of creation. This is what Jesus Christ sought to teach us. We, however, still struggle to live in this way.
If we would seek to live in this manner, then the grace and peach of the Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit would be with us.
God who creates, God who redeems, God who inspire, is present to us. Our response is to like that of Moses who acknowledges that we are a stubborn, stiff-necked people in need of pardon, Our response is to humbly acknowledge God and how we have distanced ourselves from God by our selfish choices. Having done this, continually doing this, we can willingly, openly and freely reflect in all aspects and attitudes of our lives a true and vibrant faith in a genuinely good and gracious God.