Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday, and move from the Easter Season back into Ordinary Time – the days of discipleship as a church. As we cross this threshold we root ourselves in the truth of who God is, and who we are called to be.
At the center of our faith is this Trinity who is, in God’s very self, deeply in relationship; Three Persons, united as One in love. This God, who is Abundant Love, pours forth into our world and into our lives, yearning for loving response, calling us to participate in the mission of inviting all of creation into that dance of loving unity. Each and every one of us is made in the image and likeness of this relational God, and we are called to be in loving relationship with God and with one another.
This isn’t a trite, saccharine kind of love. It’s not the kind of love that helps us fall asleep at night, warm and cozy in our beds. It’s a fierce, fiery, energizing, transforming love, that calls us to awaken every morning and go about our days as enfleshers of freedom, and disruptors of every system that obscures God’s love.
Today’s readings remind us that Trinitarian Love draws near to the messy, painful, brokenhearted parts of our world, and concretely brings about liberation, justice, and kindness, in the lives of people throughout history. This Liberating Love is what Moses reminds the people of Israel, freed from slavery in Egypt, to fix upon their hearts. It is the Loving Kindness of God that the Psalmist proclaims as hope to all who suffer. As St. Paul promises, this is the Spirit of Adoption that enfolds us into a family with God’s very self, and with all people. This is the Love that comes to dwell with us in the Incarnation. In his life Jesus, God-With-Us, revealed this Reconciling Love through his every action. All of Jesus’ earthly ministry was aimed towards restoring relationships between humanity and God, and among people. In his teaching, healing, feeding, reconciling, empowering ministry of hope, Jesus presented a vision, a dream, of a world charged with God’s love – he presented it as future promise, and unfolding reality. It is this Mission of Love that leads Jesus to the Cross, and it is this Fierce Love that raises Jesus from the dead and proclaims that nothing can separate us from Love.
This is who God is. Tangible, Joyful, Hope-Filled, Liberating, Life-Giving Fierce Love. This is who we are called to be.
As Church, we must be a sacrament of Love itself, visible signs of the Trinity. We must act decisively with love in our world, in the particularities of our own contexts. In the face of systemic racism, virulent homophobia and transphobia, a deepening climate crisis, xenophobia, exploitative economic systems, white supremacy, and a devastating global pandemic that continues to weigh heavy upon the most marginalized in our world, we, the Body of Christ, must be agents of liberation, justice, restoration, dignity, hospitality, kindness, and peace. St. Paul reminds us that the measure of our kinship with Christ is our willingness to suffer with him. How often do we risk standing alongside the demonized, dehumanized, and discouraged? How might we, individually and as communities of faith, embody love and enflesh hope in our world today? Where are we called to draw closer to suffering with the fierce, fiery, freeing love of God?
My family in faith, we know that for far too long Christians in this country have been silent in the face of violence, oppression, and dehumanization. For far too long Christians have obscured God’s presence in our world through our complicity in systemic injustice, including the sins of white supremacy and colonialism. For far too long we have failed to authentically embody our belief in God’s transformative love. We are reminded today that we cannot claim that we believe in the Trinitarian God without courageously enfleshing God’s kingdom of love and justice here and now. The good news of our faith is that the Trinity is always, and still, communicating Love with presence and action in our world. Empowering and liberating those who are oppressed, inviting conversion of heart to sinners, offering transforming power to our communities. And calling us to partner in Love. We just have to pay attention to Love’s Call:
Today, as I consider the complex intersectional injustices facing our world, I listen deeply, and I hear Fierce Love cry out that Black Lives Matter. I hear Loving Kindness say LGBTQ folks are holy blessings. I hear the Spirit of Adoption call immigrants and refugees my siblings. I hear Reconciling Love inviting us to restored relationship with and within creation. I hear Christ say “I am with you always” to every person suffering in this world today. I hear Fierce Love calling me, calling us, more deeply into a tangibly liberating, transforming, loving way of life.
My friends, by our baptism we are children of God, called to have the same passion for the Trinity’s dream of love and justice that burned in Jesus’ heart and set his path. The Spirit empowers and invites us to continue in the mission of Jesus – to live and love in concrete ways that reveal God’s loving presence. This is the call of discipleship that Jesus gives us in the Gospel today: to go into the world, into the rest of this liturgical year, as disciples of Love. When Jesus charges us with baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” he is not merely assigning us a ritual action to perform, but inviting us to a lifetime of revealing the reality of God’s fiercely loving presence, of immersing the world in the truth of Trinitarian Love. On this Trinity Sunday may we be renewed in our commitment to this Fierce Love, who God is and calls us to be. May we, and all this world, be drenched in Love. Amen.
JoAnn Melina Lopez
JoAnn Melina Lopez
JoAnn Melina Lopez currently serves as Campus Minister for Liturgy at Seattle University. She enjoys listening deeply to students’ stories, creating spaces and opportunities for reflection and prayer, and accompanying young adults in their journey of living the big questions at the intersections of faith, justice, and community.
JoAnn has been immersed in Jesuit education and formation for over a decade. She completed her undergraduate degree at Saint Joseph’s University, before going on to serve as a Jesuit Volunteer in Houston, working with asylum seekers and refugees. She received her Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and joined Seattle U’s Campus Ministry team six years ago. JoAnn was pleasantly surprised to find a job where her talents of finding the perfect gif for any situation, curating playlists that speak to the heart, and selecting the best food on a menu are put to good use.
JoAnn grew up in India and Singapore, where she learned the importance of hospitality, inclusion, sharing meals, and how to live in an multifaith and multicultural world. Having participated in Catholic liturgy on four continents, she marvels at unity in diversity in the Church and is passionate about ritual, prayer, the global Church, and social justice. JoAnn is grateful for the courageous faith of prophetic voices in every generation, and strives to live now for a Church and world that more closely reflects God’s dreams for us.
Beyond campus, JoAnn serves as the Chair of the Program Council for The Ignatian Spirituality Center and is actively involved in her parish, St. James Cathedral.
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