(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Mass-Blog-for-the-Solemnity-of-the-Most-Holy-Trinity-2022.mp3)
Sometimes it seems Jesus bequeathed the keys to this car called his Kingdom to a 16-year-old hormone-addled adolescent. But so far, the promise of three of these keys has kept humanity from driving his car off a cliff: wisdom, hope and truth.
Up to the first half of the 20th century, these keys helped even public school children in the U.S. start their day. In many classrooms, Psalm 23 went hand-in-hand with the Pledge of Allegiance in helping kids know the comfort of an ever-present protective spirit bigger than themselves:
“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want. … Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
Then “constitutionalists” ruled public access to such blessed assurance “unconstitutional.”
A constitution is defined as “a body of fundamental principles according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.” By what surer system could a body be governed than one accessed via wisdom, hope and truth? These keys are encased in the trinity of this Sunday’s mass readings, accompanied by Psalm 8, which opens within us the awareness to ask God,
What is man that you should be mindful of him?
The psalmist then answers:
You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet.
This 16-year-old jerk? Yes, we can be jerks, but we’re smart enough to want those keys our Father offers.
This virtue was God’s partner at humanity’s constitution (Reading 1, Prv 8:22-31):
“Beside him as his craftsman, I was his delight day by day,” Wisdom tells us, “playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the human race.”
In Reading 2 (Rom 5:1-5), Paul tells us that’s what keeps us perpetual adolescents from surrendering to the raging human hormones afflicting us, because:
“… affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
John’s gospel tells us this IS Christ’s spirit, the Godly Positioning System that promises to guide us to ALL truth (Jn 16:12-15). Ultimately, this is what keeps us stupid humans from veering off into oblivion.
Faith, hope and truth. Without those keys, we perpetual 16-year-old adolescents would be calling oblivion our kingdom. But as long as we keep reaching for those keys, we’ll always have access to the love manifested in God the Father, Son and Spirit.
We so easily choose to ignore the many ways God offers us the keys to His Kingdom. He has given the rules and the owners manual in the Church he knew we needed and in Holy Scripture. He gives a
detailed explanation and guidelines in the catechism of the Catholic Church.
He sent us many witnesses in the saints and martyrs of the Church throughout history. He gives himself to us in the Holy Trinity at our baptism and in the Holy Eucharist as often as we choose to receive Him.
We, like his first disciples seem rather daft when it comes to understanding all the Christ has to offer us. Thankfully he is patient with us as his love never fails, even when we do!
Maybe we humans really ARE like 16-year-olds, Thomas–especially when it comes down to remembering the supposedly COMMON sense of The Golden Rule: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” This is a GOSPEL truth (Matthew 7:12), but someone who footnoted this verse online reminded his readers: “This saying is found in both positive and negative form in pagan and Jewish sources, both earlier and later than the gospel.”
It may be in our soul’s Owner’s Manual, but like kids overwhelmed by a complex new toy, the instructions are sometimes the first thing we disown.