In his 51st World Day of Social Communications message of this year, which was celebrated on May 28, Pope Francis wrote something very peculiar regarding life.
“Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different”.
We Christians believe in a Triune God. Thus, being Christian means believing in the Holy Trinity. The Cathecism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the ‘hierarchy of the truths of faith’. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men ‘and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin’” (no. 234). In simple words the Cathecism is admitting that for us, Christians, the Holy Trinity is the right lens through which we are to read everyday reality.
What are the consequences of such a reading for us and for those around us? One of the greatest effects of holding a Trinitarian outlook on life in general and that in particular, addresses the dire need of improving our relationships. First of all, with the Triune God himself. In the Johnannine Gospel Jesus tells us that those who love and follow his commandments love Him and, by implication, are loved by His and Our Father in Heaven. Moreover, the person who loves Jesus becomes His friend in that Jesus will share himself with him and her. “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). Two verses down Jesus seals this intimate relationship with the one who believes in Him by saying: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).
The second effect of the Trinity bears on our relationship with one another. How instructive is the Angelus address, entitled On the Communion of the Trinity, and Ours, which Pope Francis delivered on May 22 2016. In that address the Pope said:
“But the mystery of the Trinity also speaks to us of ourselves, of our relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, through baptism, the Holy Spirit has placed us in the prayer and the very life of God, who is a communion of love. God is a ‘family’ of three Persons who love each other so much they form a single thing. This ‘divine family’ is not closed in on itself, but is open. It communicates itself in creation and in history and has entered into the world of men to call everyone to form part of it. The trinitarian horizon of communion surrounds all of us and stimulates us to live in love and fraternal sharing, certain that where there is love, there is God.
Our being created in the image and likeness of God-Communion calls us to understand ourselves as beings-in-relationship and to live interpersonal relations in solidarity and mutual love. Such relationships play out, above all, in the sphere of our ecclesial communities, so that the image of the Church as icon of the Trinity is ever clearer. But also in every social relationship, from the family to friendships, to work environments, all of them: they are all concrete occasions offered to us in order to build relationships that are increasingly humanly rich, capable of reciprocal respect and disinterested love”.
How much are we investing in loving, respectful, generous and forgiving interpersonal relationships? Is this not what makes our life really meaningful?
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap