Every Family Has a Favorite

Actually, there may be many favorites in a family depending on who you ask and their level of honesty. It does not necessarily mean we love other members less. It simply means that, for a variety of reasons, we feel closer to one member of the family than another at a particular time.

Favorites change over time depending upon circumstances. At times in my life, I have felt closer to my mother than my father. At other times it was reversed. Of course, there were times when I felt closer to my sister because she was closer to my age with all that implied in an immigrant family. Much depended upon where I was in my growth process. No matter who I felt closest to I never stopped loving my family.

Sometimes we lose sight of the importance of our family. Rightly, and sometimes wrongly, we turn to those outside our family for understanding and support. St. Paul reminds us that just as there are many parts in our one body, we need to remember that we ought to respect all the parts of our body.  So also all members of Christ are important as parts of Christ’s resurrected Body.

In many ways this no different from our attitudes toward ourselves. Sometimes we are more in need of the strength of our physical selves; at other times we are grateful for our minds when we are trying to sort out issues.

What does this say about our Trinitarian family

First, we are members of God’s family. “We dare to say Our Father.” At the same time, we may not realize it but, at any given time, we have favorites in the God Jesus revealed to us under the names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We also speak of God as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. This provides us with another way of naming our relationships with God.

As I look back over my life I realize how, over time, my relationship to God has emphasized one or another person of the Trinity. I suspect many of us relate to God as revealed to us in the person of Jesus, or as some would say God in the flesh. But who of us have not had moments we stood in awe at some aspect of our world and felt a closeness to God as Creator. Or how about the times when we felt the inspiration of the Spirit in understanding something.

I know in my life I have gone through phases where I was most comfortable with Jesus, the Word incarnate.

Richard Rohr offers this prayer with yet another way to look at our relationship to God…

God for us, we call you “Father.”
God alongside us, we call you “Jesus.”
God within us, we call you “Holy Spirit.”
Together, you are the Eternal Mystery
That enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,
Even us and even me.
Every name falls short of your goodness and greatness.
We can only see who you are in what is.
We ask for such perfect seeing—
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Amen.

I can see why he has been praying this prayer for 20 years!

We are images or icons of the Trinity

And then there is Deacon Greg Kandra’s homily reminding us of an action we perform all too routinely, the sign of the cross.

What an incredible gift. What an incredible responsibility. Just think of what that simple gesture of the sign of the cross means.
We touch our heads for the Father – the one whose mere idea, whose smallest thought, created us. This is where we began, in the mind of God.
We touch our hearts for the Son – the one whose unceasing love took him to the cross, and the one who taught us, as well, how to love through his own Sacred Heart.
We touch our shoulders for the Holy Spirit – the one who gives us strength, and who carries us on His shoulders — on His wings if you will – and who enables us to be God’s arms, working on earth.

With the last sentence, think of Vincent asking us to love God with the strength of our arms.

When we make the sign of the cross and pray the sign of the cross with those words, we make of ourselves an offering, and a prayer. We embody what the Trinity represents. And we seek to bring that with our lives and with our actions to all those we meet. We do it in the name of God – all that He is, all that He does. We commit to becoming living images of that Trinity!

We are made in the image and likeness of God – a God revealed as communion and community. The more we build community, the more we become the image and likeness of God! (Check out Fr. Tom McKenna’s reflection “Come on in”!)

Something to think about

  • At this stage of my life which person do I feel closest to?
  • What if we were to live the mystery of Trinitarian communion rather than just puzzle about it?
  • Do we realize living the mystery of God as a communion of persons has the potential to change everything?

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