I Thought You Should Know | Belonging to God means having power over sin, Satan
Trinity Sunday - 2012
The readings on this, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, are both awe-inspiring and intimacy inviting.
They are awe-inspiring because Moses recalls for his people the dramatic way in which God broke into the consciousness of the Jewish people in order to form them into His chosen people!
Moses is making allusions to several of God's awe-inspiring interventions in the lives of the Israelites. First, He is alluding to the appearance of God to Moses in the burning bush, a bush that was never consumed by fire. It was in that place that God chose Moses to lead His people out of Egypt.
Moses is also alluding to the Exodus event, by which God led the Israelites out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, by spectacular powers, powers that the Egyptian gods could not imitate.
Finally, Moses is alluding to the appearance of God on Mount Sinai where He made a covenant with the Israelites and gave them His commandments written in stone.
Moses' point is very simple. He is saying to them, "There has never been a god in the universe who has been able to do what your God has done for you. It has never been known in the history of mankind that any other God has ever shown such power and such love for a people. Therefore, He deserves your worship and your obedience. This is the only one and true God. He calls you to obedience so 'that you and your children after you might prosper'"!
While today's first reading is very awe-inspiring, today's second reading from St. Paul's letter to the Romans is very intimacy inducing. He tells us, "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, though whom we cry, 'Abba, Father!'"
What a dramatic shift has take place since the revelation on Mount Sinai! Paul goes on to say that through Christ "we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ ... ." God has given His own Spirit to us so that with Christ we have become children of God, calling God our "Abba," a term which implies that we are very dear to our Father and He is very dear and near to us.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
"It (Baptism) signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the paschal mystery of Christ" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1239).
In Baptism we become beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit. In other words, this is our identity. We are called into the intimacy of the First Family. What a wonderful pedigree we have!
The more we are aware of our true identity as belonging to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the more power we have over sin, and over Satan!
Satan does not want us to know who we are! He doesn't want us to know that the more we are aware of our power flowing from the Holy Trinity, the more he is afraid of us, because when we remember who we really are, Satan must flee!
Let us apply this to concrete situations. Take a look at any weakness we might have flowing from any of the capital sins, including Pride, Lust, Wrath or Gluttony. As soon as one of these temptations comes along, we are immediately reminded of our past failures in one or more of these areas. It may be that the Evil One triggers this memory!
Instead, we need to listen to another memory coming from the Holy Spirit, reminding us that we belong to the Holy Trinity. We are not just persons with human weakness! We are not just persons with a history of failures in one or more of these areas. Because we belong to the Most Holy Trinity, we have power flowing from the Most Holy Trinity to help us in our struggle.
With this reawakened awareness of the power within us flowing from the Holy Trinity each of us can simply respond to the temptation by saying, "I am not going there! Period!" If we really mean this with all the authority we have, we will suddenly find ourselves in deep peace.
In moments such as this we suddenly experience that our victory was a collaborative effort between our individual wills and the Holy Spirit within us! We made a good choice, and with St. Paul we can "know Him and the power of His resurrection."
Overcoming sin in our lives is not a matter of becoming discouraged because of our past failures, but of remembering God's power within us to combat evil. When we remember our true identity and act upon it, it spells defeat for Satan, "for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
The more I remember that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit, a beloved child of the Father and a brother or sister of Jesus, the more readily I will say in time of temptation, "I choose not to go there!" Our intimacy with the Holy Trinity conveys real power in time of temptation! Living in the intimacy of the Holy Trinity is having joyful fun.
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