June 12, 2022
Revised Common Lectionary
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Lectionary for Mass (RC)
Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (2a)
I don’t think that God is terribly interested in doctrine.
That may sound like a strange thing to say on Trinity Sunday, when the Church celebrates one God in three divine persons. It’s worth noting here that the readings we hear from Scripture today include no doctrinal formulas or theological explanations. In fact, they never even mention the Trinity, but instead tell stories and offer images that invite us into a deeper knowledge of God who is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Today’s reading from Proverbs and Psalm 8 are joyful affirmations of God’s work of creation. The very world in which we live, indeed the entire cosmos, gives witness to a God whose love overflows in creative energy. In the reading from Proverbs, we hear that even before the dawn of creation, God the Source brought forth Lady Wisdom, who was both the Creator’s delight and master builder in the creative work.
While this passage from Proverbs is not itself a reference to Christ, for Christians the figure of Lady Wisdom evokes language in the first chapter of John’s Gospel about the role of Christ in creation: “[The Word] was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (Jn 1:2-3). God the Source of being creates in and through the Word who is Christ. The very world in which we live gives witness to the love of the Creator and the Word.
The Bible tells the story of a God who has not been content to remain aloof from creation but has chosen to be involved in the most intimate way possible. Christ is Emmanuel, God-with-us: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14). In his life, ministry, death, and resurrection, we have experienced God’s very presence, love, and compassion for wounded and sinful humanity. He healed the sick, identified with those on the margins, resisted the powerful, and gave himself over to suffering and death. In Christ God has fully embraced our life, our suffering, and even our death.
Even now God’s love continues to be “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). We have received “the Spirit of truth” (Jn 16:13), who continues to guide us and draw us into the life of God that Jesus proclaimed.
The Scriptures present the three divine persons as deeply and dynamically related, delighting and living in one another, pouring out the divine life and love into the hearts of human beings and into the entire universe. This relationship was expressed by some early church leaders by the Greek word perichoresis, or circle dance. The love of the three divine persons flows among them in a dance so powerful that it also moves outward, passing into the created universe while also drawing us into its circle and its life.
Today’s celebration is less about scratching our heads in a search for theological explanations than about rejoicing in the God who has created us in love, has come to live among us, and continues to abide within and among us. Let us join in the dance!
A Hymn for Today: “O Lord, Our Lord, Throughout the Earth”
Scottish minister, hymn writer, and song leader John L. Bell, FHS, has created a contemporary metrical text for today’s psalm that celebrates the amazing love that God has revealed in the work of creation.
O LORD, our Lord, throughout the earth
how glorious is your name,
and glorious too where unseen heavens
your majesty proclaim.
O infant lips, in children’s song
a strong defense you raise
to counter enemy and threat,
and foil the rebel’s ways.
When I look up and see the skies
which your own fingers made,
and wonder at the moon and stars,
each perfectly displayed;
then must I ask, “Why do you care?
Why love humanity?
And why keep every mortal name
fixed in your memory?”
Yet such as us you made and meant
just less than gods to be;
with honor and with glory, LORD,
you crowned humanity.
And then dominion you bestowed
for all made by your hand,
all sheep and cattle, birds and fish
that move throughout sea or land.
O LORD, our Lord, throughout the earth
how glorious is your name.
Text: John L. Bell, b. 1949. © 1993 Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community, Scotland, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent. Used by permission under OneLicense #A-729857
Tune: TRAMPS AND HAWKERS
Image Credit: Trinity Knot Symbol
“Word and Song: A Lectionary Reflection” is written by the Executive Director of The Hymn Society, Rev. Dr. Mike McMahon. For his full bio, click here and scroll down to the “staff” section.
To receive these weekly reflections by email, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and type “Lectionary” in the subject line.