May 30, 2021
Revised Common Lectionary
Lectionary for Mass (RC)
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 (12b)
When I was young, my friend’s mother Mrs. Mulvey frequently let me know that I was welcome for dinner any time at their home just down the street. She used to say, “It’s no problem to throw another potato in the oven.” There would always be enough food and enough room to include a neighbor at their family meal. Her hospitality and the sense of welcome that characterized their family made me feel a sense of belonging and worth.
Although the New Testament does not explicitly articulate the doctrine of the Trinity, there are many passages that speak of the relationships among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Today’s reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans reminds us that those relationships flow outward to welcome and embrace us. The love of the Trinity is a lot like Mrs. Mulvey’s potato but reaches even deeper.
If we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, we are not simply guests at the table of the Holy One—we are embraced as children of God. That makes us siblings of Christ, and thereby elevated to the status of heirs of God. Yes, of course we have always been children of the Holy One, created in the divine image. Yet when we are led by the Spirit, Paul tells us, we also receive the “spirit of adoption” (Rom 8:15). We are written into the will, so to speak, and given the promise of an inheritance beyond imagining with Christ our brother. With him and through the Spirit, we too can cry out, “Abba!”
When Christians profess belief in the Trinity—God who is one yet three—we affirm that the Holy One is all about relationship, community, and love. The love that binds the three divine persons reaches ever outward to create, redeem, abide, and empower. As we have been “born of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5), as we have been baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19), so have we been incorporated into deep, rich, and abiding relationships with God.
And just as we have been welcomed into the Trinity’s circle of love, so are we called to extend that same hospitality, to throw another potato in the oven, and to affirm and elevate others through the power of love.
A Hymn for Today: “Restore in Us, O God”
This hymn by American hymn writer and scholar Carl P. Daw, Jr., FHS, written for the season of Lent, reflects the journey of catechumens preparing for baptism at Easter. It also expresses the longing of all humans to be renewed, restored, and incorporated into the life of the Triune God. The first three stanzas are addressed to each of the three divine persons, while the final stanza is a prayer to the full Trinity.
Restore in us, O God,
the splendor of your love;
renew your image in our hearts,
and all our sins remove.
O Spirit, wake in us
the wonder of your power;
from fruitless fear unfurl our lives
like springtime bud and flower.
Bring us, O Christ, to share
the fullness of your joy;
baptize us in the risen life
that death cannot destroy.
Three-personed God, fulfill
the promise of your grace;
that we, when all our searching ends,
may see you face to face.
Text: Carl P. Daw, Jr., 1987. © 1989, Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission under OneLicense #A-729857.
Tune: BAYLOR, NARENZA, CATECHUMEN
Image Credit: Trinity, Kelly Latimore, 2016
“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.
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