Holy Trinity is a feast for families, parishes

John Connelly

WORD MADE FLESH

Trinity Sunday – May 31, 2015
Deuteronomy 4.32-34, 39-40 | Psalm 33 | Romans 8.14-17 | Matthew 28.16-20
May 18, 2015

All of us came from a family. Our family may have been less than perfect. It may have been broken or it may have seemed ideal. One thing is certain: Our family has a profound effect on us all.

Authentic family life is one of the deepest longings of the human heart.

All who are led by the Spirit are children of God. – Romans 8.14

'All who are led by the Spirit are children of God.'

Romans 8.14

This weekend we celebrate Trinity Sunday. This is a call to reflect on family. God is a family. A Trinity. Three distinct persons in one God. A communion of life and love.

We want to go deeper in relationship with God and others, but all too often feel stuck. This is why the Church is calling us to a deep renewal. Our parishes are called to become a deeply lived experience of the family life of God.

In The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today, the Canadian Conference of Bishops states the case clearly, "The mission of the parish today is challenging indeed. Yet as Christians, we possess the Good News that our world needs, and is in fact longing for. . . .

"May our parish communities, within themselves and in their dealings with society, work to lead all men and women to a greater knowledge of, and love for, Jesus Christ, and by doing so truly become 'the initial budding forth of [his] kingdom'" (26).

In his book Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish, Father James Mallon speaks of the need for "meaningful community" as essential for parish renewal. Do we have meaningful community in our parishes? Do we truly live as a family of faith? Now is the time to deepen our commitment to this timely call to renewal.

The renewal of parishes is a call to allow people to experience the family life of God.

Imagine a parish filled with what the pope calls "missionary disciples." A people on fire with the love of God. A people of deep prayer and ongoing spiritual formation and growth. A people who live as a family of faith reflecting the infinite love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This is the call, the goal, the challenge people are beginning to take up all over the world.

Let the words of Pope Francis stir us to prayer, dialogue and action:

"The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God's word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration.

"In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities. . . .

"We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented" (The Joy of the Gospel, 28).

Lord of life and love, teach us to renew our families and parishes in the image of the Trinity. Amen.

(john@oursacredmission.com.