God is a family!

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. God is a Trinity of three Persons. We are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore all of us are meant to live in communion with others and to be a gift to others in whatever state of life we find ourselves. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, the image of God. Created in the image of God, a human being is created for communion, which means that loving God and neighbor is the reason for our existence.

Jesus suffered and yet persevered in love; he was crucified and yet rose again. In Jesus, we believe that the Creator of the universe became one of us, revealing not only who God is, but also who we are created to be and become. In a world of anxiety and doubt, Jesus is trustworthy. When we follow Jesus, even when it hurts and requires sacrifice, we are living lives of integrity, for only in living this way will our lives coincide with the reason for our existence. This brings us great joy. We sin and stumble, but the God we meet in Christ is faithful even when we are not.

“God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him or her.” We can say the same thing about family: “God is family and whoever abides in family abides in God and God abides in that person.” The theology of family roots itself here. God is a community, a trinity, a flow of giving and receiving between three persons. God is a family and when we participate in a family we experience the very flow of God’s life. Family life then is church life.

Family life and church life are part of the same thing; in both we participate in God’s life. To participate healthily in a family is to be part of a church. By abiding in family – by sitting down with each other around a kitchen table, by sharing the frustration of balancing a common check book, by celebrating each other’s joys and sorrows and everyday life, by offering each other consolation and correction, and by putting up with each other’s coughs, phobias, and sins – we experience church. In both, family life and church, our lives break open beyond ourselves and God can enter. God is a flow of living relationships, a trinity, a family of life that we can enter, taste, breathe within, and let flow through us.

God is a flow of relationships to be experienced in community, family, parish, friendship, and hospitality. When we live inside of these relationships, God lives inside of us and we live inside of God. Scripture assures us that we abide in God whenever we stay inside of family, community, parish, friendship, and hospitality. God is community – and only in opening our lives in gracious hospitality will we ever understand that.

Fr. Jilson George, CMI