Trinity Sunday

Here’s a story that my pastor shared today, on Trinity Sunday.

There were two workers along the highway, following each other.  The first worker was digging a hole every 10 meters.  His colleague was following him and filling up the hole with the mud that had been previously removed.  A gentleman was watching this activity from the other side of the road.  He finally couldn’t deal with watching this any longer and crossed over.  He asked the workers, “Why do you dig holes and fill them? What’s the point of it all?”  The first worker replied, “my job is to dig the holes, so I do.”  The second worker said, “my job is to fill the holes and so I do what I am supposed to.  Normally when our third member is here he plants trees too.”

The Trinity is like the 3 member tree planting team.  You cannot separate the team and deal with just one or two, and be satisfied that it is done. You need all three who cannot be separated though they are distinct, thus we have God as one, and yet three in one, Trinity.

If you are interested in my previous thoughts on the Trinity I’ve covered it a couple times before.  I’ve used the idea of Trinity to explore partner dance, and as dance poetry.   I also have touched on the relational love that the Trinity represents when discussing how so often we lose the idea that faith and the Catholic Church is not about me (one), but us (the entire team), about the relational nature of love.

For Me? With Me? Against Me?

“For whoever is not against us is with us.” Mark 9:40

vs

” Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”  Mathew 12:30

Anyone else see the contradiction?

This past Sunday I heard the parable about the apostles of Jesus Christ trying to stop a person – whom they did not consider one of them – from casting out demons in the name of Jesus.   Jesus rebukes them saying if a person is not against him then he belongs (Mark 9:40).  It speaks of “an inclusive welcoming church”, one that reminds me of the progressive liberal period with Pope John Paul II as the head.  I immediately thought of how  I sometimes feel that this different from where the church is heading under Pope Benedict XVI.

But, then one can also find a Bible quote to support what some see as the different “unequivocal you must toe this line or else” voice of the church under the current Pope, Benedict XVI.  In the gospel of Mathew, the Pharisees state that since Jesus cured a demoniac he must be an agent of the Devil. Jesus rebukes them and warns them that one cannot remain neutral.  You have to be either for or against him (Mark:12:30).

It is easy to find Bible quotes that support a point of view of the Catholic Church one thinks one wants.

In the parable of seeking to exclude in Mark’s gospel there is an ambivalence associated with the demon caster, but in the gospel of Mathew we have Jesus responding to those who are bitterly opposed to him.  In the first he speaks of growing the church; in the second of the divisions within, saying, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid to waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand (Mathew 12:25).”

As in the Bible, both responses of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are to what they see as the context of the situation, and are not necessarily about “me”.  It is not about the church being for/with/against “me” – it is God’s Church.  Through both stories run what I see as a common thread: Jesus and Love.  And after all isn’t that what it is all about?

All too of often we respond to our situations and lives from just a “me” perspective.  We respond divisively. I pray that we have the grace to understand the greatest gift of all: the relational nature of LOVE. After all, the Christian Creation story is that at the beginning God created man and woman – not man, or woman.*

 

*I can further explore the relational nature of love through the dogma of the trinity – three persons in one God – that is part of the Catholic Church Catechism.  If you are interested you can start by quickly skimming the introductory paragraphs in wikipedia’s entry on the Trinity.

Dance Trinity

Partner dance is typically a conversation between two people in the musical and movement language of a particular dance style. That’s where it stays for many, just like the everyday conversations that you might have with colleagues and acquaintances throughout your day. However, it can be much much more.
Trust is the key to getting the most of any endeavor, and that applies to dancing. It is only when truly letting go that one can be immersed in the river of musical emotion and motion, whether it be raging rapids or a gentle stream. Here there isn’t necessarily a “specific dance style” but one of soul connection. Two bodies and the music being one together, music and souls transmuted into trinity, three yet one. It is a heavenly feeling and I encourage everyone to work on joining me in enjoying the same.
To start the Trinity trail get ready to move beyond the basics by practicing so that you can do the foundational steps and moves in your sleep. Spend time listening to the music so that you can be musical, such as knowing where the breaks are. Then when you are dancing and a familiar song comes on you can match what you do to the music and your partner. Finally, when these foundational elements can be done without thinking one can let go. This is not the only way to achieve the bliss of the dance trinity, but this is a journey that anyone can follow.