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The way of the Trinity

The story is told about a child who told his playmates: “There are three frogs in a boat, and one of them decided to jump. How many of them would be left behind?” The first playmate said: “Two.” The child said: “No.” The second playmate said: “None would be left because the others would do the same.” And the child said: “No. The answer is three. The frog only decided to jump. He did not yet jump!”

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Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—three in one, and one in three. It is a mystery that cannot be solved, but a mystery that can and should be gratefully absorbed by us who have been invited to belong to and become a part of the “Most Holy Trinity, undivided unity, holy God, mighty God, God immortal be adored!” The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit not only decided but actually “jumped out of the boat” to reach out to us because of love.

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In today’s gospel (Mt. 28, 16-20), the Risen Lord told His disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” The disciples, like the Most Holy Trinity, are not just to stay in the boat, but are supposed to jump out of the boat, and conduct their mission. As there is dynamism and movement in and among the Trinity, there must also be dynamism and life in, among and between us members of the Most Holy Trinity!

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Let us learn from the Trinity. Any relationship that has become cold and stale, or has become stagnant, oppressive, or unfair, needs to learn from the example and freshness of the Trinity. Justice, respect and equality are the prerequisites of any relationship that is modeled after the Trinity. If any of these are absent or lacking, it will be difficult for any relationship to grow or to be sustained. Look at your relationships today. Are they fashioned according to the Trinitarian way or are they suited to your own liking, conditions and desires—according to your way? The Trinitarian way is free, liberating and self-effacing!

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“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of age.” What more assurance do we need? The Lord has promised that He is with us always, and for always! As it were, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit did not stay in the boat, but jumped out of the boat to reach out to us. The greatest love story ever told is about a Father who so loves us and reached out to us, and got involved with us through the Son and the Holy Spirit!

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No other religion than Christianity speaks of a God who humbled Himself to become one of His creatures and subjects. No other religion speaks of a God who asks of His creatures/subjects not only obedience to Him, but also respect and love from and among those who believe in Him. May the life, dynamism and love of the Most Holy Trinity live in our hearts and in the hearts of all. Amen!

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“Unity in essentials, respect in doubtful matters, but love in all things” (St. Augustine).

Let this Trinitarian attitude be among and between us! There are no greater gods among us! Let us listen to, respect and support one another. Dialogue and sharing, not impositions and controlling, are the call for us. Christian is our name, love is our aim in this world so full of selfishness, and so vain.

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On our eight-hour flight from Dubai to Manila last May 25, I was seated beside 31-year-old Sanjo Dangan from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, who was bringing home his mother, Teresita, who had suffered a stroke. All throughout the flight, I could not help but admire and be inspired by Sanjo’s love for and devotion to his mother. I also admired our Filipino crew members who went out of their way, who went the “extra mile,” to care for the paralyzed woman. It was such a touching moment to see Christian love and Filipino caring so evident, so Trinitarian, so spontaneous and so real!

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Please take note of how we Filipinos opened our shores to Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s at the height of the Vietnam War. Of all the countries in our region, it was the Philippines that offered help. Now, the Rohingya refugees, trying to escape persecution, are stranded at sea, their food and water supplies almost gone, have been rejected by many Asian nations. And we, in the spirit of the Trinity, have expressed our readiness to welcome them, if ever they come this far and this way. So proud to be a Filipino, proud to be Christian, proud to be a member of the Most Blessed Trinity!

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A moment with the Lord:

Oh, Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teach us to live and to love your way. Amen.

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TAGS: Christianity, Refugees, relationships, rohingya, Sanjo Dangan, Trinity
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