Homes are found in spaces of shared values and ideals, common activities and purpose. For some, book clubs and soccer teams or a regular seat at Starbucks can satisfy that; for others, it is about a place within Catholicism, a group, a parish, a service opportunity. Each one requires the commitment of time. Time is the tool we use to define who and what matters to us on a daily basis, and that use of time is the way we communicate our identity and our sense of self to others.
As the glow of Pentecost fades, the Church celebrates the Trinity. There is something heady about the Spirit, about the gifts and strength and its reassurance that survival in the human landscape is so very possible. And there is something stable and sustaining about the concept of the Trinity and its mysterious anchors in time. After all, there is the sense of the infinity of time given in the Spirit, and the source of life and lives in the Father and then the finiteness of humanity in the Son. Perhaps there is a lesson lingering in all this, asking to be seen, acknowledged, understood.
First, mystery pervades human life. The inexplicable, the unjust, the incomprehensible are literally part of daily experience. Embracing that idea means there is only so much each can control: many life forces are at work. Circumstances like economic structures and social norms impact each life seemongly without a tangible or visible presence. There is a sense in which the most powerful among us are also powerless. In some way, the concept or thinking about the Trinity defines that mystery: a God pervasively present in nature, in persons and systems and yet subject to misinterpretation and misunderstanding, confined by human definiton and expression.
Then there is the anchor in the cycle of life and death in the possibility of birth, becoming, being and departing. There is the idea of a Father Creator communicated in the Trinity, a source of life. Essentially, that is a tender admission that each of us starts somewhere, and so are anchored in a culture, a historical context, a place and a time. It is about a common source for human life, a shared starting point and heritage. The Father is a reminder of how connected people actually are, what is held in common among human beings. That concept transcends the very boundaries that divide and distinguish.
And then there is the Son, caught in the Mystery, linked to the Father, and rooted in time. His existence speaks of the complexities of the human journey through each documented experience. The Gospels are records of relationship, rituals and ultimately, the relinquishing of life and power. Every detail captured over time was also captured within time, within a particular context and moment. And so it is with the life we know and dare to own. We define in the time we live in with the choices we make about time, how we spend it and what we are willing to do, to learn and to be.
In the 21st century, ordinary lives are textured through social media, defined by technology access and use, confined to the dominant influences of a wider culture. And still, there is the celebration of the Trinity and an eerie sense that within a rapidly changing culture, there is a real place for mystery, connections and finiteness. Perhaps time, the traditions of the past speak with quiet eloquence to the future.