We sang “Holy holy holy, Lord God Almighty” today as the clergy processed up the aisle in Saint Thomas’. One of my favorite hymns, triumphant, joyous, full of praise. “Early in the morning my song shall rise to thee…” It is a hymn I sang as a child in our Presbyterian church and the colorful notes still fill my heart with a poignant delight.
We had a visiting celebrant today, Father Mautner from Napa’s Saint Stephen’s. He spoke the words of the Mass with great intention, paying full attention to each syllable, so full of meaning. His care and clarity rang through our vaulted space, and I thought how this man, once Jewish and today Christian, knew better than any of us the full import of the Messiah coming to save us from our sins, our preoccupation with self. He knew a salvation textured with Old Testament depth. I recalled he is also a poet, one who values language.
But before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, that moment when Christ becomes present in the bread and wine, our Deacon McNeely preached on the Trinity. What is it? This great mystery has been explained by many scholars and theologians, but today we considered the Trinity of the Cross – God the Father sending God the Son to actively love us. It is this active love that is the Holy Spirit, and it is this active love that saves us. We too must practice active love for others. In the vertical of the Cross God reaches down to us; in the horizontal of the Cross we reach out to one another. Profoundly true.
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. Our Trinity of salvation. God’s active love transforming our own lives and our world.
I left our little chapel once again thankful, having been strengthened by the Eucharist, having been fed by the words of the sermon.
We will not return to Saint Thomas’ for a few weeks, for we will be heading back to Europe soon – northern Italy, southern France, and Lourdes. What will God show me? I pray for his active love to open my eyes to his many wonders.