Today we are celebrating a union that will not break. It is stronger than anything on earth and in heaven. We call it the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we make the sign of the cross we learned as a child we remember the three members. It becomes an automatic sign of our faith.
Our three readings today remind us of the three distinct entities that are one. We need names to pray when we call out to our God to pray for ourselves and others. I grew up calling the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I remember when the Holy Ghost became the Holy Spirit. It was always distracting to me when I heard the word ghost. Holy Spirit became much more attractive to me and much less scary.
When I was in the seminary I became more aware of different names of God. Studying feminist theology made me more aware of the significant ways we call out to God and of the ways different people in differing cultures have differing names for God. Expanding our sensitivity to the many, names of God show we can be more inclusive of others who name God in words, signs and gestures.
In families the influences of the mother and father in the basic family system, the child is always affected. If the father or male in the household is abusive, the child often cannot relate to the male figure or the Father God. This is very common in domestic violence situations. I believe that it is important to be sensitive to many names for this wonderful God such as Mother God, Grandmother God, Creator God and/or Wondrous God. I try to use many differing names for God. Often people choose one out of the three parts of the one God to pray to.
I believe that Jesus is selected many of the times because he was made real in gospels. Jesus as Brother and Savior are names we all can relate to. Because Jesus was human and divine it sometimes seems easier to pray because he knew all of the struggles humans had.
My particular choice is praying to the Holy Spirit. Many, many years ago I began going to Charismatic prayer meetings. Here the many spoken gifts of the Holy were manifest such as speaking in tongues, prophecies, and interpreting of prophecies. If you have never attended Charismatic prayer meetings nor had this background, that is fine. Everyone is receiving spiritual gifts in different ways. I also believe that we have these gifts at special times in our lives. A soldier may be given the gift of Courage when needed. Another is the gift of Endurance that could be given to a woman in childbirth. The gift of Boldness might be given to people who need to stand up for the protection of the poor and innocent when that is needed. Compassion could be offered when we are in need ourselves and when it is needed for the ones who have harmed us.
What is needed is to ACT on the belief that God is offering the gifts to us. To say it more clearly is that we must fully enter into the moment and use the gifts the Spirit offer offers right then.
When looking back over my own life and perhaps when you look over your own life, be willing to accept the gifts the Spirit gives you. Do not turn any down.