by Ken Rolheiser
What to say to God on Sunday morning

As Sol’s long life was drawing to its end and he lay on his deathbed he asked his family if he could see his optometrist.
“Optometrist?” they asked. “Why in the world do you want to see your optometrist?”
“Just get him for me.”
So they get Dr. Kaplan, who, on seeing Sol about to depart this life, asked, “Sol, it pains me to see you like this. What can I possibly do for you?”
Sol opened his eyes slightly and said, “Doc, before I go, there’s one thing I have to know. Which one was clearer – A or B?”

Vision is important, but discernment is crucial. In our spirituality we do not always understand what is correct. Is it A or B? And to confuse us further we do not know if either of them is significant.

Recently I was reflecting on church attendance and Sunday morning and why so many choose not to attend services even once a week? There is much to be thankful for. There is much to pray for – if you are a member of a family you must pray for so many things.

One reason some do not attend is because they do not know what to say to God. And they are not sure if God will listen. It is awkward to face God on Sunday morning if you haven’t talked to him all week.

But not knowing what to say to God and wondering if he will listen is simply a reflection of our not knowing God. That was the natural state of mankind for millions of years. We did not know God.

Then came the incarnation. It was time. Wow! The heavens rang with the songs of angels. Stars moved about and many real prophecies were fulfilled. And in due time the whole redemption story unfolded.

And we were left with what? Confusion? Doubt? We still do not see A and B clearly. Often it is only the fear of death that gets us to focus on the question. But so much was left with us when Jesus ascended and the Holy Spirit came upon us.

Father Brendan McGuire compared the Trinity to a rose. Science can analyse and categorize every aspect of the rose. But the real meaning of the rose can only be experienced when someone receives a rose and knows what it means. It is love! The face lights up as one smells the rose.

The Trinity can be analysed and explained in terms of its components, but the real essence of it is love. And the Spirit is the love of God. And we can experience that love when we love others. “When we love someone, we participate in God's very self,” McGuire says.

The heart-warming example McGuire uses in his homily on the Trinity is when he sees a car pull up to a retirement home. Two men in their eighties open the doors. One comes around and helps the other, who is obviously his brother. “Wow! That is beautiful,” McGuire thinks.

Then they go to the rear door of the car and help their mother with her wheelchair. She is 100 years plus. Then they give her a rose. Her wide eyes and her smile tell us she knows exactly what is going on. Her two sons love her.

When it comes to the Trinity and Sunday mornings do we know exactly what is going on? We do not need to wait until our death beds to answer the big questions.

(594 words)