Divine invitation

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The revelation of the Holy Trinity is like a wedding invitation. Such an invitation is a declaration of love. Whether simple, funny, or elaborate, this basic piece of mail speaks of love. It reveals a love

of commitment, willing sacrifice and exclusivity. It is a love that will be shared, a love that will bring life into the world.

But wedding invitations are not just declarations. They include a RSVP. The beautiful card with the fancy lettering is more than a nice notice of love. It is an invitation to share that love. Invited to a wedding, we are invited to celebrate a new love, to rejoice in it, even to be enlivened by it. A marriage is not a private matter. It is a gift to all. So it is with divine revelation

In the preface of this Sunday’s Mass we confess that “with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit you are one God, one Lord: not in the unity of a single person, but in a Trinity of one substance.” This is privileged knowledge about God. This is knowledge of his interior life. But it is not simply about knowledge. God reveals himself not only that we might know more about him, the way that science might come to know more about a bullfrog or sea life. Instead, divine revelation is always an invitation. Like a wedding invitation, we don’t just learn about the love between the divine persons. We are invited to join it.

St. Paul tells us that in Christ we “have access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph 2:18; see also Rom 5:2). We are not on the outside looking in. Rather, through Jesus, and in the Spirit, we have been given entry to the divine life. We are invited in. We accept that invitation, we go to the wedding, when we accept Jesus: “whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (Lk 9:48).

As Christians, we are also like wedding invitations. We have been sent. We are mailed out into the world. We are not stuffed with notices and warnings. We are envelopes of divine life. We contain an invitation: “whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (Jn 13:20). Many will decline the offer, perhaps even violently (Mt 22:2-10). All we can do is invite.

Jesus taught his disciples, “the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son” (Mt 22:2). That wedding feast, that celebration of love, is the divine life itself. It is the eternal banquet, the perpetual nuptial. There is plenty of room for guests. We are the invitations.

Father George K. Nixon serves as assistant pastor at St. Philip Parish, Greenville. Ordained in 2011, he holds a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. “Verbum Domini” is a series of Father Nixon’s reflections on the Scriptures.