Reflection – Inheritance

In the name of the Father

The first reading on this Trinity Sunday tells us about Moses on Mt. Sinai when he broke the cuneiform laws carved into tablets and transcribed, transformed and translated them onto papyrus.  In that same reading Moses gives a new name for God, the first “Lord”. ‘Lord’ in the reading, stands for the traditionally unspoken “I Am”.  Moses is stating a new First Commandment–“I Am Lord and God Almighty”.  

Those cuneiform tablets came with Abraham when he left his traditional home between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  There, a new civilization grew based on the new knowledge that Eve gave to Adam in the Garden:  that Adam was the father of Eve’s child.  “Original Sin” was not that Eve seduced Adam but that he found that “bit” “desirable to make one wise” (Genesis 3:6) and thinking that God made him the sole progenitor, he began a civilization of possession.  Adam thought the child was HIS, therefore of necessity, so was Eve, as were the things needed to support that child.  Even the land was HIS. (Genesis 23:16-20)  This flawed idea of Father gave rise to fundamental laws and structures of our civilization.  During the next 2,000 years until the time of Abraham, the laws of inheritance ruled that the son inherited the property of his father.

And of the Son

Jesus very possibly memorized the ritual recitation in Deuteronomy 26:5-9 for His Bar Mitzvah: “My father was a wandering Aramean…” St. Peter (Acts 2 and 3) and St. Stephen (Acts 6 and 7) present longer versions of this history, culminating with Christ, crucified and risen. St. Paul’s theology was based on the Promise God made to Abraham as the Father of the chosen people.  Christ was the true heir of the Promise so when Jesus died on the cross, his heirs received the inheritance promised to Abraham.  A new covenant was written with new recipients of the Will–the family of Jesus Christ.  “My mother and my brother are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:20, 21)  Those scrolls, preserved for thousands of years and studied by Jesus, became, for Christians, “The Old Testament”.  The heirs of Jesus Christ were named in “The New Testament”.

Who receives the inheritance?  Those who do the will of Our Father in heaven (as opposed to Abraham).  What is that Law and Commandment?  When asked, Jesus said “Love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself.”(Luke 10:27) And what is the Inheritance?

And of the Holy Spirit

The second commandment of Jesus is actually the way to obey the second of the old commandments: Do not worship idols nor take the name of God in vain.  Idols are just objects of human ideas.  Our God-given intelligence leads us into the temptation of worshiping the knowledge that was so difficult to come by.  When Galileo broke the heavenly spheres with the telescope and Darwin began what scientists and their microscopes revealed within us, they did not threaten “the incorruptible God” but only “images of corruptible man”  (Rom 1:25)  How can conflict exist between belief in the Creator and the science which shows us creation?  As we know, apparently some religious people feel a conflict.  The prayer of the religious leader who thanked God for his special gifts was really a prayer to his own ideas, but the prayer of the tax collector praying for mercy came from the Holy Spirit. (Luke 18: 11-13)  The Holy Spirit enables us sinners to forgive and to ask forgiveness, which is how we love our neighbor.  That is how the Holy Spirit creates the Communion of Saints.

Agnes Beirne


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