|Angela Mitchell ’20 M.A. Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program
Director, Alliance of Catholic Education Ireland
Growing up in the west of Ireland, I have always understood the shamrock to symbolize the Trinity. As children, we searched our garden and hedgerows for fresh shamrocks in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, knowing that it could be recognized by three leaves in one. As a child, this mystery intrigued me, and my mother would kindly tell me to keep it simple—God is love, and those who live in love live in God. How simple that seemed in one instant and how puzzling in the next.
I sympathize with the apostles listening to Jesus in the gospel today. His words are part of his farewell discourse. Reading them now, I know of their confusion. So many times in life, I am puzzled by Jesus’ words but today, I am comforted by his love and knowledge of the apostles and what they can bear. It brings me back to St. Julian of Norwich and the revelation she received on pondering something very small, smaller than a hazelnut: “God made it, God loves it, and God sustains it.”
When life overwhelms us, and we hear many voices telling us how to be happy or holy, we can still our minds and trust Jesus today that the spirit of truth will speak and guide us. While it may not be possible to go in search of shamrock, even in the busyness of our adult lives, it is possible to make space today for some childlike wonder and awe at the profound mystery of the Trinity.
Let us discern a yes to live in love and truth shared with us by the God who made us, loves us, and sustains us. After all, love is what our hearts are made for, and love is something that we do. It is a gift of self. How can we make that gift of ourselves today? Who can we love?