I had been to this church in November of 2009 while in Texas to research my recently published novel; I am back to Texas to do early promotions for the book in Austin and Houston. Five years ago the parishioners in Austin were raising money to build their beautiful church and were holding Mass in an auditorium; I enjoyed the Mass but do not recall much about the liturgy or the homily.
Perhaps because of the light- filled brand new St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in northeast Austin, I am still reflecting on the homily preached by Fr. Ed Koharchik, a fairly new pastor at the church. It’s Texas and Texans are notoriously friendly, open folks, so I was not surprised by the smiles directed at me by the folks during the exchange of the peace.
But the concept of Perichoresis or the Divine Dance as the metaphor for the dance of love, laughter and joy developed by the early Church to express the Trinity is brand new and has echoed in my mind in idle moments since this past Sunday. Many of the early church leaders were Greek and conceived of a Greek dance called perichoresis as the best metaphor to describe the Holy Trinity.
There are three dancers who start to move in circles at first slowly, then weaving in and out in a beautiful pattern of motion faster and faster and faster so that eventually, none of the three persons can distinctly be seen; the blur of motion is so complete, they appear as one. To these early Greek Christians, this could most accurately depict the relationship among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me… that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”