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Holy Trinity Sunday
Theme: live in the awareness of the presence of the Triune God within us.
1. Invitation to Pray: Enthronement of the Bible
Pause for a few moments of silence and enter more deeply into the presence of God.
Sing the Bible Anthem with recording Orchestral Version B 1’20’’: Take 0 Lord and Receive
2. Invitation to Reflect
As you have already used the Study aid of Fr A Kadavil the whole week and listened to the 3 readings, be attentive to a word, a phrase, a question, an image, or a feeling that emerges before coming here, now it is time to share aloud to the group your reflections and your insights
Sunday Reflections #227 Holy Trinity Sunday (May 26) Proverbs 8:22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15
Anecdote # 1: Explanations by Ss. Patrick, Cyril, John Maria Vianney: The shamrock, a kind of clover, is a leguminous herb that grows in marshy places. St Patrick, the missionary patron saint of Ireland, used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. The story goes that one day his friends asked Patrick to explain the mystery of the Trinity. He looked at the ground and saw shamrocks growing amid the grass at his feet. He picked one up one of its trifoliate leaves and asked if it were one leaf or three. Patrick's friends couldn't answer – the shamrock leaf looked like one but it clearly had three parts. Patrick explained to them: "The mystery of the Holy Trinity – one God in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - is like this, but more complex and unintelligible.” St. Cyril, the teacher of the Slavs, tried to explain the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity using sun as an example. He said, "God the Father is that blazing sun. God the Son is its light and God the Holy Spirit is its heat — but there is only one sun. So there are three Persons in Holy Trinity but God is One and indivisible." St. John Maria Vianney used to explain Holy Trinity using lighted candles and roses on the altar and water in the cruets. “The flame has color, warmth and shape. But these are expressions of one flame. Similarly the rose has color, fragrance and shape. But these are expressions of one reality, namely, rose. Water, steam and ice are three distinct expressions of one reality. In the same way one God revealed Himself to us as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.”
# 2: "But that is impossible, my dear child:” There is a very old and much-repeated story about St. Augustine, one of the intellectual giants of the Church. He was walking by the seashore one day, attempting to arrive at an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity. As he walked along, he saw a small boy on the beach, pouring seawater from a shell into a small hole in the sand. "What are you doing, my child?" asked Augustine. "I am emptying the sea into this hole," the boy answered with an innocent smile. "But that is impossible, my dear child,” said Augustine. The boy stood up, looked straight into the eyes of Augustine and replied, “What you are trying to do - comprehend the immensity of God with your small head - is even more impossible.” Then he vanished. The child was an angel sent by God to teach Augustine a lesson. Later, Augustine wrote: "You see the Trinity if you see love." According to him the Father is the Lover, the Son is the Loved One and the Holy Spirit is the personification of the very act of Loving. This means that we can understand something of the mystery of the Holy Trinity more readily with the heart than with our feeble mind. Evagrius of Pontus, a Greek monk of the 4th century who came from what is now Turkey in Asia and later lived out his vocation in Egypt, said: "God cannot be grasped by the mind. If God could be grasped, God would not be God."
Introduction: Today’s feast invites us to live in the awareness of the presence of the Triune God within us: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The mystery of the Holy Trinity, a doctrine enunciated by the ecumenical councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, is one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and the greatest mystery of our Faith, namely, that there are three Divine Persons, sharing the same Divine Nature in one God. “There is one God, who has three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person is God, yet there is still only one God” (CCC #234, #253-256). We have the Father Who is the creator, the Son Who is the redeemer and the Holy Spirit Who is the sanctifier and the counselor. The doctrine of three Persons in one God, equal in Divinity yet distinct in Person, is not explicitly spelt out in the Bible. Even the very word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. But the doctrine of the Trinity underlies all major Christian feasts, including Christmas, the Epiphany, Good Friday, Easter, the Ascension and Pentecost. All the official prayers of the Church, including the Holy Mass and the sacraments, begin with an address to the Holy Trinity: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We are baptized, absolved of our sins and anointed in the name of the Blessed Trinity. Throughout the world, church bells can ring three times a day inviting Christians to pray to God the Father (the Provider); God the Son (the Savior); and God the Holy Spirit (the Sanctifier). We bless ourselves with the sign of the cross invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and we conclude our prayers glorifying the Holy Trinity, saying “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” Today’s readings convey the fundamental mystery that the Triune God reaches out in love to people, seeking the deepest communion.
Scripture lessons: Today’s readings from Proverbs, Romans, and John are all about "pouring out." God pours Self out in Word; God and Word pour out the Spirit to help us pour ourselves out; and the Spirit pours forth faith and strength and character. Instead of spelling out the doctrine of Holy Trinity, today’s readings summarize the effects of the Trinity in our daily lives.
The Book of Proverbs reflects on Wisdom, a quality which that book identifies with God.
St. Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, teaches us that we have peace with God the Father through Jesus Christ, and that the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
In today's Gospel, Jesus, the Son of God, mentions the role of the Holy Spirit, His close relationship with God the Father and what the Holy Spirit is going to do for us as we go about our daily tasks. God has revealed to us three separate functions that are carried out by the three Persons. He has told us that it is proper to attribute to God the Father the work of creation; to God the Son, the work of Redemption, of reconciliation and of healing, and to the Holy Spirit, the work of guidance in truth, in the work of teaching and in the work of sanctification. As the Father, God has brought forth the created universe and even our very selves. As God’s Son and our Brother, Jesus, He has made known a God Who hears our cries, Who cares, Who counts the hairs on our head and Who loves us so passionately as to become one of us, to suffer for our sins, to die that we may live. As Spirit, God remains with and within us as Paraclete: Guide, Advocate and Consoler.
Introduction to the Gospel
In celebrating the Trinity at our liturgy today, we celebrate the greatest mystery of our faith. When Jesus speaks of the Father and the Spirit, it is in relation to himself and his connection to the relationship between the Father and the Spirit: “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (v. 15). Three Persons, one God. Distinct identities, yet a communication so complete the “lines” often seem blurred.
In Jesus’ public life, we see the centrality of his relationship with the other Divine Persons. The Father spoke of him, calling him his beloved Son, after Jesus rose from the waters of baptism. The Spirit led him into the desert just before he embarked on his ministry. But Jesus did not cling proudly to his position as Second Person of the Trinity
“Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;…”
In obedience to his Father, Jesus had become fully human. With the power of the Holy Spirit, he worked to bring humanity back into relationship with God.
“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (v. 13). The same Spirit that hovered over the waters, that stirred in Mary’s womb, that raised Jesus from the dead, is the same Spirit of truth who will guide the Church to all truth. As members of the Church, the Body of Christ on earth, we have been invited, gathered and commissioned to carry on the creative, redemptive and sanctifying work of the Trinity. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, in communion with the Father through the Son, we are embraced in the inter-relatedness of the Trinity. God calls us to stand in solidarity with Jesus. This solidarity is based on prayer and obedience to God’s will, on embracing all people, on prophetically speaking the truth of the Church’s teaching even when it is unpopular, and on sacrificing ourselves for others. In this solidarity, we are able to hear the cries of the poor, be agents of reconciliation, and bring hope to the hopeless.
Exegetical notes 1) The development of the Trinitarian doctrine in the Church. The oldest doctrinal formulation of the Church’s belief in the Trinity is found in the Apostles’ Creed which has served as the basis of instruction for catechumens and as the baptismal confession of faith since the second century. Later, the Nicene Creed, originating at the Council of Nicaea (A.D 325), stated the doctrine more explicitly. This creed was introduced into our western liturgy by the regional council of Toledo in A.D. 589. God has revealed to us three separate functions that are carried out by the three persons. He has told us that it is proper to attribute to God the Father the work of Creation; to God the Son, the work of Redemption, and to God the Holy Spirit the work of Sanctification. Our knowledge of God as Trinity is made possible by God, who has chosen to be revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Father, God has brought forth the created universe, including our own being. As Son, Jesus has made known a God Who hears our cries, Who cares, Who counts the hairs on our head and Who loves us so passionately as to become one of us, to suffer for our sins, and even to die for us. As Spirit, God remains with us and within us.
2) The Triune God as seen in the Old Testament: Since Yahweh, the God of Israel, was careful to protect His Chosen People from the pagan practice of worshipping several gods, the Old Testament books give only indirect and passing references to the Trinity, and the Jewish rabbis never understood them as references to the Holy Trinity. Genesis 1:26 presents God speaking to Himself: "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." Genesis 18:2 describes how Yahweh visited Abraham in the appearance of three men, an event that the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates as the “Trinitarian Experience of Abraham.” In Genesis 11:7, before punishing the proud builders of the Tower of Babel, God says, “Come, let Us go down among them and confuse their language”. These passages imply, rather than state, the doctrine of the Trinity.
3) Clear doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament. a) The Annunciation (Luke 1: 26-38) describes how God the Father sent the angel Gabriel to Mary, to announce to her that God, the Holy Spirit, would "overshadow" her, and that God, the Son, would be made flesh in her womb. b) During the Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3: 16-17), the Holy Spirit was shown descending on Jesus in the form of a dove, while the voice of God the Father was heard from the clouds. c) The Gospel of John (Chapters 15 through 18), presents the detailed teaching of Jesus on the Persons of the Holy Trinity. d) In the preaching mission given by the risen Lord to the disciples, Jesus commanded them to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (cf. Matthew 28:19; John 10:30).
Life messages: 1) We need to respect ourselves and respect others. Our conviction of the presence of the Triune God within us should help us to esteem ourselves as God’s holy dwelling place, behave well in His holy presence, and lead purer and holier lives, practicing acts of justice and charity. This Triune Presence should also encourage us to respect and honor others as "Temples of the Holy Spirit."
2) We need to be aware of God as the Source of our strength and courage. The awareness and conviction of the presence of God within us gives us the strength to face the manifold problems of life with Christian courage. It was such a conviction that prompted the early Christian martyrs, when taken to their execution, to shout the heroic prayer of faith from the psalms: "The Lord of might is with us, our God is within us, and the God of Jacob is our helper" (Psalm 46).
3) We need to see the Trinity as the model for our Christian families: We are created in love -- to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in love. From the day we are baptized, we belong to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How privileged we are to grow up in such a beautiful family! Hence, let us turn to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in prayer every day. We belong to the family of the Triune God. The love, unity and joy in the relationship among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit should be the supreme model for our relationships within our Christian families. Our families become truly Christian when we live in a relationship of love with God and with others.
4) We are called to become more like the Triune God through all our relationships. We are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only as one member of a relationship of three partners. The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with all other people and in a vertical relationship with God. In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. Modern society follows the so-called “I-and-I” principle of unbridled individualism and the resulting consumerism. But the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity challenges us to adopt an "I-and-God-and-neighbor" principle. I am a Christian insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and other people. Like God the Father, we are called upon to be productive and creative persons by contributing to the building up of the fabric of our family, our church, our community and our nation. Like God the Son, we are called upon to reconcile, to be peacemakers, to put back together that which has been broken, to restore what has been shattered. Like God the Holy Spirit, it is our task to uncover and teach truth and to dispel ignorance. (Trinitarian spirituality: “The doctrine of the Trinity affirms that it belongs to God’s very nature to be committed to humanity and its history, that God’s covenant with us is irrevocable, that God’s face is immutably turned toward us in love, that God’s presence to us is utterly reliable and constant.... Trinitarian spirituality is one of solidarity between and among persons. It is a way of living the Gospel attentive to the requirements of justice, understood as rightly ordered relationships between and among persons,” Dictionary of Spirituality).
St. Francis Xavier’s favorite prayer was: “Most Holy Trinity, who lives in me, I praise you, I worship you, I adore you and I love you.” May the Son lead us to the Father through the Spirit, to live with the Triune God forever and ever. Amen.
JOKE OF THE WEEK:
1) Trinitarian Love the essence of family life: One day, while he was walking with God in the Garden of Eden Adam said, "Excuse me God, can I ask you a few questions?" God replied, "Go on Adam, but be quick. I have a world to create."
So Adam says, "When you created Eve, why did you make her body so curved and tender unlike mine?" "I did that, Adam, so that you could love her." "Oh, well then, why did you give her long, shiny, beautiful hair?" "I did that Adam so that you could love her." "Oh, well then, why did you make her so stupid? Is that too because I should love her?" "Well, Adam, no. I did that so that she could love you."
# 2: Wisdom from child’s mouth: A priest went into a second-grade classroom of the parish school and asked, “Who can tell me what the Blessed Trinity means?” A little girl lisped, “The Blethed Twinity meanth there are thwee perthonth in one God.” The priest, taken aback by the lisp, said, “Would you say that again? I don’t understand what you said.” The little girl answered, “Y’not thuppothed to underthtand; i’th a mythtewy.”
# 4: Trinitarian pastor: One parishioner said, “Our pastor is a lot like the Trinitarian God because he is invisible in the rectory during week days and incomprehensible on Sundays because I don’t understand his sermons.”
# 5)Q. Why is the doctrine of the Trinity important? A. Those who abandon it begin prayer with the words “To Whom it may concern.”
1) The universal testimony: A good illustration of the Trinity comes from world-renowned scientist Dr. Henry Morris. He notes that the entire universe is Trinitarian by design. The universe consists of three things: matter, space, and time. Take away any one of those three and the universe would cease to exist. But each one of those is itself a trinity. Matter = mass + energy + motion. Space = length + height + breadth. Time = past + present + future. Thus the whole universe witnesses to the character of the God who made it (cf. Psalm 19:1).
2) “You ask me a riddle?” The late Cardinal Cushing tells of an occasion when he was administering last rites to a man who had collapsed in a general store. Following his usual custom, he knelt by the man and asked, "Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?" The Cardinal said the man roused a little bit, opened an eye, looked at him and said, "Here I am, dying, and you ask me a riddle." Call them riddles. Call them mysteries. There are things about life and faith we do not understand. I am not going to suggest that you resign your effort to understand.
3) “The undertaker.” There is an old story about a henpecked husband who went to a psychologist. He was tired of being dominated by his wife. The psychologist told him, “You do not have to accept your wife’s bullying. You need to go home right now and let her know that you’re your own boss.” The husband decided to take the doctor’s advice. He went home and slammed the door on the way in. He confronted his wife and said, “From now on you’ll do what I say. Get my supper, then go upstairs and lay out my clothes. After I eat, I’m going out with the boys while you stay home. By the way, do you know who is going to tie my tie for me?” “I sure do,” said his wife calmly, “the undertaker.” Some marriages are filled with conflict. So are some offices. Unfortunately some churches are filled with conflict as well. The feast of the Holy Trinity challenges us to cultivate the Trinitarian relationship of love and unity in our families and offices and parishes.
4) Human mystery confronting divine mystery: The story is told that Franklin D. Roosevelt and one of his close friends, Bernard Baruch, talked late into the night one evening at the White House. At last, President Roosevelt suggested that they go out into the Rose Garden and look at the stars before going to bed. They went out and looked into the sky for several minutes, peering at a nebula with thousands of stars. Then the President said, "All right, I think we feel small enough now to go in and go to sleep." The wonder of the power and wisdom of God puts things in perspective for us humans. It was not an accident, but the result of a Divine Plan; planets, stars, plants, birds, fish, and animals were all created by God. And the climax of God's creation was humanity. How complex and mind-boggling is our physical construction! Chemically, the body is unequalled for complexity. Each one of its 30 trillion cells is a mini chemical factory that performs about 10,000 chemical functions. With its 206 bones, 639 muscles, 4 million pain sensors in the skin, 750 million air sacs in the lungs, 16 million nerve cells and 30 trillion cells in total, the human body is remarkably designed for life. And the brain! The human brain and nervous system is the most complex arrangement of matter anywhere in the universe. One scientist estimated that our brain, on the average, processes over 10,000 thoughts and concepts each day. Bill Bryson in his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, says it is a miracle that we even exist. Trillions of atoms come together for approximately 650,000 hours (the average span of human life), and then begin to silently disassemble and go off to other things. There never was something like us before and there never will be something like us again. But for 650,000 hours the miracle that is uniquely us exists. One could spend years just dealing with the marvelous intricacies and majesty of God's creation. We are, as the Psalmist states, "fearfully and wonderfully made." No wonder we cannot understand the mystery of a Triune God!
5) Holy Trinity prayer: When the bishop’s ship stopped at a remote island for a day, he decided to use the time as profitably as possible. He strolled along the seashore and came across three fishermen mending their nets. In Pidgin English they explained to him that centuries ago they were Christianized by missionaries. "We, Christians!" they said, proudly pointing to themselves. The bishop was impressed. Did they know the Lord’s Prayer? They had never heard of it. The bishop was shocked. How could these men claim to be Christians when they did not know something as elementary as the Lord’s Prayer? "What do you say, then, when you pray?" the bishop asked. "We lift eyes in heaven. We pray, ‘We are three, you are three, have mercy on us.’" The bishop was appalled at the primitive, downright heretical nature of their prayer. So he spent the whole day teaching them to say the Lord’s Prayer and he succeeded although the fishermen were poor learners.
Months later the bishop’s ship happened to pass by those islands and the bishop, as he paced the deck saying his evening prayers, recalled with pleasure the fact that on that distant island were three fishermen who were now able to pray correctly, thanks to his patient efforts. While he was lost in thought he happened to look up and noticed a spot of light in the east. The light kept approaching the ship and, as the bishop gazed in wonder, he saw three figures walking on the surface of the water towards the boat. The captain stopped the boat and all the sailors leaned over the rails to see this amazing sight. When they were within speaking distance, the bishop recognized his three friends, the fishermen. "Bishop!" they exclaimed, "we are so glad meet you! We heard your boat go past island and came in a hurry, hurry to meet you." "What do you want?" asked the bishop filled with wonder seeing them walking on water as Jesus did. "Bishop," they said, "we so sorry. We forgot that lovely prayer you taught us. We remember only this much: ‘Our Father in heaven, holy be your name, your kingdom come’ . . .the rest we forgot. Please teach us whole prayer again." The bishop felt humbled. "Go back to your homes, my good men," he said, "and each time you pray, say your Holy Trinity prayer, ‘We are three, you are three, have mercy on us!’" (Fr. Anthony de Mello S.J., The Song of the Bird).
6) “Bad things always come in threes.” An old adage warns, “Bad things always come in threes.” Have you found this true in your own experience? That bad things (and good things) like to happen in community, in bunches? You say: we invent this connection by suddenly realizing that we got a flat tire on the same day that a computer glitch devoured our hard drive, shortly after our last contact lens just slid down the drain. I say: there seems to be something significant about the power of three. Today the Church celebrates the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—on this “Trinity Sunday” affirming the truth good things also come in threes. We recognize God as Power (the Father), God as Person (the Son), and God as Presence (the Holy Spirit).
7) “But the machine can't ask me about my arthritis.” This true story is told of a woman named Mamie who made frequent trips to the branch post office. One day she confronted a long line of people who were waiting for service from the postal clerk. Mamie only needed stamps, so a helpful observer asked her, "Why don't you just use the stamp machine? You can get all the stamps you need and you won't have to wait in line." Mamie said, "I know, but the machine can't ask me about my arthritis." That's part of the wisdom of Christ's coming to our earth to live among us as described in today’s gospel (John 3: 16-18). He could relate to us in all of our daily needs. As we try to walk in Jesus' steps, we might do well to pray the ancient Irish poem set to an Irish ballad tune, which says,
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
8) Aggressively selfish child: A report some years ago, allegedly by the Minnesota Crime Commission, painted a dark picture of human nature indeed, particularly with regard to small children. I quote: “Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toy, his uncle’s watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children not just certain children are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free rein to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal a thief, a killer, or a rapist.” [Cited in R. Scott Richards, Myths the World Taught Me (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), p. 39.] It is to transform this self-centered human nature into a selfless, God-centered one that the second person of the Holy Trinity took human form as described in today’s gospel.
9) A dumb debate on God: The following hypothetical debate for the mute and the deaf scholars is a warning to our pastors who think that they have explained Holy Trinity well to their flock on Trinity Sunday. The Jews and the Catholics are having a debate about God and decide that they will each send one representative to prove that their side is right. The only rule is that words are not allowed. They decide on their representatives. The Vatican decides to send their best brain– Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Congregation on Faith and Morals while the Jews pick one of their best rabbis to represent them. As a sign of respect the Jews allow the debate to be held at the local cathedral. The time for the debate comes and the rabbi walks into the cathedral and up to the cardinal. The cardinal waves his hand towards the sky. The rabbi responds by slamming his fist into his palm. The cardinal holds up three fingers. The rabbi responds by holding up his middle finger. The cardinal then pulls out bread and wine. The rabbi then reaches into a bag and pulls out two fish. At this point the cardinal holds up his hands and walks away.
After the debate the cardinal heads back to the Vatican to talk it over with the pope and the other cardinals. "Man, those Jews have it all figured out. First I said to him, 'God is everywhere,' and he responded, 'God is right here.' I was taken aback. So I held up three fingers representing the Holy Trinity, and he responded, 'We all worship the same one God.' I didn't know what to do so I showed him bread and wine representing the sacrifice of Jesus, and he responded with two fish, representing that Jesus provides.
The Rabbi headed back to the synagogue to tell the others his version what had happened. "Man, you wouldn't believe those Catholics. The moment I walked in this guy with a weird hat gestures at me 'No Jews Allowed.' I said 'I'm staying right here.' Then he said, 'You have three minutes.' I said, ‘Get lost.' Then he pulled out his lunch, so I showed him mine."
10) Why Isn't the Holy Ghost Included? A woman wrote to Reader’s Digest. She wanted to tell about an experience that she had when she took a young girl from India to church with her. It was the eleven-year-old girl’s first exposure to a Christian worship service. The young lady’s parents were traveling on business and had left her in the care of their American friends. The little Hindu girl decided on her own to go with the family to church one Sunday. After the service was over, they went out to lunch. The little girl had some questions. She wondered, "I don’t understand why the West Coast isn’t included, too?" Her Christian friends were puzzled and asked, "What do you mean?" She responded, "You know. I kept hearing the people say, ‘In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the whole East Coast.’"
11) God Is Everywhere: A pastor was trying to explain to a little Sunday school child that God is calling people everywhere in the world to believe in him. "God is much bigger than we imagine him to be and God can use all of us in lots of different ways to do his work everywhere," the pastor said. "God is everywhere!" "Everywhere?" asked the little boy. "Everywhere!" said the pastor. The boy went home and told his mother, "God is everywhere! The pastor said so." "Yes, I know," said the mother. "You mean he is even in the cupboard?" "Yes," said the mother. "In the refrigerator -- even when we close the door and the light goes out?" "Yes," said the mother. "Even in the sugar bowl?" the lad asked as he took the lid off. "Yes," said the mother, "even in the sugar bowl." The boy slammed down the lid and said, "Now I've got him."
12) “What?” Jesus said, “Who do men say that I am?” And his disciples answered and said, “Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias, or other of the old prophets.” And Jesus answered and said, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Logos of the Father, the Son whom the Father loved from eternity and Whom the Holy Spirit, the eternal personification of the love between the Father and the Son, begot on the Virgin Mary.” And Jesus answering, said, "What?"
13) "I'm surprised at you:" An English teacher of a 21-sophomore high school class put a small chalk dot on the blackboard. He then asked the class what it was. A few seconds passed and then someone said, "That is a chalk dot on the blackboard." The rest of the class seemed relieved that the obvious had been stated, and no one else had anything to say. "I'm surprised at you," the teacher told the class. "I did the same exercise yesterday with a group of kindergartners and they thought of 50 different things the chalk mark could be: an owl's eye, a cigar butt, the top of a telephone pole, a star, a pebble, a squashed bug, a rotten egg, a bird's eye, and so on." The older students had learned how to find a right answer, but had lost the ability to look for more than one right answer. The Holy Spirit helps us, in his wonderful Wisdom, to see more than we might have seen by ourselves. The Spirit's vision allows us wonderful options for expansion and new possibilities. It is the Spirit's Wisdom that reveals the Word to us. It is the Wisdom of the Spirit which shows us our sin, which guides us, which instructs us, which leads us in the way everlasting.
14) Trinitarian design for medieval cathedrals: When the architect and engineer Aldo Spirito was commissioned to design a cathedral for the Archdiocese of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa, he used a number of architectural elements to reinforce, as in the tradition of the medieval cathedrals, the truths of our faith. Among those elements is the fact that the basic structure is triangular, so as to state dramatically the fundamental truth of Christian faith: God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
15) The Sundial: A missionary from Africa, on his home-leave, came across a beautiful sundial. He thought to himself, “That sundial would be ideal for my villagers in Africa. I could use it to teach them to tell the time of the day.” The missionary bought the sundial, crated it and took it back to Africa. When the village chief saw it, he insisted that it be set up in the centre of the village. The villagers were thrilled with the sundial. They had never seen something so beautiful in their lives. They were even more thrilled when they learned how it worked. The missionary was delighted by everyone’s response to his sundial. He was totally unprepared for what happened a few days later. The people of the village got together and built a roof over the sundial to protect it from the rain and the sun! Well, I think the sundial is a lot like the Holy Trinity, and we Christians are a lot like the African villagers. The most beautiful revelation of our faith is the teaching about the Holy Trinity, namely, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. But instead of putting the teaching to work in our daily lives, we have built a roof over it, just as the villagers did over their sundial. For many of us the Trinity seems of little practical value, when it comes to our daily lives. We treat it more like an ornament of our faith. (Mark Link in Sunday Homilies; quoted by Fr. Botelho).
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.
3. INVITATION TO GROUP SHARING
- In what persons or in what events of my life do I clearly see God at work?
- What relationships in my life reflect the loving relationships of the Trinity? If I am having difficulty in a relationship, what steps can I take to bring that relationship into greater harmony with myself and
- How do I stand in my relationship with God’s poor in their struggles? How can I be God’s presence in their lives? What will I do?
4. INVITATION TO ACT
Determine a specific action (individual or group) that flows from your sharing. When choosing an individual action, determine what you will do and share it with the group. When choosing a group action, determine who will take responsibility for different aspects of the action. These should be your primary considerations. The following are secondary suggestions.
- As Catholics, we often make the Sign of the Cross with very little thought. Take some time to think about what it means to bless ourselves and others with that simple, yet powerful, Trinitarian gesture. Be mindful in your prayers this week of your gleaned insights. Pay some special attention to the important relationships in your life that may be neglected due to busyness or over-commitment. Determine one relationship you could work on this week.
- New immigrants are coming to our communities every day. If there is such a group, or even just one family, make an effort to help them become established in their homes, the schools and the community at large. Offer to adopt a new family ‘in need’; provide support and encouragement.
5. CLOSING INVITATION TO PRAY
Give thanks to God (aloud or silently) for his very presence in the world.
Lord our God,
thank you for bringing us
into the love relationship
that exists in your being from all eternity.
We humbly offer you ourselves in return,
and ask that you use us as you will
in the work set before us.
As you embrace us in solidarity,
help us to embrace those around us
who are alone and in need
of your living presence.
We offer this prayer,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.