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Contents: Volume 2 - Trinity Sunday (A) - June 7, 2020


 

 TRINITY

   Sunday

  2020

 

1. -- Lanie LeBlanc OP

2. -- Carol & Dennis Keller

3. -- Brian Gleeson CP

4. -- Paul O'Reilly SJ

5. --(Your reflection can be here!)

 

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1.

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Solemnity of the Holy Trinity 2020

The first reading tells us that our God, the Lord, is "a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity." This is exactly the kind of God we need today in our world which is still very much in turmoil. This is exactly the kind of God we can find, very much alive and active in our lives and in the world, if we but take the time to look and see and believe... and respond.

Moses tells us that the Israelites were very much a "stiff-necked people" and asks the Lord for pardon for their "wickedness and sins." Many today are not very much different from those people from long ago as are others who try to make things better. We, too, are sometimes "stiff-necked" and sometimes cooperative with God's ways. It would be wise to heed the advice written in 1 Corinthians, "Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace."

In a moment of quiet, the realization comes to me that we need to rejoice that our God still wants to "come along in our company" along this pretty uncertain and sometimes treacherous life journey of ours. As in the days of old, we still need to be grateful that the Lord continues to "receive us as your (God's) own". We are God's own, all of us, each of us, because God is God and there is no other.

Each of us is "walked with" by God, redeemed through Jesus, and helped in countless ways by the Holy Spirit. In our troubling times, we need to imprint that in our hearts and actions, not just because we have been baptized but because we ARE loved. What a critical time to embrace the unfathomable love that the Lord has for each of us, starting with ourselves! If we do indeed feel loved, we will be able to respond to others and situations in love. May the mysteries of our Triune God unfold within us to enlighten us with love, guidance, and perseverance!

Blessings,

Dr. Lanie LeBlanc OP

Southern Dominican Laity

lanie@leblanc.one

 

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2.

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Trinity Sunday June 7 2020

Exodus 34:4-6 & 9-9; Responsorial Psalm – Canticle from three young men in the fiery furnace from Book of Daniel; 2nd Corinthians 13:11-13; Gospel Acclamation Revelation 1:8; John 3:16-18

The gospel this weekend is very short. Were we permitted to participate in our assembly, by the time we finish standing, it’s time to sit for the homily. In parallel, this reflection will be short.

This is Trinity Sunday. We miss the point when we make it a curtain call after the great work that began with Christmas’ Incarnation story. Clearly, we think less of it than we do Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. But in truth Trinity Sunday is the summation of the work of salvation. The message is really simple but so pregnant with meaning and purpose that most will overlook it. The message is that God is a Community. And that Community is our role model for living. The living God’s life is a life of community where God’s unity as ONE God is unconditional love.

In this time of isolation and viral attack, we should focus on how we love others – or how we allow others to teach and encourage us to hate.

If we wish to come to eternal life, then we should consider what that eternal life is. It is the life of community united by love. In our age of technology, that community is global – all nations, all peoples, all languages, all cultures, and even every village’s experience of unity contributes to community.

The gospel tells us that whoever believes in God’s only Son will not perish, will not be condemned. What does this mean? To believe in the context of this gospel means more than assent of reason. Believing Jesus means assent from the heart. It means that we LIVE as the Son demonstrated. In his public ministry, Jesus always healed, always enabled individuals diseased, possessed, or maimed to return to active participation in community.

If we are to believe in Jesus, in the Triune God, then we must let go of hatred, of thoughts of malice toward supposed enemies. We must never, ever, ever, use our faith or the symbols of our faith as props for self profiting. We must practice dialogue and expose and eliminate diatribe.

The Trinity is the ultimate in revelation through the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. That is our calling – to live as the Trinity lives, as a community united by unconditional love. What a contrast to the current state of relationships in our country, in our world, and even our church. If we wish for eternal life, if we wish not to be condemned, if we want to survive instead of perishing, then we must walk in the way of Jesus in truth, in faith, in love, and in hope for the coming of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is simply put, creation living as the Trinity lives.

Let us be glad and rejoice in this day of celebration of our God. Glory and Praise Forever!

Carol & Dennis with Charlie dkeller002@nc.rr.com

 

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OVERFLOWING GOODNESS AND LOVE: GOD THE TRINITY

One of the most fascinating things about being alive is the other people in our lives. Just as fascinating is the fact that the more we know them, the more there is still to know. Husbands and wives regularly report that even after more than twenty years together they are still being regularly surprised by glimpses of new things about the other. So it’s only bit by bit that they can revel and rejoice in all the different and charming things about the other, who will always remain something of a mystery. It’s the same with our knowledge and love of God – of God as Father, of God as Son, and of God as Holy Spirit. While God is anything but a closed book, it may take even years of keeping company with God, before we become aware of the pieces that make up that great Mystery.

There are at least three ways of delving into the Mystery of the Trinity. One is by searching for how something that is one can also be three. In this approach it might help to compare the Trinity to a tree. The Father is like the trunk of the one tree, the Son is like a branch of the same tree, and the Spirit is like the fruit that the same tree produces. Or we might compare the Father to the sun in the sky, the Son of God to its rays, and the Spirit to its heat. Or we might think of the three as like three musical notes played together as one harmonious chord.

Another approach is to concentrate more directly on the relationship of the Trinity to us. The first thing that has to be said about this is that, strictly speaking, God is self-sufficient. In the interpersonal relationships that have existed for ever among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God has been completely and perfectly happy and satisfied. But it is God's overflowing goodness that has led God to create us human beings in God’s own image and likeness. It is God's overflowing goodness that has led God’s Son to become a human being like us and live his life for others. It is God's overflowing goodness that has led God to give us our beautiful world to both preserve and develop in a harmonious balance. And it is God's overflowing goodness that has led God to destine us for everlasting life with God on the other side of this life.

The other thing that needs to be said is that the interpersonal relationships of our three-in-one God, shows us that to be a person we need other people in our lives, other people to love us, and other people for us to love. In the 1960's there was a popular song that said: ‘I am a rock. I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.’ That message is a lie. For while there are times when healthy human beings like to be alone and deliberately choose their own company, there is something wrong if they're always saying like the famous Swedish actress, Greta Garbo: 'I want to be alone.’ This is because we need the company and influence of others to animate us, to draw us out of ourselves, to complete us, to challenge and comfort us. It's not for nothing that in the Genesis story of the creation of woman, God says: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner’ (2:18).

Some time ago I heard about a particular man who was so utterly alone in this world that nobody ever shook his hand, patted his back, gave him a hug, a friendly dig in the ribs, or even a wave. He became so desperately lonely that the only thing left for him to look forward to, was a monthly visit to his hairdresser, where at least for a few minutes someone would touch him and care for him.

Loneliness can be an acute experience of sadness and emptiness. This is particularly so for people placed in solitary confinement. I read a while back about a certain prison ward. The prisoners were given enough to eat. But they were not allowed to talk to each other. They were not allowed to work together because work leads to contact and conversation. They were not even allowed to listen to others on the radio or watch television. And of course they were never allowed even one visitor. After months of this cruel treatment, there was not a single prisoner with even a skerrick left of self-esteem or self-confidence. More recently an Australian government minister is proposing to pass into law his intention to take away their phones from asylum-seekers. Imagine what that will do to their sense of isolation and abandonment!

I hope and pray that none of us here will ever feel so isolated or alone, and especially when we have to face that particular human experience, which no one else can face for us - our death. What happens on the other side of that experience? What will we find there? Our faith tells us, that whatever else there will be, we will enjoy the company of other human beings. And more than that, on the other side of our death God will be waiting for us. The God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The God who has made us. The God who has loved us. The God who has understood us. The God who has forgiven us. The God who has kept us going. The God who has taken us finally to Godself.

This is what we are celebrating in our feast of the Trinity. This is why we are giving praise and thanks to God in prayer today. Because God is not alone. Because we are not alone, and never will be. And so let us pray together and mean every word we say: ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.’

"Brian Gleeson CP" <bgleesoncp@gmail.com>

 

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4.

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Year A: Trinity Sunday

‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.’

When I was in South America, I met an American woman doctor – a gynecologist - who also worked in the Amazon for many years. And gradually, after about a year, when she had got to know me, she told me her story. She had first come to the Amazon ten years previously just for a few weeks and fallen in love with the country – the land and the people. And also she had realised how much her skills as a gynaecologist were needed and appreciated. So, after a long discussion with her husband, they both decided to come and give two years to working in the Amazon. They decided that this was the most time they could responsibly afford to take away from earning good money in America. And so they came with their two children – an 8 year-old girl and a 4-year old boy who had a minor problem with his spleen. They both found valuable work to do and they were very happy to feel that they were really working to make people better rather than just to make money. Then, near the end of their 2 years, their 4-year old son suddenly became ill. They brought him to the hospital. The doctors found he had a chest infection, but it didn’t seem too bad, so they gave him some antibiotics to make it better. But it got worse. The doctors realized that his minor problem in the spleen had made him vulnerable to a particular, very rare, infection. It was preventing his immune system from fighting the infection properly. Suddenly, he needed urgent intensive specialist treatment that was not available in the Amazon. So they chartered a plane specially to fly him out to Trinidad.

He died in the plane on the way.

She says that after that she cried every day for two years. And she deeply and bitterly regretted her decision to come to South America, believing that if she had stayed in the United States, her son would have had a better chance. She will never know if it would have made the difference, but she will always know that it might.

But then, she says, after about 2 years of grief, there started coming to her mind the images – different images – not the images of her nightmares – of the plane, of her son’s face as he died – of all the bad memories – but images of some of the people she had helped in the Amazon – faces of the people whose lives she had saved, or whose sufferings she had relieved. And she began to remember how many, many of those there had been. It did not make it all right – she knows that nothing will ever do that - but it gave her some comfort. And about another two years after that, she began to realise that God was asking her to go back.

As you can imagine, it was not an easy decision. But the moment of decision was when she and her husband prayed over this passage: "God loved the World so much that He gave His only Son." Having also lost her only Son, she now knew what those few words really mean.

And so she went back.

Last I heard, she and her husband are still there.

It is the finest example I have ever seen of someone taking these words of Christ and putting them into action in her own life.

Let us pray that we too may be given the grace to take the words of Christ and put them into action in our own lives.

Let us stand and profess our Faith in the Love of God, who loved the World – that much.

Paul O’Reilly, SJ <fatbaldnproud@opalityone.net>

 

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Volume 2 is for you. Your thoughts, reflections, and insights on the next Sundays readings can influence the preaching you hear. Send them to jboll@opsouth.org.  Deadline is Wednesday Noon. Include your Name, and Email Address.

-- Fr. John


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Volume II Archive

We keep up to six articles in this archive.  The latest is always listed first.

14th SUNDAY 13th SUNDAY 12th SUNDAY Body & Blood TRINITY PENTECOST


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