June 16, 2019: The Most Holy Trinity
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ led Benedict XV to call for an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism, or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the economic and military interests of the colonial powers. In his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, the Pope noted that the Church’s universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one’s own country and ethnic group.
From Pope Francis Statement for World Missions Day (October 20, 2019)
First Reading: Proverbs 8:22-31
Psalm: Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5
Gospel: John 16:12-15
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The whole divine economy is the common work of the three divine persons. For as the Trinity has only one and the same natures so too does it have only one and the same operation: “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of creation but one principle.” However, each divine person performs the common work according to his unique personal property. Thus the Church confesses, following the New Testament, “one God and Father from whom all things are, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and one Holy Spirit in whom all things are”. It is above all the divine missions of the Son’s Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit that show forth the properties of the divine persons. (258)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Psalm 8: 5-7
The Old Testament presents God as the omnipotent Creator (cf. Gen 2:2; Job 38-41; Ps 104; Ps 147) who fashions man in his image and invites him to work the soil (cf. Gen 2:5-6), and cultivate and care for the garden of Eden in which he has placed him (cf. Gen 2:15). To the first human couple God entrusts the task of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over every living creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The dominion exercised by man over other living creatures, however, is not to be despotic or reckless; on the contrary he is to “cultivate and care for” (Gen 2:15) the goods created by God. These goods were not created by man, but have been received by him as a precious gift that the Creator has placed under his responsibility. Cultivating the earth means not abandoning it to itself; exercising dominion over it means taking care of it, as a wise king cares for his people and a shepherd his sheep.
In the Creator’s plan, created realities, which are good in themselves, exist for man’s use. The wonder of the mystery of man’s grandeur makes the psalmist exclaim: “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than god, and crown him with glory and honour. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5-7).
The documents referred to here constitute the milestones of the path travelled by the Church’s social doctrine from the time of Pope Leo XIII to our own day. This brief summary would become much longer if we considered all the interventions motivated, other than by a specific theme, by “the pastoral concern to present to the entire Christian community and to all men of good will the fundamental principles, universal criteria and guidelines suitable for suggesting basic choices and coherent practice for every concrete situation”.
In the formulation and teaching of this social doctrine, the Church has been, and continues to be, prompted not by theoretical motivation but by pastoral concerns. She is spurred on by the repercussions that social upheavals have on people, on multitudes of men and women, on human dignity itself, in contexts where “man painstakingly searches for a better world, without working with equal zeal for the betterment of his own spirit”. For these reasons, this social doctrine has arisen and developed an “updated doctrinal ‘corpus’ … [that] builds up gradually, as the Church, in the fullness of the word revealed by Christ Jesus and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 14:16,26; 16:13-15), reads events as they unfold in the course of history”. (104)
The love that inspires Jesus’ ministry among men is the love that he has experienced in his intimate union with the Father. The New Testament allows us to enter deeply into the experience, that Jesus himself lives and communicates, the love of God his Father — “Abba” — and, therefore, it permits us to enter into the very heart of divine life. Jesus announces the liberating mercy of God to those whom he meets on his way, beginning with the poor, the marginalized, the sinners. He invites all to follow him because he is the first to obey God’s plan of love, and he does so in a most singular way, as God’s envoy in the world.
Jesus’ self-awareness of being the Son is an expression of this primordial experience. The Son has been given everything, and freely so, by the Father: “All that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16:15). His in turn is the mission of making all men sharers in this gift and in this filial relationship: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:15).
For Jesus, recognizing the Father’s love means modelling his actions on God’s gratuitousness and mercy; it is these that generate new life. It means becoming — by his very existence — the example and pattern of this for his disciples. Jesus’ followers are called to live like him and, after his Passover of death and resurrection, to live also in him and by him, thanks to the superabundant gift of the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, who internalizes Christ’s own style of life in human hearts. (29)
The Face of God, progressively revealed in the history of salvation, shines in its fullness in the Face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; truly distinct and truly one, because God is an infinite communion of love. God’s gratuitous love for humanity is revealed, before anything else, as love springing from the Father, from whom everything draws its source; as the free communication that the Son makes of this love, giving himself anew to the Father and giving himself to mankind; as the ever new fruitfulness of divine love that the Holy Spirit pours forth into the hearts of men (cf. Rom 5:5). (31)
Community, collaboration and communication. All attributes we need to model in our Church and lives. The unity of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, supporting the work of each other in the reciprocity of love. A community grounded in bringing forth peace to humanity and all creation. A community seeking to share truth and guide all to truth. A community realizing all hold everything in common to be shared for the greater good. A model of collaboration, the Trinity divinely imbued in the work of each other. Three but one embellishes the message and mission of the Holy Trinity which is not mute, but communicates love, peace, grace and passion. Present in the written Word, shown on the altar and expressed in Divine affection to all who do not shun goodness.
As Church, how do we express community, collaboration and communication? Is community defined as a select few with self-imposed parameters infusing status over service? Do we sing All Are Welcome with asterisks at the bottom of the page designating exclusions? Do gender and age create a hierarchy of community leaving some voices and hands searching to be equally a part of community? How do we collaborate? Do we listen before we act? Do we encounter instead of judging from a distance? Do we take delight in each day with a spirit of joy or mock others instead of working in a synodaly of dialogue? As Church, will we communicate with fellow believers and the world or recess into crevasses of self-designed holy alcoves wretched in fear of the other, how ever seen and defined? The Holy Trinity know no other for as three they are one. Since God makes all in His image and likeness, other does not exist for God. Jesus came for all, as the words form Galatians say, “Jew or Greek, free or slave, man or women.” The Holy Spirit is an endless effervescence, not rationed for a few.
The Holy Trinity strives for unity by community, collaboration and communication. Let us follow what the Holy Trinity models and messages for us to be voices acting to foster unity in the Church and world. Thru faith, our lives encounter the Holy Trinity and we must take that gift and articulate it in the Church. To snub that message and method to instead embed ourselves in holy cocoons of isolation is for us to deny the presence of the Holy Trinity in our lives. An isolation of celestial comfort instead of living with the spiritual protein to fuel faith into positive, healing action.
Individual Reflection: Romans 5:1-5
October 2019 is Extraordinary Missionary Month proclaimed by Pope Francis to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. How will your parish raise awareness of the Church’s missionary spirit?
Family Reflection: Romans 5:1-5
Reflect on Romans 5:1-5. How can each family member put words to each step of the sequence?
Affliction> Endurance> Proven Character> Hope> Does Not Disappoint> Love of God Poured Out Into Our Hearts Through the Holy Spirit
Prayer: Celebrating the Most Holy Trinity
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.
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born June 11, 2018 MB The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.