Having completed the celebration of the liturgical seasons which highlight various aspects of the mystery of our redemption, today we simply celebrate the mystery of God himself: one God in three divine persons. No human categories can adequately express the mystery of God. When we speak of the three divine persons, for example, we must resist the temptation to conceive of the Trinity as three individuals who are all God. A creed from the fourth or fifth century called the Athanasian Creed says: “There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory and coeternal majesty…The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. However, there are not three gods, but one God.” And so on.
It has been said that the whole of the Christian faith can be summed up in the Trinity. Notice that both the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are Trinitarian in structure. As complicated as our attempts to conceptualize the Triune God may be, what it comes down to is this: everything comes from God and belongs to him. We have been created in the image of a God who is a community of persons and so we are social beings. This is why today’s Second Reading and the majority of the Ten Commandments (cf. today’s First Reading) speak of our relationships to other human beings, and why God cares as much about this aspect of our lives as he does about our relationship to him alone.
Through the incarnation of God the Son becoming man, God reached out to us and, by our redemption, drew us into his embrace and into the mystery of his very life. (Cf. today’s gospel.) Having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we have been consecrated and made living temples of God. The goal of this “sanctifying grace” is total union with God in heaven. So as God has given us himself, let us give ourselves entirely to him in order to receive one day a heavenly reward.
I am grateful for the cooperation of everyone, especially our ushers, who made it possible for us to resume public weekend Masses last weekend. With everyone’s cooperation we will be able to continue. Social distancing and 25% seating capacity are still normative. No one who feels uncomfortable or compromised should feel obliged to attend, but those who came were happy to be able to participate in person and to receive holy communion.
Our parishes’ fiscal year ends on June 30. Pledges to the Diocesan Annual Appeal must be received by that date to be credited for this year. Please honor your pledges to the Appeal and continue your support of our parishes. Please consider an extra one-time gift to the Diocesan Annual Appeal to help our parishes meet their financial obligations by the end of the fiscal year. We have a little catching up to do because of the inability of people to attend Mass in person, so your attention to our parishes’ needs is greatly appreciated.
These words from today’s Second Reading deserve special reflection in the midst of the violence we have seen recently in our country and all the political posturing that has become too common for some time now: “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
May God bless his people with peace.