June 19, 2011
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2 Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18
One of the great mysteries of the Ancient world was the origin of the Nile, the longest river in the world. In ancient Greece, the source of the Nile was considered one of the earth’s most compelling mysteries, written about extensively by the 460 BC historian Herodotus, who believed the river sprang from between two massive mountains. Later, the Emperor Nero ordered his Centurions to follow the Nile in search of this rumored source, though these brave early explorers were bogged down in the swampy marshes near the Ugandan border. The upper Nile in Ethiopia was largely forgotten by most of the world from the 4th to the 17th Centuries until Padre Páez became the first European to discover its source in 1618. He wrote “I confess I feel fortunate and happy for seeing what Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and the Kings Ciro and Cambesses desired to see in the past but never accomplished.” It was the sediment carried down from the origin of the Nile that fertilized its banks downstream and gave life to one of the greatest early civilizations in Egypt. The discovery of its origin helps us today to understand the life that the river continues to deliver.
Often we can take for granted the life that has been poured into us. It is through exploring the mystery of God, who is the source of all life that we understand more clearly who we are and the beauty and purpose of our life. God could very easily reveal himself to us in the fullness of His glory, even Moses in today's first reading is not prepared to see the fullness of God and after God passes in front of Moses he will need to wear a veil on his face to cover the radiance left on his face (Ex. 34:30). Because the people of Israel were a stiff necked people unable to fathom the depths of God's love, they were given the Ten Commandments as a first step towards understanding God's call for them.
What the people of Israel were not ready for was revealed to the world in the fullness of time. As we hear in the Gospel, "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:16-17). Through the Incarnation of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as promised by our Lord, we have the gift of seeing the love of God alive in our lives. The mystery of the Trinity is only understood as we begin to grasp God's love.
This is the central mystery of our Christian faith and life. "It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men" (CC 234).
We do not proclaim three Gods, but one God in three persons. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are distinct but also one. As God the Father created the world the Son was the word that proceeded from the Father and the Spirit was the power of the Father in Son that brought the world into fruition.
Yet we understand that the divine persons of the Trinity are really distinct from one another, "God is one but not solitary." (Fides Damasi: DS 71). The Father, Son and Spirit are distinct from each other. Jesus, the eternal Word of the Father became flesh in our world through the power of the Holy Spirit. They are also distinct from one other in their relationship, "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds" (Lateran Council IV) The divine Unity is Triune.
As we discover the unity and individuality of God, the source of our life, we understand ourselves more clearly. First, we were created to be one, be healed of all divisions and hatreds and radiating love to one another. Second, we are each beautifully created distinct, with our different gifts and callings. We are each different, each with a purpose and together we make up the one body of Christ. Let this Feast of the Holy Trinity inspire us to increase our respect for ourselves and love others as we have been loved. This is the who we are and where we came from, the origin of our creation.
ó After much fanfare this Friday is the Priest vs. Parishioners basketball game. The Priest from Mary Star Parish and High School, Holy Trinity Parish and some of our priest friends, will be competing against parishioners from both of our parishes. Tickets may still be available for $20 each and the proceeds from those sold by Mary Star will go towards the Msgr. Gallagher Scholarship fund. Wish us luck!
ó The first Young Adult meeting was a great success, over 20 people came to the BBQ. We are hoping this will be a great source of strength and support for all of the San Pedro Catholic Young Adults in their Twenties and Thirties. Their next meeting will be on Sunday, June 26 at 6:00 P.M. in the Knights of Columbus Room.
ó Over the last few years as Pastor of Mary Star I have often witnessed unneeded suffering at the time of death. Many of our parishioners are very confused about "Wills" and "Trusts" and their heirs end up handing over everything to the government. I have asked Cruz Saavedra, a parishioners, and chair of our Finance Committee to deliver a Estate Planning Presentation to our parish. He will be receiving no personal gain for himself, this will a very needed service to our community. This will be offered on Sunday, July 31 2011 in the Parish Auditorium from 3:30 to 4:30.