Archive for the ‘Trinity’ Category

Trinity Sunday 6-4-2023

Saturday, June 3rd, 2023

The people who ask the most questions about God are children and
theologians – and their questions are surprisingly similar. Does God
exist? Where does He live? What does He look like? Where did He
come from and how does He spend His “time”? The search never stops.
When one inquiry is answered, it usually triggers others.
Actually, the deep mysteries of religion are not answered but only
commented on. Even Jesus didn’t give direct responses most of the
time. He replied with a story, a parable, or a comment. “What is the
Kingdom?” they asked, and He responded, “It’s a net full of fish.”
“How about the Church, what is it?” “A mustard seed.” “How can you
tell if a person is wise or foolish?” “One builds a house on rock, the
other on sand.” These are not complete answers but enlightening
comments designed to make people think.
Trinity Sunday presents us with some real puzzlers. Can you
explain the Holy Trinity? No! But we can make a comment: it’s like a
triangle, a shamrock or something that is three and yet one.
Religion is well supplied with a multitude of unfolding mysteries
of which the Trinity is only one – a major one. It’s no real
accomplishment to ask a question which perplexes the experts, for we
have millions more good questions than good answers. People often
think that the priest, bishop or pope, is the “answer man.” Not so.
These persons are expected to have some penetrating insights, but
basically they cannot answer religious mysteries. Their best response is
to make an intelligent comment in the form of a symbol, story or
perhaps a simple act of faith.
The mysteries of religion are not the kind which are waiting to be
solved. Rather, they are to continue as mysteries and be acknowledged
and appreciated. The Trinity is saying something to us about God’s
inmost nature. Although it is beyond human explanation, we will have
our own “answers” but they will all be incomplete. God is too big and
complicated for our little minds to grasp completely. But even though
He cannot be fully explained, we can always admire and believe God.
On a more down to earth level.
A high school teacher was talking to her students about the Trinity.
After her presentation she gave her class a writing assignment on this
question: “Which person of the Trinity do you relate to best at this time
in your life?”
I’d like to share with you three student answers to that question.
One boy wrote:
“My father and I have a zero relationship. I need a father right
now, and since I can’t turn to my own dad, I turn to my Father in
heaven. I sometimes talk to him about my problems, the way I would
like to talk to my dad about them.”
One girl wrote:
“My brother lives with my father, and I live with my mother. Ever
since my parents’ divorce two years ago, we hardly ever see each other
anymore. I never thought I’d miss my brother, but I do. So now I’ve
kind of adopted Jesus as a brother.”
Finally another boy wrote:
“Just recently I began praying to the Holy Spirit. I’m going to
college in a year, and I have no idea what I want to take up. I hope the
Holy Spirit will enlighten me. Anyway, I’m praying to him for
I find those comments refreshingly honest. I also find that they
make me ask myself, “Which person of the Trinity do I relate to best?”
I close.
God, you are profound in your mystery, and you never cease to
amaze me; I sometimes come to think that I have you figured out, and
then you zap me, and remind me that you are beyond the limitations of
my insight.
As I search for the words, titles, songs and images that attempt to
corner you, help me to know that you are beyond my words, deeper than
any effort to be “inclusive,” because what really matters, is that you
exist and that I see you present in your creation.

Finding God in Ukraine 6-12-2022

Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Amid the destruction and death in the Ukraine, it’s hard to imagine
anything remotely revealing the presence of God. But if you look with
the eye of the heart and listen with the ear of the spirit, you’ll see and
hear God at work even in the horror taking place in Ukraine. Some
signs of God’s presence:
Vladyslav operates a bakery in Kyiv. He employs adults with
psychological disabilities. His shop specializes in cakes and pastries, as
well as serving lunch. On the day before Russian troops stormed their
country, Vladyslav gathered his staff together. They would stop selling
baked goods to individual customers; instead, they would bake bread for
all. They produce 300 loaves a day, bread that they give away to homes
for the disabled and volunteer organizations. “I am not militant in my
nature,” Vladyslav says simply, “but I can bake bread.” The love of God
is in every loaf that Vladyslav bakes.
In Krakow, Poland – just across the Ukrainian border – a community
of 40 Dominican sisters have opened their convent to refugees: children,
women, the elderly – even their dogs. Things are getting a little
cramped, but the sisters tell the refugees they are welcome to stay as
long as they need to. In Poland and Ukraine, more than 1,000 religious
communities of women are providing housing, food, clothing, and
emotional support to thousands of Ukrainians who have been displaced
by the war. These sisters, like so many of their Polish neighbors, reveal
in their kindness and compassion the Gospel Jesus.
This is Hanna’s first year as a teacher. The 23-year-old never
imagined teaching her class of fifth graders in the middle of a war – but,
despite the bombings and airstrikes, millions of children in Ukraine are
still going to school. Hanna is one of hundreds of dedicated and creative
teachers who are managing to keep their students engaged in learning.
Some students can’t attend every day because they’re constantly on the
move from shelter to shelter. Many of Hanna’s students are signing in
on their parents’ phones. Hanna says that the routine of school and
seeing their friends online is helping. “Even if I’m not teaching the full
curriculum,” Hanna says, “It’s good that they’re talking to me and to
each other…. It reminds us of something normal.” The sacrifice and
courage of many good people trying to make things “normal” for their
fellow Ukrainians – “normal” is the Spirit of God alive in their care of
one another.
On this Trinity Sunday, we celebrate the God who reveals himself not
only in the wonders of nature and the miracles of science, but in every
experience of love and expression of compassion. God’s Spirit opens
our eyes to see all women and men as daughters and sons of God the
Father of all; the Spirit opens our hearts to embrace one another as
sisters and brothers in God’s Christ. May our own hearts and minds be
opened to the Spirit of God revealing such love and hope in our own
lives, however small and ordinary and unassuming; may the Spirit instill
in us the wisdom to realize the goodness in all things that can enable us
to transform our lives and world in God’s life and love.