Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Most Holy Trinity

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze
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The Most Holy Trinity
May 31, 2015
Deuteronomy 4:32-24, 39-40; Psalm 33; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20

            The feast of the Holy Trinity celebrates the rich ways God is in relationship with us. Moses begins by calling our attention back to the Creating God who made a splendid world for our enjoyment. He reminds the people of our history with God, which proves God has always been on our side. Moses shows us that God gives us everything we need and only asks that we keep the commandments in response to God’s generosity. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, tells us the Spirit adopts us into God’s family and protects us the way a loving parent does. In Matthew, the risen Christ, who celebrates his victory over the forces of the world, promises his solidarity as the believers go out to the world and bring the good news.

            In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius of Loyola asks us to imagine the Triune God as we enter into the vision of God – the mystery of divinity shared by three persons. In the contemplation we are invited to look upon our world to see it from God’s viewpoint. God sees men and women being born and being laid to rest, some getting married and others divorced, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the happy and the sad, so many people aimless, despairing, hateful, and killing, so many undernourished, sick, and dying, so many struggling with life and blind to any meaning. With God, I can hear people laughing and crying, some shouting and screaming, some praying, others cursing.

            We are also able to witness the leap of divine joy. God knows that the time has come when the mystery of salvation, hidden from the beginning of the world, will shine into human darkness and confusion. It is as if I can hear the Divine Persons saying, “Let us work the redemption of the whole human race; let us respond to the groaning of all creation.” How does the Trinity respond? O wonder of wonders! It is determined that the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, will take human flesh as Jesus of Nazareth and become Emmanuel, that is, God is with us.

            From this imaginative prayer, we see certain things about God. (1.) God uses various means, because of God’s three-fold nature, to reach us. God is rather inventive. God speaks to us directly, then gives the Law, sends prophets and teaches us Wisdom, and finally sends a part of God’s own self to bond with us (2.) God has great emotions – mostly in response to our plight. Notice the leap of divine joy and the relief the Trinity feels when the long-awaited moment of salvation can finally start. (3.) Because of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, we are ever closer to God and God is never going to stop reaching out to each and every person. God will exhaust every possibility of inviting us to closer friendship.

            We can celebrate our Trinitarian God today by saying thanks as we remember the many times God showed up to communicate care to us. When God did not see present, we can ask about those times, “Where you there for me? I did not see you.” We can have God remind us of our personal story of friendship where we sit back and let God do all the remembering for us. God might have something new to reveal about moments we thought were settled. We can simply relax and enjoy that God is going to keep working gently and through hidden means to reach into our conscious world just to let us know that God is always recreating, redeeming, and sustaining us. With God, it is always onwards and upwards towards a new day.

            Trinity Sunday is a day for us to have simple communication with God because, after all, communicating well is a supreme act of love. God is always sharing with us; today is our day to share back with God in response to this great kindness. Be creative. Be inventive in the ways you will speak with God today. Let yourself be surrounded by awe and beauty because this is what God desires for you. Take and receive the goodness God provides; return to God a grateful soul. God’s Triune presence, in the beginning and the end, is enough for us all.

Themes for this Week’s Masses

First Reading: 
Monday: (Tobit 1) Tobit sent his son, Tobiah, out to find a poor pious man to have dinner with hm. Tobiah reported that one of his countrymen was murdered. Tobit had him brought to his house so he could bury him after dusk.
Tuesday: (Tobit 2) At nightfall, Tobit slept in the courtyard with his head uncovered. Birds dropped waste into his eyes, which formed cataracts and cause blindness. His wife Anna was skilled with weaving and she was paid handsomely for her craft and given a goat as gift. Tobit became angry; Anna said, “Your true nature can now be seen.”
Wednesday: (Tobit 3) Grief-stricken in spirit, Tobit groans and weeps loudly. Raguel was afflicted by the daemon Asmodeus, but she would not succumb. When she praised the Lord in prayer, Raphael was sent to heal Tobit’s eyesight and to marry Raquel’s daughter Sarah to Tobit’s son Tobiah.   
Thursday: (Tobit 6) Raguel explains Sarah’s history to Tobiah and declares the marriage was decided in heaven. Tobiah and Sarah happily go to bed and the curse that belonged to Sarah was no longer present.   
Friday (Tobit 11) When Tobiah returns to his family home, his mother is relieved. Tobiah brings fish gall to cure his father’s eyes, but Tobit can see again. All in Nineveh rejoice.   
Saturday (Tobit 12) Tobit demanded the Tobiah compensate Raphael generously. Raphael gives advice and then discloses that he is one of the seven Archangels and that he petitioned God to cure Tobit and Sarah.

Gospel: 
Monday: (Mark 12) Jesus tells a parable about a man who planted a vineyard and gave it to tenant farmers before he went on a journey. On his return, he finds wicked tenants have killed the farmers and the man’s son. The owner put the men to death and gave the vineyards to others. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
Tuesday: (Mark 12) Some Pharisees and Herodians are intent to ensnare Jesus in his speech. They ask whether it is lawful to pay the census tax. Give to Caesar his due; Give God his due.
Wednesday (Mark 12) The Sadducees, who profess there is no resurrection, ask Jesus about divorce. Jesus tells them that people are alive to God in death and there is no need for marrying. God is the God of the living, not the dead.  
Thursday (Mark 12) A scribe asks Jesus about the first of all the commandments. When he answers, “Love the Lord God with all your strength and your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus declares that he is not far from the kingdom of God.
Friday (Mark 12) Jesus discusses the kinship of the Christ as a descendent of the Lord David.
Saturday (Mark 12) Jesus warns people to beware of the scribes that are hypocritical because they like glory and honor at the expense of vulnerable people. He lauds the poor widow who put into the temple treasury two small coins.

Saints of the Week

May 31: Visitation of the Virgin Mary commemorates the visit of Mary in her early pregnancy to Mary, who is reported to be her elder cousin. Luke writes about the shared rejoicing of the two women - Mary's conception by the Holy Spirit and Elizabeth's surprising pregnancy in her advanced years. Elizabeth calls Mary blessed and Mary sings her song of praise to God, the Magnificat.

June 1: Justin, martyr (100-165), was a Samaritan philosopher who converted to Christianity and explained doctrine through philosophical treatises. His debating opponent reported him to the Roman authorities who tried him and when he refused to sacrifice to the gods, was condemned to death.

June 2: Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs (d. 304) died in Rome during the Diocletian persecution. Peter was an exorcist who ministered under the well-regarded priest, Marcellinus. Stories are told that in jail they converted their jailer and his family. These men are remembered in Eucharistic prayer I.

June 3: Charles Lwanga and 22 companion martyrs from Uganda (18660-1886) felt the wrath of King Mwanga after Lwanga and the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa) censured him for his cruelty and immorality. The King determined to rid his kingdom of Christians. He persecuted over 100 Christians, but upon their death new converts joined the church.

June 5: Boniface, bishop and martyr (675-754), was born in England and raised in a Benedictine monastery. He became a good preacher and was sent to the northern Netherlands as a missionary. Pope Gregory gave him the name Boniface with an edict to preach to non-Christians. We was made a bishop in Germany and gained many converts when he cut down the famed Oak of Thor and garnered no bad fortune by the Norse gods. Many years later non-Christians killed him when he was preparing to confirm many converts. The church referred to him as the "Apostle of Germany."

June 6: Norbert, bishop (1080-1134), a German, became a priest after a near-death experience. He became an itinerant preacher in northern France and established a community founded on strict asceticism. They became the Norbertines and defended the rights of the church against secular authorities.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      May 31, 1900. The new novitiate of the Buffalo Mission, St Stanislaus, in South Brooklyn, Ohio, near Cleveland, is blessed.
·      Jun 1, 1527. Ignatius was thrown into prison after having been accused of having advised two noblewomen to undertake a pilgrimage, on foot, to Compostella.
·      Jun 2, 1566. The Professed House was opened in Toledo. It became well known for the fervor of its residents and the wonderful effects of their labors.
·      Jun 3, 1559. A residence at Frascati, outside of Rome, was purchased for the fathers and brothers of the Roman College.
·      Jun 4, 1667. The death in Rome of Cardinal Sforza Pallavicini, a man of great knowledge and humility. While he was Prefect of Studies of the Roman College he wrote his great work, The History of the Council of Trent.
·      Jun 5, 1546. Paul III, in the document Exponi Nobis, empowered the Society to admit coadjutors, both spiritual and temporal.
·      Jun 6, 1610. At the funeral of Henry IV in Paris, two priests preaching in the Churches of St Eustace and St Gervase denounced the Jesuits as accomplices in his death. This was due primarily to the book De Rege of Father Mariana.