Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Holy Trinity Sunday

Holy Trinity Sunday
June 11, 2017
Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9; Daniel 3; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18

In all my years of preaching, I still do not know if I have heard the perfect example to explain the Trinity. I am not sure why we even try to explain the mystery because it is unexplainable, but I do like the direction that Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians takes us because it is all about the best in relationships. It is all about extending goodwill and positive regard to fellow believers and maintaining the healthiest, reconciled relationships possible.

Corinthians outlines the positive relationships that believers must maintain. Paul says the first step is to mend your ways. That means that we have to be creative in the ways in which we try to resolve conflicts. Sometimes the examples we inherit by our families and teachers do not always work in every situation. We have to be courageous enough to realize there are other ways of approaching our problems. Think for instance about dieting: we try the same approaches again and again without success. Stop. This way is not working. Find another way that suits your unique situation, and realize you will need courage to radically alter your behaviors – if you really want to reach your goals. Maybe it means finding an entirely new way to reach your goal.

We have to be active in enhancing and stabilizing relationships. St. Paul tells us to greet one another with a holy kiss and to live in peace with one another. These are beautifully idyllic words and I believe they are achievable, but it takes a lot of work to arrive at this state. For instance, when I encounter an unkind person, I simply want to cut myself off from that person. Also, when I meet someone who is full of her own capabilities and self-worth, my desire to know that person is lessened. It is just the way I am built, and I have to work hard so that I do not cut that person off from a potential relationship. For the unkind person, I have to go out of my way to create a level of kindness without being unkind when the person speaks poorly. For the egotistical person, I have to recognize that she is working out of her unmet need and that there is something beyond this person that is in some pain.

We have to keep in mind the reason Jesus came into this word: so that the world may be saved through him. He did not come in order to condemn us, but we do that whenever we interact with others whom we do not know well. We make quick judgments about others that endure without clarification or testing. Our first impressions hold strong and we often do not give another person a chance to make himself known to us. We might find we are more alike than we think. Instead of condemning, we realize all of us need something beyond ourselves, something larger than us to accept our humanity and give us new life. Our focus can then shift to addressing how to help her fill those unmet needs that plague her, just as someone once helped us along the way to address our needs. We realize we are in the same boat and that we both need something beyond us, someone larger than us, to give us new life.

When we are comfortable in our relationships, we naturally see the best in each other. The Trinity gives us an example of the Divine’s comfort in being with one another. No one demands something from the other person; it is a natural sharing of souls with each other. You will not find a defensive posture in the Trinity. Let’s find ways of being more comfortable in our relationships because this is the time that magnificent things can happen. So, relax. Be your natural self and enjoy who you are. You will find that you will naturally want to share all your good qualities with others; and then the mysteries of positive relationships happen.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (2 Corinthians) Blessed be God who encourages us in every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage others.  
Tuesday: (2 Corinthians) As God is faithful, he has put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.
Wednesday: (2 Corinthians) Our qualification comes from God, who qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of the spirit because the spirit gives life.
Thursday: (2 Corinthians) Since we have a ministry through mercy shown us, we are not discouraged because of the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, not hidden from us. 
Friday (2 Corinthians) We hold these treasures in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not of us. We carry the dying of Jesus in our own bodies.
Saturday (2 Corinthians) The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. We regard no one according to the flesh.

Monday: (Matthew 5) When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain and began to teach his disciples: Blessed are you who…  
Tuesday: (Matthew 5) You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.
Wednesday (Matthew 5) I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill the smallest letter of the law. Whoever breaks the commandments will be the least in the kingdom.
Thursday (Matthew 5) Your righteousness has to surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees. If you have a conflict, settle it before you get to court. Forgive as often as you can.
Friday (Matthew 5) Jesus takes the commandments and gives them a strict interpretation. For instance, adultery is more than a clinical act; it even includes silent lusting.
Saturday (Matthew 5) Do not take a false oath or make a vow; do not swear at all. Let your Yes mean Yes and your No mean No.

Saints of the Week

June 11: Barnabas, apostle (d. 61), was a Jew from Cyprus who joined the early Christians in Jerusalem to build up the church. His name means "son of encouragement." He accepted Paul into his community and worked alongside him for many years to convert the Gentiles. He was stoned to death in his native Cyprus. He was a towering authority to the early church.

June 13: Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor (1195-1231), became a biblical scholar who eventually joined the Franciscans. Francis sent him to preach in northern Italy, first in Bologna and then Padua. He very especially beloved because of his pastoral care, but he died at age 36.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jun 11, 1742. The Chinese and Malabar Rites were forbidden by Pope Benedict XIV; persecution broke out at once in China.
·      Jun 12, 1928. Fr. General Ledochowski responded negatively to the idea of intercollegiate sports at Jesuit colleges because he feared the loss of study time and the amount of travel involved.
·      Jun 13, 1557. The death of King John III of Portugal, at whose request Francis Xavier and others were sent to India.
·      Jun 14, 1596. By his brief Romanus Pontifex, Pope Clement VIII forbade to members of the Society of Jesus the use or privilege of the Bulla Cruciata as to the choice of confessors and the obtaining of absolution from reserved cases.
·      Jun 15, 1871. P W Couzins, a female law student, graduated from Saint Louis University Law School, the first law school in the country to admit women.
·      Jun 16, 1675. St Margaret Mary Alacoque received her great revelation about devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
·      Jun 17, 1900. The martyrdom at Wuyi, China, of Blesseds Modeste Andlauer and Remy Asore, slain during the Boxer Rebellion.