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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Grace. Peace. Companionship.Trinity Sunday 2020

Grace. Peace. Companionship.
Trinity Sunday 2020
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June 7, 2020
Exodus 34:4-9; Daniel 3; 2 Corinthians 13:1-13; John 3:16-18

Trinity Sunday celebrates the mysteries of our one God by showing us the simplicity of who God is and what God does for us. The God that Moses meets on the mountain declares that the Lord is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and will never leave our side before he gives us the commandments on the two stone tablets. The Gospel reveals God’s plans for salvation by sending Jesus to become one of us to show us how God loves us and how we ought to treat each other. The reading from Paul describes the ways Christians will live when they accept the love and peace of God through the Spirit.

Moses often ascended the mountain to meet God, and this meeting comes only after Moses toils to get up there. Climbing takes stamina, time, preparation, and persistent work to reach the top. He does not arrive easily, but the effort is worth it. It is important for us to remember this because few goals in life are easily achieved and it takes purpose and dedication to get there. Also, we set our mind upon our higher matters when we lift our eyes and look to the future. Moses teaches us to look beyond ourselves and to raise our eyes to God, and it raises all our other activities and thoughts. When the standards, rhetoric, policies, and actions that govern us are low, we have to aim high. Today, in our times of stress and distress, we keep our thoughts and minds raised to see those activities that God is able to do through our sustained efforts, and we are filled with hope. Today, we must think about higher principles. Today, we can dream about the world that we want to shape, one that is free from prejudice, fear, violence or force, a day when our individual thoughts no longer contribute to racism, elitism, classism, or systems that create wide gaps of inequality, a day in which the pursuit of human power and glory is replaced with seeking God’s glory, a day in which peace and harmony are available to all and people are allowed to pursue their dreams with the cooperation of the existing power structures, a day in which people can breathe a sigh of relief and that the breath we inhale is filled with wonder at the goodness at the potential of our neighbors, a day in which each of our neighbors is treated with dignity and goodwill because they have become friends.

Is this world possible? Yes. Saint Paul in Second Corinthians reading reveals to us what our lives will be like when we pay attention to the matters of God. We are promised grace from Christ, merciful love and peace from God, and companionship from the Spirit. That is what we ask for at the beginning of mass. Saint Paul says that at all times we are to rejoice because we can examine our ways in light of the higher ideals and change our behavior. We can bring about a more socially just world in which every person is afforded respect and honor and we chose to be responsible for one another. We can make the necessary adjustments to change our structures, once we allow the Spirit in to change the contours of our hearts. We have to bother to love. We have to give mercy a chance. We sin, individually and as a society, when we fail to bother to love, when we don’t even try, when our hearts are too busy to hold the pain of another, when we don’t even see another person’s pain, when we don’t even try to listen to, to hear, to hold, to grasp the suffering that another person carries in his or her soul, when we choose not to enter into the chaos of another person’s life because it will cost us too much, because it will take us out of our comfort zones, because we do not have to facilities or capacities to bring about the change that is needed within our hearts and our local relationships, because we don’t have the courage of the Spirit in our hearts. Paul says that we are to encourage one another, to agree with one another, and to live in peace. The words we speak are vital in helping another pilgrim walk this arduous road of life. Sometimes not speaking is the best gift we can give in maintaining harmony, as long as it does not detract from your own self-worth, because it gives us a chance to listen. This is the right time to examine and to develop relationships, and all we have to do is to bother to try. We know we will not always be successful in the first instance. The care for the other person’s soul is more important than anything else you can do.

Our Trinitarian God is offering God’s very self to us in many ways. How do we respond? We offer ourselves back. To borrow and expand upon St. Teresa’s poem, I offer the following. Loving God, I offer you my hands and my labor and my actions that I may do your work. I offer you my feet, my journeying, my curiosity to go your way. I offer you my eyes and my vision and my perceptions and judgments to see as you do. I offer you my tongue to speak your words, that speak of eternal life through ongoing creation. I offer you my mind that you may think in me and through me. I offer you my spirit that you may pray in me and through me. I offer you my heart that you may love in me and through me, so I may love the world as you do. This world sorely needs to encounter your love. Let it be through me. I offer you my whole self, my memory, my liberty, my entire will that you may grow in me and through me. I want you to live and work and play and pray in and through me. Your love and your grace are all I need. With you, we will rejoice. Your Spirit, O God, will renew the face of the earth.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading:
Monday: (1 Kings 17) The Lord then said to Elijah: “Leave here, go east and hide in the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. You shall drink of the stream, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there.” So he left and did as the Lord had commanded.

Tuesday: (1 Kings 17) “Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have designated a widow there to provide for you.” He left and went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”

Wednesday: (1 Kings 18) Ahab sent to all the children of Israel and had the prophets assemble on Mount Carmel. Elijah appealed to all the people and said, “How long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” The people, however, did not answer him.

Thursday: (Acts 11) In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.

Friday (1 Kings 19) At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter. But the word of the Lord came to him, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord.

Saturday (1 Kings 19) Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.”

Monday: (Matthew 5) When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Tuesday: (Matthew 5) Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Wednesday (Matthew 5) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.

Thursday (Matthew 5) Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.

Friday (Matthew 5) “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.

Saturday (Matthew 5) “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.

Saints of the Week

June 9: Ephrem, deacon and doctor (306-373), was born in the area that is now Iraq. He was ordained a deacon and refused priestly ordination. After Persians conquered his home town, Ephrem lived in seclusion where he wrote scriptural commentaries and hymns. He was the first to introduce hymns into public worship.

June 9: Joseph de Anchieta, S.J., priest (1534-1597), was from the Canary Islands and became a leading missionary to Brazil. He was one of the founders of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero. He is considered the first Brazilian writer and is regarded as a considerate evangelizer of the native Brazilian population. Alongside the Jesuit Manuel de Nobrega, he created stable colonial establishments in the new country.

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 7, 1556. Peter Canisius becomes the first provincial superior of the newly constituted Province of Upper Germany.
·      Jun 8, 1889. Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins died at the age of 44 in Dublin. His final words were "I am so happy, so happy." He wrote, "I wish that my pieces could at some time become known but in some spontaneous way ... and without my forcing."
·      Jun 9, 1597. The death of Blessed Jose de Ancieta, Brazil's most famous missionary and the founder of the cities of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.
·      Jun 10, 1537. Ignatius and his companions were given minor orders at the house of Bishop Vincenzo Negusanti in Venice, Italy.
·      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.

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