Pastor's Blog - June 7, 2020
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Last week, we celebrated Pentecost Sunday and the conclusion of the Easter Season. We now return to our observance of Ordinary Time, that major portion of our liturgical year in which we do not celebrate a particular aspect of the mystery of Christ; rather this is the time we honor the mystery of Christ in its fullness, especially on Sundays. The next two Sundays we will celebrate special Solemnities of the Lord during Ordinary Time: this Sunday (6/7), the Most Holy Trinity, and next Sunday (6/14), the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
Today, we celebrate one of the central truths of our Catholic faith; namely that Christ has revealed God as an eternal communion of three divine persons united in love. God is not a solitary, powerful figure hidden in the heavens akin to the Wizard of Oz dwelling behind a curtain; nor is God three separate individual god figures: a grandfatherly patriarch; his son who became human; and an elusive ghost who appears in the form of anything from a dove to tongues of fire. The God we profess is in fact a community of distinct persons, each sharing fully in the divine nature but each possessing a unique divine personhood and function within the Godhead. To the Father we attribute the work of creating the world and all it contains, including us; to his incarnate Son we attribute the saving work of redeeming us from sin; to their Holy Spirit we attribute the work of sanctifying us, making us holy, human sharers in God’s own life. This God of ours is both far removed from us and very near at hand; both beyond our comprehension and so very familiar; both deserving of the utmost respect and reverence as the ultimate mystery in the universe; and yet so intimately involved in our everyday lives as a faithful friend. The first reading today presents Moses meeting God on Mount Sinai in a passing cloud; on face value, this must have been a frightening encounter for Moses. The all-powerful God, who at the time was very upset that his beloved people had constructed and worshipped a golden calf in a shocking display of idolatry, appeared to his servant Moses, seemingly full of wrath. But instead, this God reveals himself to Moses as a “merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” Moses then pleads with God to forgive his people and receive them back into his good graces. God grants this favor, and renews his covenant relationship with the people of Israel. The second reading from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians contains a familiar Trinitarian greeting that the priest offers the assembly at Mass: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship [or communion] of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” The gospel passage for today, which is taken from the third chapter of St. John’s gospel, is a well-known text that captures the work of the Trinity: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son [through the power of the Holy Spirit], so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” The next time we bless ourselves with holy water as we enter a church, or before we pray, we might think of the mystery at the heart of our faith: the Trinity, the mystery of three diverse divine persons united in one eternal Godhead.
News and Notes:
As you have probably read and heard, our two parishes will soon merge and become one parish in Lynnfield with two worship sites. After 83 years of OLA as a parish and 60 years of SMG as a parish, on July 1 we will become one Catholic parish blessed with two churches. The temporary name of our newly created parish will be Our Lady of the Assumption-St. Maria Goretti Parish until we all reassemble after the hiatus caused by the coronavirus crisis, when my hope is that we will all participate in a naming process that will eventually forward three possible parish names to Cardinal Sean O’Malley for his consideration and decision. I invite you to start thinking of names to nominate, names that cannot be either Our Lady of the Assumption or St. Maria Goretti. We will be communicating more information about our merger in the coming weeks.
May the blessings of health and peace of mind be yours in the coming days!