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Church as Life in the Holy Trinity

  • June 12, 2022 (readings)
  • Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
  • Nan Balfour
  • John 16:12-15

    Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."

    Opening Prayer: O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your Heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action (Prayer of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity).

    Encountering Christ:

    1. Human Understanding: Jesus said to his disciples, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” Jesus had taught his disciples all they were humanly capable of understanding through their ability to reason. Jesus would need to complete his mission and send the Holy Spirit in order for them to begin to grasp the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. With the benefit of Church teaching, we can comprehend much more about the Trinity than the disciples could at the time. Yet it remains, and will always remain, a deep mystery to us. “Eternal Trinity…You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more” (St. Catherine of Siena).

    2. Jesus and the Holy Spirit: Jesus told his disciples to expect the Spirit to guide them to the truth. This was not Jesus’ first mention of the Spirit, nor the first experience the disciples had of the Spirit. Yet, they understood very little at that time. From Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (12): “The Paraclete, Christ's first gift to those who believe, already at work in Creation is fully present throughout the life of the incarnate Word: Jesus Christ is conceived by the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit; at the beginning of his public mission, on the banks of the Jordan, he sees the Spirit descend upon him in the form of a dove; he acts, speaks, and rejoices in the Spirit, and he can offer himself in the Spirit. In the so-called ‘farewell discourse’ reported by John, Jesus clearly relates the gift of his life in the paschal mystery to the gift of the Spirit to his own. Once risen, bearing in his flesh the signs of the Passion, he can pour out the Spirit upon them, making them sharers in his own mission. The Spirit would then teach the disciples all things and bring to their remembrance all that Christ had said, since it falls to him, as the Spirit of truth, to guide the disciples into all truth.”

    3. Mission of the Church: We, the Church, are the Lord’s chosen emissaries to spread the Good News to the people of our time. We undertake this daunting task by availing ourselves of grace so that we can become a living tabernacle for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God's creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity. But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity: ‘If a man loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him,’” (CCC 260). By the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our souls, we can speak the Father’s truth as given to his Son, and so glorify the Holy Trinity.

    Conversing with Christ: Lord, I am amazed at how much you love me and want me to be in communion with you. My only response can be gratitude. Thank you Father! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Holy Spirit!

    Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make an effort to grow in a personal relationship with each member of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

    For Further Reflection: Read Catechism of the Catholic Church 238-260 on the revelation of God as Trinity.


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