For Trinity Sunday Ordinary Time (Cycle A) – June 11, 2017

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life.”
(John 5:24)

 Trinity Sunday Theme: The Ineffable (difficult to explain) Mystery of God.

This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next, however, are designated as solemnities – special days that call our attention to central mysteries of our faith. Today on Trinity Sunday we celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons. Next Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi Sunday).

In the context of today’s focus on the mystery of the Holy Trinity, God reveals Himself in three persons: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father, out of love for the world, sent His Son into the world in order to save it. Through the death and resurrection of the Son, we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. As three persons, God acts always as a God of love; He does not condemn the world but acts to save it. God’s love for us calls us to respond in faith by professing our belief in God’s Son, Jesus, and the salvation that He has won for us. This profession of faith is a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

  • Reading 1 Exodus 34:4b-6,8-9       Moses pleads for God’s mercy on Mt. Sinai.
  • Responsorial Psalm – Daniel 3:52-56       We praise God who is exalted above all forever.
  • Reading 2 – 2 Corinthians 13:11-13       Paul urges the Corinthians to live in peace with one another and with God.
  • Gospel –  John 3:16-18       God sent His Son into the world to save the world. 

Reading 1       Exodus 34:4b-6,8-9           (The One God)
Context – The Book of Exodus (the word “exodus” means “departure”) bears witness to God’s actions (about 1350-1200 BC) to deliver a people from bondage and to bind them to Himself in covenant. At the center of all this stood Moses who was called by God to be the agent in delivering Israel from slavery, to be the interpreter of God’s redemptive work, and to be the mediator of the covenant. This book tells of the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, the birth and education of Moses and his flight into the land of Midian, his encounter with God on Mount Sinai (Horeb) (the burning bush), Moses’ return to Egypt and pleadings with Pharaoh, the plagues of Egypt, the institution of the Passover, the passing through the Red Sea, the giving of the ten commandments at Mt. Sinai, the golden calf, and the 40 years of wandering in the desert.

Today’s Reading –  This is the story of the second giving of the Law (The Ten Commandments) after the people of Israel broke covenant with God by worshipping the golden calf. Moses is asked by God to bring a second set of blank stone tablets up the mountain. God also gives Moses a “little glimpse” of His nature.

Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets.

Having come down in a cloud (Holy Spirit), the LORD stood with Moses there and proclaimed His name, “LORD.” Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD, the LORD (“I Am that I Am.” It is impossible to define God’s name in any other way than to make this affirmation -“The Lord” and then show what it means – “The Lord” – creator and ruler over all creation.),
a merciful and gracious God
(“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. – Exodus 33:19 ),
slow to anger
( God’s anger prolongs itself, allowing for people to repent before punishment is inflicted.)
and rich in kindness and fidelity
(God’s faithful covenant love.).
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship
(Moses’ response to God’s gracious revelation was submission and worship). Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as Your own.”

PAUSE and reflect on how the above speaks to you.            “the LORD passed before him and cried out” –  All that follows is God’s own gracious revelation, to Moses, as to who He (God) is. The text does not record what Moses saw of God’s self-revelation, but it does tell us what he heard. Here is God, Himself, telling us who He is!

Responsorial Psalm.       Daniel 3:52-56            (Praise the Lord)

Today’s Psalm –  These verses are a song of praise to God by the three virtuous young Jewish leaders in Babylon whom the King had thrown in a fiery furnace because of their refusal to worship a golden idol at his command. There is a contrast between their faithfulness to God and the infidelity of the Israelites who did worship the golden calf. More importantly the psalm is a good example of a song of praise to a God who saves His people. The three young men are protected by God in the burning furnace and sing His praises.

R. – Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is Your holy and glorious Name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
R. – Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are You in the temple of Your holy Glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.
R. – Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are You on the throne of Your Kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. – Glory and praise for ever! Blessed are You who look into the depths from Your throne upon the Cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. – Glory and praise for ever!

PAUSE and reflect on how the above speaks to you.

Reading 2.       2 Corinthians 13:11-13           (God’s Grace, Love, and Fellowship)  

Context – Corinth was the meeting point of many nationalities because the main current of the trade between Asia and western Europe passed through its harbors. Paul started the Church at Corinth in 51 AD and stayed there only briefly to get things started. Five years after he left, he composed and sent this Letter to Corinth just prior to his second arrival there. Over those five years trouble arose in the Church including: internal divisions, immorality, denials of the Resurrection, and liturgical carelessness. His pastoral guidance aimed to restore peace and unity by fortifying their commitment to Jesus Christ. Paul’s first Letter to the Corinthians takes aim throughout at two  vices that underlie the Corinthians’ struggles: pride and selfishness. His second letter to the Corinthians was written to prevent them from following prey to false prophets.

Today’s Reading – This brief reading was chosen for today’s solemnity because of its concluding verse, which contains a Trinitarian greeting – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”. The reading begins with an exhortation to the contentious Corinthians to “mend their ways” and to live in peace and harmony with each other.

Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss (The kiss is given in order to inspire love and instill the right attitude in us toward each other.). All the holy ones greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you (The three in one – The Trinity.).

PAUSE  and reflect on how the above speaks to you.

Gospel       John 3:16-18           (God’s Love)

Context – John’s Gospel was written around 90 AD. His Gospel has an evangelistic purpose – preaching about Christ for conversion to Him.  John explains the mystery of the person of Jesus – His eternal origin, divine and human nature. He is eternally present with God. So much of this Gospel is devoted to the heavenly identity and mission of Jesus that John was known as the “spiritual” Gospel in the ancient Church. The “divine family” of God revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the towering mystery of the Fourth Gospel.

Today’s Reading – In the Trinitarian experience (of or relating to the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity, or adherents to that doctrine), which is Christian existence, a loving God sends forth His Son to save sinners. By the power of the abiding Spirit, believing sinners continue to know both the saving power of the Son and the loving grace of the Father and to share with them, the present joy and future promise of eternal life.

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because He has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.

PAUSE  and reflect on how the above speaks to you.           “whoever does not believe has already been condemned”Unbelief on one’s part, after being given the full benefit of knowing and understanding the “Good News”,  is a form of rebellion that puts offenders outside the safety of the covenant. Christians, knowingly or not, spread the “Good News” by the moral uniformity of our character, conduct, and conversation. The “Good News” suffers when our character, conduct, and  conversation are  morally lacking and/or inconsistent and that helps foster the unbelief in the unbelievers!

1 Corinthians 4:1 states that – “This is how one should regard (view) us – as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”

Catechism 259 – Being a work (a composition) at once [both] common and personal, the whole divine economy (that which refers to all the works by which God reveals Himself and communicates His life) makes known both what is proper to the divine persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and their one divine nature. Hence the whole Christian life is a communion with each of the divine persons, without in any way separating them. Everyone who glorifies the Father does so through the Son in the Holy Spirit; everyone who follows Christ does so because the Father draws him and the Spirit moves him.