The Holy Trinity Lives in Us

06-16-2019Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

When we read or listen to the first reading from the Book of Proverbs this weekend we may become a bit confused by it. Certainly we know that this weekend is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity and we may wonder how wisdom is connected to the Trinity. How indeed does the love of God relate to the Trinity? Do you hear echoes of the beginning of the Prologue of the Gospel of John in this passage of Proverbs? Does not John say that “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God”? The first reading from Proverbs may, at first, be a bit confusing. But ultimately it all fits together. And indeed there is a little of the Spirit of God being “poured forth.” It is in Proverbs 1:23 that we hear: “Lo! I will pour out to you my spirit; I will acquaint you with my words.” Today’s responsorial psalm, in addition, helps us discern a relationship between Wisdom and ourselves whom God has created just a “little less than the angels” and to whom God has given responsibility for and to our fellow creatures. We can easily conclude that it is in Wisdom Literature, especially Proverbs, that Wisdom itself is the common ground we share with God in the wonders of creation, the place where God and people relate and communicate.

We learn in the Old Testament scripture that Wisdom sees only good in God’s creation and also sees all things as blessings. Wisdom is, in fact, an unsullied gift, a spark of the truly divine that God gladly shares with us so that we may live wisely and well. Wisdom is related closely to mercy, which is not only the Father’s tender love for us, but also what God wants us to feel and do for one another. Anything less is absolutely foolish, and fools we are not.

Our second reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans reminds us that our faith has given us access to the “grace in which we stand.” The passage continues to assure us that “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” This means clearly and absolutely that the Holy Trinity already lives in us and we in the Trinity. This special indwelling gives profound meaning to all our efforts. We possess wisdom that “affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope.”

We read in our Gospel passage that Jesus declares that we must possess the Spirit if we are to understand his message. Why is this? Was this because Jesus really was not an adequate teacher for all of us? This would be a wrong conclusion. Jesus’ message cannot be separated from himself, his actual person. Only the indwelling Spirit can complete this message for us. This all means that the Father who sent the Son now sends into each of our hearts the Holy Spirit in order to continue the Son’s work and to spread his message for the entire world.

We all have heard the famous story of how Saint Patrick explained the Trinity to the Celts in Ireland by showing them how the three leaves of the shamrock make up only one shamrock and that all three are part of one. The reality of the Trinity did not come from a plant of the field. This belief tells us that our God is relational and bonding. It is for us by his grace that we enter into a relationship with him that includes the bonding of our hearts and lives.

Parish Wide Meetings: Thank you to all those who came to share and speak publicly at our meetings to discuss the property (the Patrimony) of the school building and land. The Parish Council (PPC) and Finance Council (PFC) had members in attendance who listened closely to the thoughts, opinions, insights and suggestions offered. In the Fall, the PPC will begin the formal task of analyzing everything to help answer our big question of “What is the highest and best use of this building/land to support the Mission of Saint Mary’s Parish?” The PPC will keep us informed as it continues its process.