Reflection for Trinity Sunday-Cycle B, 2018

Image result for trinity

FIRST READING            Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40

Moses said to the people:  “Ask now of the days of old, before your time, ever since God created man upon the earth; ask from one end of the sky to the other:  Did anything so great ever happen before?  Was it ever heard of?  Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?  Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, all of which the LORD, your God, did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?  This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other.  You must keep his statutes and commandments that I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever.”

SECOND READING                  Romans 8:14-17

Brothers and sisters:  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

GOSPEL                Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.  When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.  Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

My sisters and brothers in the Lord,

Abba, Father!  We come to the Lord today, asking that He keep us aware of this great mystery of the Trinity.  It is this belief that God is Trinity, three in one, that distinguishes the Christian faith from all other beliefs.  We believe that God is Father, that Jesus is Son and equal to the Father and is God, and that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son and also God.  It is a truly challenging belief and we believe because Jesus taught us to believe.

The first reading today is from the Book of Deuteronomy.  This passage tells us of the incredible experience of our ancestors in the faith.  God spoke to them!  This is what you and I receive from our ancestors in the faith:  God speaks to His people!  Today not many still believe in such revelation.  We believe and because of that belief, we believe in Jesus Christ and in the Spirit.  God speaks to us today in His Church and through the Sacraments and in our daily lives through faith.

The second reading is from the Letter to the Romans.  We must come to know within ourselves that our faith is a gift of the Spirit, that we can speak of Jesus as our Lord and Savior because of the Spirit within us, that we call God our Father because the Spirit is the pledge of our adoption as children of God, of the Father.  These words must become words that speak of the reality that we experience.  Today, as we honor Father, Son and Spirit, let us seek to live these mysteries more profoundly in our lives.

Today’s Gospel is from Saint Matthew and gives us the formula of Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Baptism is the wonderful gift of being incorporated into Jesus Christ and into all the mysteries of our faith.  Most importantly, it is a proclamation that God is Triune, Three-in-One, that God is in Jesus teaching us about the mysteries of God.

For many of us, we only know this great mystery because we have come to believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord.  It is He who teaches us.  It is He who draws us into this great mystery of God.  To Him be glory and honor forever.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

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22 Responses to Reflection for Trinity Sunday-Cycle B, 2018

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Your explanation of Romans is very helpful ans succinct! Thank you, Abbot!

  2. Surely everyone who reads Abbot Philip’s commentaries is grateful to him for his thoughts and reflections. I think this is especially true today, when he reminds us that Christ has drawn us into “this great mystery of God,” the same God who said we “must keep his statutes and commandments” if we want to “prosper and…have long life on the land.”

    And looking at the state of the world today, Abbot Philip too may wonder how much longer God will allow us to “prosper and have long life.”

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    I did the “First Reading” at Mass today. Moses’ oratory is so powerful – what a modern day Christian might hear from the likes of, say, the Venerable Fulton John Sheen or our beloved Pope Benedict XVI. I hope I did it justice.

    As for Abbott Philip, who shares the same name (and spelling thereof) as my dear last pastor who died 360 days ago, I hope to meet him someday on a retreat to his monastery in New Mexico. I plan to go there by bus (1700 miles) – much more appropriate I think for a pilgrimage than in my chauffeured 1968 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow 😉

    My son went on a retreat a few weeks ago to the ancient Buddhist monastery at Mount Kōya in Japan. He’s what our New-Agey liberal agnostics would describe as “spiritual, but not religious” – something like our resident septuagenarian in Spain – but at least Buddhism ain’t anywhere near as bad as that 7th Century Middle Eastern Cult.

    Where was I? Oh yes: son said he would highly recommend my going on a Catholic retreat if his Buddhist experience was anything to go by.

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Sorry about misspelling Abbot Philip’s office. I was thinking of Philip Abbott, an American actor who died 20 years ago. At least the deceased was a heteronormal actor, so my mistake was innocent.

  5. johnhenrycn says:

    … and he was also Catholic. RIP.

  6. Toad says:

    ”..something like our resident septuagenarian in Spain …”
    Our resident septuagenarian is now totally silenced on virtually anything.
    Including part of the content of your Mass reading.
    So you probably won’t be reading this, JH.
    Hard luck.

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    The “quotation” marks around my First Reading reference @ 19:55 were another mistake.

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    Apologies: I spent too much time in the garden today – not enough time editing my CPS comments. But I had a good conversation with my gardener, a recovered drug addict – except for tobacco (smuggled) which he at least has the good sense to buy from our local First Nation Indian Reserve at one-third the price of government approved cigarettes.

  9. kathleen says:

    ”something like our resident septuagenarian in Spain…”

    Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding 😉, JH is referring to Mr Toadspittle, I presume, and not moi ! I am not a “septuagenarian” (although I have high hopes of becoming one in the distant future) … but I do live in Spain.

    Still in sunny England at present, magnificent in its flowering springtime splendour, and loving every minute of it. I was able to go to the sublime Traditional Latin Mass in Brompton Oratory for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity this morning! How fortunate Catholics are in England to find so many places at reasonable distances where this beautiful, reverent Mass is celebrated.

    Back to Spain on Wednesday.

  10. johnhenrycn says:

    “I am not a ‘septuagenarian’ “

    Lordy, Lordy, Kathleen! I recall a picture you posted of the Chartres pilgrimage a few years back in which you appear. A bob-tailed brunette, I recall. Not a day over forty. So I recall.

  11. kathleen says:

    😆

    Well past 40, dear JH, but thanks for the compliment ☺️.

    Here is the article + picture of the Chartres pilgrimage I posted that year, 2013, when we were leaving Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris at the start of the long three-day walk. In the first comment under the article I explain where you can spot me. It’s a bit blurred I’m afraid…. And I was five years younger then 😉.

    The kind man walking just in front of me, and carrying the banner of Our Lady of Walsingham, has since gone home to Heaven. Pilgrims die, or are no longer able to carry on, and new young faces appear. One day it will be my turn, but I shall keep going for as long as possible.

  12. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes, that’s the picture I remember, Kathleen. I can’t believe how crystal clear my memory still is. A very small photo of you from 5 years ago sticking in my mind!

    There’s a woman in my parish who I often look at from a few pews back (mostly chastely) and who I’ve seen many more times, but when I saw her in the store yesterday, I honestly had to ask: “Excuse me, but do I know you?”
    (Story not to be continued, except that it ended with a handshake)

  13. johnhenrycn says:

    My dear Toad at 21:13.
    I would so much like to join you in cyber-Hades, but like you, I’m such a very weak man. You should take heart and comfort that CPS controls you so strictly. Websites that treat me that way (ban me, actually) have been deprived of my custom (Church Militant, Holy Smoke RIP, The Catholic Herald, The Guardian, Taki’s Magazine…there are others) and I’m a better man for it. Not that I would like to be banned from this one, but I’m still a few years younger than you and wish to do something more productive than commenting on the internet before I get much older. Walking dogs does not qualify as something productive in my book; but I could be wrong, as Voltaire or Montesquieu or
    Popper or Wittgenstein
    or one of your other favourites often were.

    I agree with much a little of what you say, but will fight to the death against the way you say it.

  14. johnhenrycn says:

    Kathleen:

    When you first posted at 22:50, you linked a picture of the 2013 pilgrimage that’s different than the one which now appears at 22:50. Moderator’s privilege, but I note that you have done so, and I also note that I would not have recognised or remembered you from the substituted one.

  15. johnhenrycn says:

    As I said five years ago, Kathleen, your 2013 photo is a Where’s Waldo? type of puzzle, and the only reason I’m exploring it further is to have some fun; but I know you’ve changed pictures. Shades of Soviet photoshopping, even though in your case you do not remove yourself, but substitute a picture you prefer, although personally, I liked the other one a bit more.

  16. johnhenrycn says:

    Brother Burrito: As promised ( on a thread which I can’t find now) I remembered you and your physical tribulations during our Prayers of the Faithful today (yesterday GMT). You were joined in my mind and on my silent tongue with my 95 year old neighbour who died last week. I knew her – in a way – 30 or so years before she ever laid eyes on me. I’ve never laid eyes on you either. Which is to say – life is a long road.

  17. johnhenrycn says:

    Dear Kathleen (22:50) –
    Did I mention (00:36) that I’m an idjit? I see now that your pictures – 2013 and today – are exactly the same.

    But tell me: Compare your 26 May 2013 description of where (who) you are:
    You can spot me in the picture above of the pilgrims leaving Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris: I have fair hair in a ponytail and I’m wearing a purply/lilac coloured jumper and walking beside the man in a blue anorak with a stick.”

    …and your description today of who (where) you are:
    “The kind man walking just in front of me, and carrying the banner of Our Lady of Walsingham, has since gone home to Heaven.”

    I cannot comment on the kind man (RIP) carrying the banner, except to say that he’s not “just in front of” you, but rather four or five feet in front of you; and the “man in a blue anorak and a stick” is not beside you, but rather one or two feet behind you.

    This, you see, is the cause of my confusion about what you look like. This, you see, is why the Charge of the Light Brigade was such a travesty. Poor syntax, what, what? Not saying that a woman was responsible for said Charge, but you take my point, hmm?

    Besides which, I see no ponytails in your picture, except on the person about five feet to the left (sinister POV, mind) of “the man in a blue anorak with a stick”

    Besides which, “anorak” is a word Canadians – potential subjects of offspring of the Duchess of Sussex or not – would never use if they want to be employed in Canada or the USA.

  18. Toad says:

    What are you ingesting these days, JH? Whatever it is, I’ll stick to gin and tonic.

  19. Toad says:

    Oh, and ”Anorak,” is one of the 75 Mexican words for ”snow.” Not many people know that – as Maurice Micklewhite often says.

  20. kathleen says:

    No, JH, I have not changed the picture on the 2013 Chartres pilgrimage link… truthfully. And my “ponytail” (which I no longer possess) was twisted round in a hair clip.
    Perhaps your memory is playing tricks with you? 😉

    P.S. Now, could we get back to the subject of the above post, the Most Holy Trinity, the greatest and most fundamental mystery and cornerstones of our Glorious Faith?

  21. johnhenrycn says:

    “Now, could we get back to the subject…?”

    Quite right, Kathleen. But before I go, here’s a Good News story about a heroic Catholic priest who gave his life for his friends 67+ years ago.

  22. Toad says:

    Slightly off-topic thought, for JH in particular – but also for everyone
    “Answers do not matter so much as questions, said the Good Fairy. A good question is very hard to answer. The better the question the harder the answer. There is no answer at all to a very good question.”
    ― Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds

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