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More About the Third Person of the Trinity

I’ve been talking much about the Holy Spirit the past few Sundays which is always a good thing. But, I’ve been wondering if some of you might be thinking what a friend of mine said years ago: “I have a hard time understanding the Holy Spirit as the third ‘person’ of the Trinity.” He asserted that some of the images that the Bible gives seem to present the Spirit as “a force (reminds me of Star Wars).” If you feel this way or just struggle to grasp the personhood of the Holy Spirit, this article from catholic.com should really help.

We glorify the three divine persons of the Most Holy Trinity- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg

Love (the Name of) God and Your Neighbor

Trinity Sunday – “Love (the name of) God and neighbor”
“Nicknames”

Name of God
Lord
Yahweh
Abba / Father
Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Keep name holy
Reverent
    Moses worshiped at name of God
Taking Lord’s name in vain?
Find new expressions
     Or turn into a prayer

Taking neighbor’s name in vain?

      Love God and love your neighbor
Consistent witness of devout Catholics

The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

**Note: The following is taken from the Office of Readings (Liturgy of the Hours)

From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop The Word took our nature from Mary

The Apostle tells us: The Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she is to provide him with a body of his own, to be offered for our sake. Scripture records her giving birth, and says: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Her breasts, which fed him, were called blessed. Sacrifice was offered because the child was her firstborn. Gabriel used careful and prudent language when he announced his birth. He did not speak of “what will be born in you” to avoid the impression that a body would be introduced into her womb from outside; he spoke of “what will be born from you” so that we might know by faith that her child originated within her and from her.

By taking our nature and offering it in sacrifice, the Word was to destroy it completely and then invest it with his own nature, and so prompt the Apostle to say: This corruptible body must be put on incorruption; this mortal body must put on immortality.

This was not done in outward show only, as some have imagined. This is not so. Our Savior truly became man, and from this has followed the salvation of man as a whole. Our Savior is in no way fictitious, nor does it apply to the body. The salvation of the whole man, that is, of soul and body, has really been achieved in the Word himself.

What was born of Mary was, therefore, human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.

The words of Saint John: The Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in Saint Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Man’s body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.

Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is forever perfect. In the Trinity, we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.

Wishing you and your family a fruitful and blessed New Year.

Christ is born!

Fr Greg

Spend your ordinary life with Him

Liturgically, we have returned to Ordinary Time. Most of the liturgical year is spent in ordinary time which means that most of our time spent with the Lord in life is in ordinary, daily life. The Church gives us back-to-back solemnities on these Sundays in Ordinary Time: Most Holy Trinity (today) and Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (next Sunday). With especially today’s feast of the Holy Trinity, I thought it would be good to offer insights from someone more theologically skilled than I am.

The following reflection, “A Share in the Life of the Trinity” (September 28, 1997) comes from the late Msgr. Thomas Wells, a former priest of Washington. As you’ll notice, he actually combines our feasts by merging the Eucharist with the Trinity. Great stuff!

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg

“Humanity reflects the life of the Trinity. This, I think, is one of the things meant by Scripture’s saying that we are made in the image and likeness of God. The better we know God, the better we know ourselves. Think about this, for example. From all eternity, it is the nature and role of the eternally begotten Son to love the Father. From all eternity, the Son responds to the Father whose love begot Him. The Holy Spirit, of course, is the love that eternally is exchanged between the Father and the Son.

It is the nature, then, of the Son to respond to the love of the Father. The Incarnation – the word we give to describe that God became man in the womb of Mary – is so extraordinary because it means that our brother in humanity, Jesus, not only continues to be in a relationship and intimate union with the Father, but He also enables us to participate in that same relationship. Now, St. Paul makes the crucial distinction that what belongs to Jesus by nature (His Sonship) is ours only by adoption. In other words, because of the death and Resurrection of Christ, we are the adopted sons and daughters of God. In the Spirit of Jesus, we can cry out, ‘Abba, Father,’ and know that we are heard as dearly beloved children.

Our challenge is to unite ourselves with Jesus. Again, St. Paul uses images like, ‘Clothe yourselves in Christ,’ or, ‘Put on the armor of God,’ to illustrate our potential to be remade in Christ. The reality, of course, is that because our potential is to live the life of Christ, like Him we have freedom: we are not forced to live the life we are given in Baptism. Inevitably, we fall short.

This is why the Eucharist is so central to God’s Plan for us. The great human act of love for the Father is the sacrifice of Jesus. Until time is no more, Jesus, our brother, continues to give Himself in love to the Father for us, and the Father continues to say, ‘Yes,’ to the prayer of His Son and our brother. The incredible miracle of the Mass is that, through the sacramentality of the priesthood, we can join with Jesus in that most perfect and pleasing act of praise. Insofar as we unite ourselves with Jesus, we are caught up in the very life of the Trinity.”