June 16, 2019 -Trinity Sunday

I.  At the Heart of the Mystery of the Trinity is Relationship! The Trinity reveals to us who God is. The Holy Spirit (Sanctifier) is the bond of communion between the Father (Creator) and the Son (Jesus, Redeemer). The Trinity is THE model relationship for us. The whole impact of Revelation is this: “relationship” is what God is about, and therefore it is no wonder that we, who are made in the image and likeness of God, are also essentially about relationship.  Dating back to the seventh century, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is “the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightened them” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 234).

II.  Similes and Metaphors: Through the centuries, saints and artist have helped us to understand the Holy Trinity through images and comparisons. Saint Patrick is said to have explained the Trinity to the people of Ireland by showing them a shamrock, with its three leaves on one stem. Saint Ignatius of Loyola compared the Trinity to a cord played on an instrument: three distinct notes forming one sound. The early iconographers of the Church in the East depicted the Trinity with the imagery from the Old Testament (Jewish Scriptures) story of Abraham’s angelic visitors.  A familiar symbol of the Trinity is a triangle with rays radiating from it, and in the middle of the triangle an open eye, representing the all-seeing Providence of God.

III.  The Absolute of Love: Today’s feast of the Trinity invites us to rediscover the many ways in which the love of God is revealed in our lives: in the life God breathed into our souls, in every wonderful work of creation formed by the hand of God, in the love of God dwelling among us in our love of family and friends. In realizing such wonder, may our disappointments in life and our obliviousness to God’s presence be transformed into an awareness of God’s love and a spirit of gratitude for the precious gift of life we have received, not through any doing on our part, but through the limitless love of God. Be grateful!

IV.  Go Zags! Some of you are aware that I am a big basketball fan of Gonzaga University, in Spokane, Washington, where I have visited that campus and actually walk-ed onto their basketball floor! That University is named after Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) who was born into a noble Italian family who destined him for the military. While recovering from an illness, Aloysius read about the lives of the saints and spent time in prayer. As a result, he decided to dedicate himself to God as a Jesuit priest. Most of his family was against it, but he joined anyway, making his vows in 1587. When the plague broke out in Rome in 1591, Aloysius volunteered to care for the victims and became sick himself. He recovered but his health was broken, and he died within a few months. Many schools are named for him because he is patron saint of Catholic youth.  We celebrate this inspiring Saint on Friday, June 21. Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us, & for the Zags this coming basketball season!

V.  Theology of the Hammer: Habitat for Humanity is an international Christian organization which builds houses for qualified low income families. Homeowner partners agree to: sweat equity hours, maintenance of house/property, and timely mortgage payments. The use of a nail and a hammer can become an instrument to manifest God’s love! To date parishioners of the Cathedral have raised $1,650 of the $3,000 we have committed to H4H. We’re over halfway there! There is an envelope in your tithing package or you may choose to give online through WeShare. If you are interested in working on the habitat house, contact the parish office.

VI.  Lawyer and Saint! How can that be? It was true for a smart, faith-filled family man by the name of Thomas More.  Born in London, he had a deep affection for his wife and three daughters. The well-educated and well-respected Thomas More held many powerful positions in the Church and in society: in particular, a Parliament lawyer, Speaker of the House of Commons, and Chancellor of England. During a time of great upheaval and reformation, though he was a friend and consultant to King Henry VIII, Thomas More would not violate his conscience and refused to swear to the Oath of Supremacy, which meant accepting Henry VIII as head of the Church of England.  His final words: “The king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Sent to the Tower of London on April 17, 1534, this lawyer was found guilty of treason. Thomas Moore was beheaded on July 6, 1535, beatified in 1886 and canonized a saint by the Catholic Church in 1935. We remember him on Saturday, June 22.  Saint Thomas More, attorney and saint, pray for us.

VII. The Old Violin and Anniversary Six!  I cannot believe it’s been six years since my arrival on June 18, 2013. That first nervous Sunday at Saint Stephen Cathedral, I retold one of my favorite stories, “The Old Violin.”  An old, tattered violin was being auctioned off for a few bucks until a master musician stepped up, brushed off the dust, and begin to make sweet music! After hearing the melodious sound, the bidding began again, and the violin was sold for several thousand dollars! The point? The need for me, and you, to allow the Master to get hold of us. When that happens, our value escalates beyond belief! When our value escalates, we feel better about ourselves and are more eager to get involved, to share the melody of our lives—faith, gifts and talents—with others. As we move forward together as a community, may we allow the Master to get hold of us, to touch us with grace. Thank you for the many ways you have supported, cared for, and loved me these six years. I am very happy to be your shepherd!

“Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
to God who is, who was, and who is to come.”