for Sunday, June 19, 2011
This doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity is the one the separates us from our
ancestors in the faith, the Jewish people, and also from those other
children of Abraham, the Muslims. Always this teaching has created
difficulties in belief because it is a teaching that we can only understand
by drinking deeply from the waters of Holy Scripture.
If we listen to the New Testament and try to understand our Lord Jesus, it
is much easier to understand this teaching, this reality, this incredible
mystery. Again, listening to Scripture helps us understand.
Jesus always prays to the Father. This is at the heart of this mystery.
Jesus clearly has a very special relationship with His Father, who becomes
Our Father. Jesus uses words of affection when He speaks of the Father.
This is not a relationship that is just a thought but a living reality
between two persons who love one another.
Yet as Jesus comes towards the end of His life, He begins to speak of the
Holy Spiritónot the Father. Moses says in today's first reading: 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. We can say: If we find favor with you, please come to us and
help us. We are a stiff-necked people but the only way we can understand
is if you receive us as your own.
The second reading, from the Second Letter to the Corinthians, uses this
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. Because these letters of
Paul reflect the earliest Christian witness, we must understand that
already the early followers of the Lord had come to understand in some way
the Most Holy Trinity. This greeting is based on some kind of
understanding of the triune nature of God.
Although the Gospel of John for today does not mention the Holy Spirit, we
should all remember that when the Spirit was sent from Jesus, the Spirit
was sent for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus does not come to condemn, but
to redeem and to save. There are no more comforting words in all of
Scripture: I come not to condemn but to save.
May we spend time today reflecting on the relationship of Jesus to His
Father and on the Spirit when Jesus has sent among us for the forgiveness
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: