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Pastor's Letter 20200607 - 07 June 2020 - The Ineffable Mystery of God

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A Message from Father Michael

June 7, 2020

Feast of the Holy Trinity

Today’s Theme:

“The Ineffable Mystery Of God”


The Holy Trinity

 In his great writing (15 volumes) concerning the Holy Trinity, Augustine (Bishop of Hippo Regia, ca 340-430 A.D.) made strides to contemplate the substance of God.  In so doing, he attempted to understand how he Father, Son and Holy Spirit are rightly believed to be of one essence. He postulated that the human mind is so dazzled in its transcendent light, that only through faith could the nourishment of the righteousness of God invigorate us.  He acknowledges that some persons have found difficulty in this faith, hearing that the Father is God; and the Son is God; and the Holy Spirit is God; and yet this Trinity is not three Gods, but one God.  Contemplating this teaching, we are confronted by such difficult concepts as these: 

   The Trinity works indivisibly in everything in which God works, and yet…

  A certain voice of the Father spoke, which is not the voice of the Son; and… 

• None except the Son was born in flesh, suffered, rose again and ascended into heaven; and how… 

 •  The very same Trinity created that flesh in which the Son only was born of the Virgin; and how… 

  Only the Holy spirit assumed the form of a dove and tongues of fire; and finally, 

  The Trinity does not work indivisibly:  The Father does some things; the Son other things;

And the Holy Spirit yet others; or else, if they do some things together, some severally;

And at once, the Trinity nonetheless is indivisible.   

Complete exposition of these matters, then, is quite beyond the scope of this brief writing.  Suffice it to say, therefore, that we must yield to our Holy Faith for acceptance and trust that this mystery will remain ineffable to human minds.  (Those wishing to delve into the depths of Augustine’s exposition are referred to consult this link: On the Trinity – New Advent) 

A God of Love 

If the entire meaning of human existence could be summed in a single phrase, it would be the, from today's Gospel: “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that who so believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16-18.)  God’s love is the one constant in a world of shifting philosophies politics and fashions.  It is the anchor that keeps humanity from drifting hopelessly off course. It is the magnetic center that keeps the world from spinning completely out of control.  For the first spark of light to the universe’s last breath, God’s love remains unchanging, undiminished.   

Our faith teaches that God created humanity out of love to be His special possession, a people who could take on the divine nature, and love His Son, as no other creature could.  When we fell into sin, God continued to love us, promising us a way out of the pain and division we had brought upon ourselves. In love, He spent generations preparing a people who could receive His salvation and proclaim it to the world. Centuries of war, hatred, poverty and murder rolled by, and still God forgave and continued His intricate work of preparation.  

When the time finally came, God showed the depth of His love.  Sending His beloved Son into the world, He gave Him up as a sacrifice of atonement. Now anyone who believes in Jesus and is baptized in His name can be set free from sin and filled with the promised Holy Spirit.  

Faced with such love, we have a choice:  Either welcome to the light of God’s love, or remain in darkness.  Coming into the light exposes our sins, but only so that we can be forgiven.  Knowing God as a Father, Whose love never diminishes, gives us the courage to open our hearts and trust Him to pardon, not condemn us. Those who cannot believe that God is so loving, avoid the light, and remain trapped in the guilt and condemnation of their sin.  The light of God’s love is available to everyone.  

It’s impossible for mere mortals to understand God.  The mystery of God is so full of meaning that no matter how hard we try, we will never “get to the bottom” of it.  However, we must not simply yield to laziness or superficiality in our quest for understanding.  We can use our own reasoning to know about God’s “existence.”

At the sight of something or other, any thoughtful individual will know in an instant that these things do not exist in and of themselves.  Therefore, just as a house implies a builder; a piece of clothing, a weaver; a door, a carpenter; or a work of art, and not think of the artist who fashioned it. 

No reasonable person can look upon the created world and not see the Creator.  Such a conclusion is to be blind to the meaning of the whole of creation—and of ourselves.  Yet, sadly, many look and see nothing.  They listen and hear nothing.  Jesus spoke about God as a merciful and forgiving Father.  He spoke about Himself as the Son of the Father.  And He sent the Holy Spirit to help us live as His disciples and children of God.  Any child can grasp this mystery, in such a way as to be able to pray about it and live it.  Our understanding of God as our Father, Who loves us deeply, comes to us through tradition. 

Throughout recorded history, many of mankind’s most sacred writings, in addition to our own Holy Scripture, have given us endless references to the nature of God.  Today’s First Reading says God is a “God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:4-9.)  

Through study, we’ve learned of Jesus, Who, as our Brother, gave His life to atone for our sins—a perfect sacrifice to the Father. We read that“God islove, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 John 4:8, 16.)  How extremely important it is to know that God loves us, unconditionally—not because we are good, but because He is good. Our very existence and everything we enjoy in our natural world is a sign of God’s love, so our only reasonable response can be one of trust in Him and love towards one another.  

Finally, the strength of the Holy Spirit, which came upon the disciples at Pentecost, remains within us even today.  We have only to prayerfully meditate to access this power. 

Welcoming Us Into the Mystery 

None of us like to be “left out.”  For instance, if a wedding is planned to which we expect to receive an invitation, and we don’t receive ours, it hurts—sometimes, a great deal.  We feel we are not wanted… 

We would be wise to look at ourselves and see how generous we are when it comes to inviting other people into our lives.  From time to time, people come to our door.  Some, we dismiss immediately, barely exchanging a word with them.  With others, we may have a brief chat with them at the door, without bringing them into the house.  Still others, we invite inside, where we “talk business,” but when concluded, we show them out.  Finally, we welcome a select few immediately, offering them our hospitality.  

One is immediately struck by the vacant place at the forefront of our minds in the painting, above, by the Russian monk, Rublev.  Meaning to convey openness, hospitality and welcome towards the stranger/outsider, that vacant place is meant for each of us—the whole human family.  It signifies God’s invitation to us to share the life of the Trinity.  God doesn’t exclude us, nor talk to us “at the doorstep.” He invites us to “come in,” sit at His table; and share His life with us.   

Although many are intimidated by the great mystery of the Blessed Trinity, we should see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as friends, to and with Whom we can relate and talk, in prayer.  Because God’s Son, Jesus Christ, befriended us, we are no longer strangers and outsiders.  We are God’s children—part of His family.   

We already have a place at the banquet of earthly life.  But God wants us to have a place at the banquet of eternal life, too.  Only there can we find the nourishment for which our hearts hunger.  

From all this, we realize that our Creator is a God of love.  Our response can only be one of trust in Him and love towards one another.  We should find encouragement in the words of today’s Second Reading:  “Help one another; be united; live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11-13.)

May God Richly Bless You!


I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, 

But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, 

And sanctified and preserved me in the true faith.”   Martin Luther

To view a live stream of today's Holy Mass click here: 

Trinitarian Blessings.docx

Trinitarian Blessings.mp3

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