Holy trinity

TUESDAYS WITH TERESA: The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

We have just returned home after spending a few days on the Gold Coast and visiting some of our children and grandchildren. The new M1 is a beautiful road, especially after traveling north for so many years when it was built. We are very happy in Australia to be able to travel such distances in relative safety.

We have just returned home after spending a few days on the Gold Coast and visiting some of our children and grandchildren. The new M1 is a beautiful road, especially after traveling north for so many years when it was built. We are very happy in Australia to be able to travel such distances in relative safety.

On Sunday evening, two of our grandchildren, both eight years old, accompanied us to mass. They were lovely, answering prayers and singing all the hymns. Surprisingly, the parish priest made sure to stop us as we left to speak with the children, praising them for their behavior and involvement. We have taken several grandchildren to this church for many years so it was nice to see the children noticed and confirmed. I think part of the reason they like to come to mass with us is that they know it’s important to us, and they can hang out with us too, without competition from the rest of the tribe. .

Interestingly, I couldn’t help but think of the family on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, as the priest was talking about the mystery of the Trinity. Our understanding of God as relational – Father, Son and Spirit – is just like my experience of our family. Relationships continue to grow and deepen as each member of this large family group comes together and shares their time, stories and food. When one or a few are missing, we don’t feel complete. I am also thinking of my own brothers and sisters who have not been able to gather for a few years due to distances and of course COVID. They hope that we can get together before the end of the year, to celebrate an important birthday, that of my older sister. There is a deep desire to be together. I think it reflects the Trinity, the desire of the Father, the Son and the Spirit to be one, not only with each other but with all of creation.

I hope you noticed the beautiful image in the Wisdom Reading, Proverbs (8:22-31) that was read on Sunday, especially the end:

I was by his side, a master craftsman, delighting him day after day, always playing in his presence, playing all over his world, delighted to be with the sons of men.

However, the second reading of Saint Paul to the Romans (5, 1-5) speaks of our relationship with God through Christ in the love poured out by the Spirit:

By our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and by Jesus that we have entered into that state of grace in which we can boast of expecting glory of God. But that’s not all we can brag about; we can boast of our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, for the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy -Spirit given to us.

Please note the part I have bolded. Again, the message is about hope through patience and perseverance. Some of our suffering will be personal and physical, while others will be more emotional and spiritual. Some of our sufferings will be common and most will be beyond our ability to comprehend. I am reminded of this as we prepare for the second session of the Plenary Council. I was unable to attend the online coffee conversations last Thursday evening, and I look forward to reading the thoughts of each of the groups. I am very aware that many people are hoping that the results of this Plenary Council will help us reinvent our church.

I think it best that I end this week’s message with a prayer for the second session of the Plenary Council:

Creator and Redeemer God,
under the Southern Cross and in its light
you called a people for Christ
among the many peoples of this land;
you have renewed us in the image of Jesus, your beloved Son,
and breathed into us the Spirit of the sons and daughters of God.

Teach us to read the sign of the times in the light of the Gospel,
with deep listening and patient discernment,
and send your Spirit to lead us into all truth,
that the course of the Fifth Plenary Council
can strengthen participation and communion
of all the members of the Church in this country,
and raise a living witness to your presence
among all peoples and throughout all creation.

Let us carry in prayer those who will gather in Sydney in early July for this significant gathering. May they all listen well and dialogue well.

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