25 May 2013

26th May 2013 - Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

On this week's programme, we reflect on Trinity Sunday and what it means for the Christian faith. We have our usual reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some liturgical odds and ends including saints of the coming week and some local notices.

You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday, officially "The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity," is one of the few feasts of the Christian Year that celebrates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person. On Trinity Sunday we remember and honor the eternal God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

The Trinity is one of the most fascinating - and controversial - Christian dogmas. The Trinity is a mystery. By mystery the Church does not mean a riddle, but rather the Trinity is a reality above our human comprehension that we may begin to grasp, but ultimately must know through worship, symbol, and faith. It has been said that mystery is not a wall to run up against, but an ocean in which to swim. The common wisdom is that if you talk about the Trinity for longer than a few minutes you will slip into heresy because you are probing the depths of God too deeply. It is a feast which encourages us to reflect on the formulations of our faith as expressed in the creeds which sometimes we don't reflect on enough and which is being encouraged this year during the Year of Faith.

The gospel reminds us that God loved us so much he sent his only Son and after the world had rejected him, God sent his Spirit, the spirit of love. The inner relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in such a way that each of them is fully and equally God, yet there are not three Gods but one is incomprehensible to the human mind. It is a mystery.

The story is told of St Augustine of Hippo, a great philosopher and theologian who wanted so much to understand the doctrine of the Trinity and to be able to explain it logically. One day as he was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this, he suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a whole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine went up to her and said, "Little child, what are doing?" and she replied, "I am trying to empty the sea into this hole." "How do you think," Augustine asked her, "that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?" To which she replied, " And you, how do you suppose that with this your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?" With that the child disappeared.

Like Augustine we may not be able to understand the how of the Trinity but I think it is very important to understand the why. Why did God reveal to us this mystery regarding the very nature of the Supreme Being? The importance of this doctrine lies in this: we are made in the image of God, therefore, the more we understand God the more we can understand ourselves. Experts in religion tell us that people always try to be like the God they worship. People who worship a warrior God tend to be warriors, people who worship a God of pleasure tend to be pleasure-seeking, people who worship a God of wrath tend to be angry people, etc. Like a God, like the worshipers. So the more important question for us to ask today is: What does the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity tell us about the kind of God we worship and what does this say about the kind of people we should be?

God does not exist in isolated individualism but in a community of relationships. In other words, God is not a loner or a recluse. This means that a Christian in search of Godliness (Matthew 5:48) must shun every tendency to isolationism and individualism. The ideal Christian spirituality is not that of flight from the world like that of certain Buddhist monastic traditions where the quest for holiness means withdrawal to the Himalayas away from contact with other people and society.

From this weeks diocesan newsletter:

Why does Trinity matter? 

 Who is this God you pray to, this image you would seek to be like?

- a judge who counts and keeps time?
- a kindly old man we visit on days off?
- a distant king to be approached only through others?
- a community of love?

When we say God is love, we do not mean simply that God loves, that God dispenses love, that God approves of love.
 No, we mean that God IS love.
The Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit - exist as love.

The Father is not the Father without the Son and the Spirit. The Son is not the Son without the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Spirit apart from the Father and the Son. Each is fully God. Each chooses to fully participate in the life and joy of the other persons of the one true God who gathers everything into this generous love.

The Trinity is an interdependent community.

God IS love.

Why does Trinity matter? In recognising God as Trinity, we recognise ourselves as people created in, through and for love.
There is no judge to judge you, no courtiers to pay to get access to the King, ... Only love.
"God is love and when we live in love,
we live in God, and God lives in us."

(1 John 4: 7)

Further reflection on the history and theology of the Trinity available from

You can listen to Lorraine's reflection on the Trinity excerpted from the main programme here.

Phil over at Blue Eyed Ennis has some wonderful links and reflections and from the SS102fm team it is great to see her back, head on over and say hello from us - here.

Deacon Greg Kandra's homily for Trinity Sunday
Last years programme on the Trinity Sunday was one where Fr Michael Liston gave us a reflection on the Trinity which you read/listen back to here.

Word on Fire has a series of videos with Fr Robert Barron on the Trinity

Gospel - John 16:12-15

Last week we celebrated the beautiful feast of Pentecost, the full revelation of the Trinity (cf. Catechism 244, 732).  This week we read from part of Jesus' farewell discourse in St. John's Gospel.  Jesus is preparing His disciples for the time after His death and resurrection.  As Bishop Brendan reminded us on the Feast of the Ascension: it wasn't that Jesus would no longer be with the disciples, but that He would be present to them, and to us, in a different way, through the Sacraments. 

Imagine how Jesus must have felt, knowing that He was returning to God the Father... imagine how the apostles felt... Jesus begins by telling the disciples that He has many things to tell them, but that He knows it would be too much for them know (cf. vs. 12), so He promises to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, Who will lead them to the complete truth (cf. vs. 13). 

In an earlier passage from John, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit: "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will remind you of all that I have said to you" (Jn 14:26).  One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to teach us and to remind us, but we must be open to His promptings.  God does not force Himself upon us.  The Spirit is gentle and invites us to listen to the voice of Jesus.  We may ask ourselves if we are trying to discern the truth, do we listen to the Holy Spirit?  Are we open to hearing His voice?

Verse 15 reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the mutual Love and Joy between God the Father and the Son.  Jesus tells us that everything the Father has is his, so the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit to us.  By our Baptism we are drawn into this relationship of love within the Trinity.  Are we aware of what a wonderful gift we have received?

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours:  Week 4 Psalter, Week 8 Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

May 27th - St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 28th - Bl. Margaret Pole
May 29th - St. Maximinus of Trier
May 30th - St. Joan of Arc
May 31st - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
June 1st - St. Justin Martyr

Local Notices

Novena to the Sacred Heart - June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart and once again this year the parish of Shanagolden-Foynes-Robertstown is holding its Novena to the Sacred Heart from May 30th to June 7th at 8pm each evening in Robertstown church which is on the N69 from Foynes to Askeaton. 

Speakers for the various nights at the novena will be:

Lorna Murphy
Fr Noel Kirwin
Fr Chris O'Donnell
Fr Phonsie Cullinan
Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon
James Malone
Fr Joe Kennedy
Quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament each evening after Mass from 9-10pm.

40 Hours Adoration: - Feenagh church will host the annual 40 hours adoration for Our Lady’s Pastoral Area commencing with Mass at 8.00pm on Friday, May 31st and concluding with Mass at 11.30am on Sunday, June 2nd. Please sign your name on the rota at the back of the church.

Our Lady’s Pastoral Area Pilgrimage to Knock: - will take place on Sunday, June 9th 2013. Bus fare: € 16.00. We will celebrate a Mass for the Pastoral Area in Knock and join in the programme of devotions there. If you wish to book a place, please give your name in the sacristy or ring the Parish Office (069-62141).

Songs of Faith: - is a celebration of hymns as part of the Year of Faith celebrations taking place this Sunday, May 26th in St. John’s Cathedral from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. All are welcome to join Bishop Brendan Leahy and fellow singers for an afternoon of scripture reflection and congregational hymn singing. No charge. Sunday Mass is at 7.00pm.

Vigil for Life: - On Saturday, June 8th, there will be a Vigil for Life in Merrion Square, Dublin from 3pm to 4pm. The government intends to legalise abortion in July, and a large attendance in Merrion Square is essential to oppose this. The vigil will send a clear, positive message about safeguarding the lives of mother and babies in pregnancy. Posters will be provided on the day. Please spread the word to family, friends and anyone you know. To organise a bus, or to get bus details, please telephone 087-2668702.

Notices in this weeks Limerick Diocesan Newsletter available

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link and welcome back folks.
    You are gems !! Blessings