- Prayers and Family activities for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity (Catholic Website of the week-by the laptop computer)
- Marriage Infographic///Two Fathers Who Raised Holy Men (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Prayer to Mary in the Holy Trinity (the Praying Hands)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
[Week Five material is at the end]
Heart of the Holy Trinity
God the Father wanted us to have a Mother, so He created His daughter, namely Mary.
God the Son wanted to be our brother, so He was “born of woman” and had a mother just like us, namely Mary.
God the Holy Spirit wanted to bring us the greatest gift possible, Jesus Christ, so He chose His spouse, namely Mary.
The Good News is that Mary is at the heart of GOD: FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. A Pentecost Sunday’s homily can be found in written form below.
For the homily from a past Sunday: (it may take a while to load, please be patient or cut and paste this website address in your browser address bar):http://www.freewebs.com/godislove333/Pentecost%20Sunday%205%2D27%2D2007%2DCycle%20C%2DOur%20Promises%20Our%20Oaths.wav
P.S.S. Readings with reflection for Most Holy Trinity Sunday can be found below. A prayerful reflection on the Gospel can be found here: https://catholicdotbible.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/trinity.pdf
Most Holy Trinity (from Latin trinitas “state of being threefold”)
-the communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three Persons in one Godhead; [The revealed truth of the Holy Trinity is at the very root of the Church's living faith as expressed in the Creed. The mystery of the Trinity in itself is inaccessible to the human mind and is the object of faith only because it was revealed by Jesus Christ, the divine Son of the eternal Father.]
“Helpful Hints of Life”
Come to the heart that was made and is loved by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...MARY!
Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church's Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the "Seat of Wisdom." In her, the "wonders of God" that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested: Catechism of the Catholic Church #721
Catholic Culture: Most Holy Trinity Sunday
This is a webpage of a previous website that gives prayers, readings, and family ideas (including recipes) for celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
CULTURE OF LIFE | JUN. 14
Two Fathers Who Raised Holy Men
Meet the devoted dads of Sts. John Paul II and Pio.
Claire DwyerIn an age where fatherhood is undervalued and deeply misunderstood, we may do well to remember and thank God for the lives of men whose earthly fatherhood paved the way for two of the greatest spiritual fathers of modern times. Both Pope St. John Paul II and St. Pio of Pietrelcina owed much to their fathers — and as a result, so do we.
Wojtyla & Son
Pope St. John Paul II, reflecting on his priesthood during the 50th anniversary of his ordination, explained that while the seminary itself most definitively influenced his formation, he had come to understand that God had used many people and experiences, some long before, to “make his voice heard.”
First and foremost was the great saint’s father.
“My preparation for the priesthood in the seminary was in a certain sense preceded by the preparation I received in my family, thanks to the life and example of my parents. Above all I am grateful to my father, who became a widower at an early age. I had not yet made my First Holy Communion when I lost my mother: I was barely nine years old. … After her death and, later, the death of my older brother, I was left alone with my father, a deeply religious man. Day after day I was able to observe the austere way in which he lived. By profession he was a soldier and, after my mother’s death, his life became one of constant prayer. Sometimes I would wake up during the night and find my father on his knees, just as I would always see him kneeling in the parish church. We never spoke about a vocation to the priesthood, but his example was in a way my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary” (Gift and Mystery, emphasis in original).
Who was this deeply religious man? How did his life — and, ultimately, his death — help to lead his son to ordination and eventually to his canonization as one of the Church’s holiest men? Papal biographer George Weigel’s Witness to Hope recounts the providential “how.”
The elder Karol Wojtyla was born in 1879. He continued the family trade, first working as a tailor, but then later became an officer in the Hapsburg army. He was recognized as a man of character, integrity and justice, and he lived a life of austerity and simplicity, leading his young son Karol, nicknamed “Lolek,” in a daily routine punctuated by regular prayer, including reading the Bible, reciting the Rosary and attending daily Mass. Capt. Wojtyla would teach Lolek Polish history — but the most meaningful lessons were those of interior conversion, resignation to the will of God and redemptive suffering. For by the time young Karol was 12, they had both tasted the bitterness of loss. Not only had the family lost wife and mother Emilia, but Lolek’s brother, Dr. Edmund Wojtyla, 14 years his senior and his only living sibling, died after contracting scarlet fever from a patient.
Years later, a new cross would crystalize, as all the horrors of World War II marched into their beloved Poland and turned their lives upside-down. Suffering from hunger, cold, the suppression of the Church and the university, and the death of their friends and priests, father and son found solace in their faith and in each other. Each day, walking home from his back-breaking job at a limestone quarry, Lolek would bring food to his bed-ridden father. One freezing day in February 1941, he hurried home to his father, after stopping to pick up medicine. He would return home to find his father had died. The young man spent the night at his father’s bedside, overcome with grief and blaming himself for not being there in the elder Karol’s final moments.
It was a terrible blow.
But the future Pope slowly began to see that perhaps this great loss was in fact a signpost, pointing him to a vocation to the priesthood. The fatherhood of one Karol had given way to the spiritual fatherhood of another, and this new fatherhood would bless the entire world.
In Witness to Hope, Weigel explains that “Lolek also learned from his father that manliness and prayerfulness were not antimonies. Perhaps, above all, the captain transmitted to his son an instinct for paternity. He would, later, come to understand this in theological terms: The instinct for paternity and the responsibilities of fatherhood were a kind of icon of God and of God’s relationship to the world. Fatherhood meant rejecting the prison of selfishness; fatherhood meant being ‘conquered by love.’”
Padre Pio’s Padre
Another one of the most beloved saints of the last century was St. Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio. He also owed a debt to his father regarding his priesthood, as related in Padre Pio: The True Story (Third Edition) by C. Bernard Ruffin.
Young Francesco Forgione — Franci, as he was affectionately called — grew up in a humble, hardworking family in southern Italy. Orazio and Guiseppa Forgione owned a small farm that brought in enough money to provide for the family’s needs but not enough to pay for the education of their intelligent, pious second son, who from a young age desperately wanted to be a “friar with a beard.”
When his parents went to the nearby Capuchin friary to speak to the friars about their little boy, he waited anxiously at home. They returned with good news. “They want me! They want me! They want me!” the 10-year-old cried, jumping for joy.
But Orazio had a dilemma. He couldn’t trade an education for farm produce, and jobs were scarce to nonexistent in their area. Yet he was determined that his son receive the schooling necessary to become a priest. With resolve, he left for America and labored there, on and off for years, sending home about $9 a week — enough for Franci to receive the equivalent of a high-school education and allow him to join the Capuchins.
His son was grateful and wrote to his father, “I, in a special way, send continual prayers to our gracious Virgin, in order that she may protect you from every evil and restore you to our love, safe and sound.” His father would return safely to stay in 1912, but had missed his son’s ordination two years earlier, when he was given the religious name of Pio.
It was a sacrifice he was more than willing to make — for as far as Orazio was concerned, it was just another sacrifice in the life of a father who had done much to shape the life of faith in his young son.
A simple and joyful man, Orazio was devoted to the Mass and Rosary and would stop with his wife to pray in the church each day after laboring long hours in the fields.
Although he could not read, Orazio was a gifted storyteller and would tell his children stories from Scripture that he had memorized.
This was a father who desired above all that Christ be the center of their family life.
In his old age, Orazio would come to live near the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, already a famous place of pilgrimage for the profoundly moving Masses and many miracles attributed to his saintly, mystical son.
It was said that when the throngs of pilgrims who came to see Padre Pio would compliment Orazio on being his father, the old man would become emotional and humbly reply, “I didn’t make him. Jesus Christ did.” At the end of his life, though, it seems he was ready to claim a little credit. His granddaughter related that, just before he died in 1946, he declared, “All of you have to get out of the way because I’m going to call the angels and tell them to take me to heaven, because I can say, ‘I’m Padre Pio’s father!’”
Like Pope St. John Paul II, St. Pio would become a spiritual father to many who sought his help in life and in death. Padre Pio would say: “I will stand at the gates of heaven, and I will not enter until all my spiritual children are with me.”
These are just two examples of the power of a father’s love — the power to give faith, to make men, to shape saints.
Claire Dwyer blogs about saints, spirituality and the sacred
everyday. She is editor of
SpiritualDirection.com and coordinates adult faith
formation at her parish in
Phoenix, where she lives with her husband and their six children
In his general audience Pope Francis spoke of the essential role parents play in educating their children – a role he said has been usurped by so-called experts who have taken the place of parents and rendered them fearful of making any correction.
“If family education regains its prominence, many things will change for the better. It's time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile – they have exiled themselves from educating their children – and slowly reassume their educative role,” the Pope said May 20.
He gave harsh criticism to the “intellectual critics” that he said have “silenced” parents in order to defend younger generations from real or imagined harm, and lamented how schools now are often more influential than families in shaping the thinking and values of children.
“In our days the educational partnership is in crisis. It's broken,” he said, and named various reasons for this.
“On one part there are tensions and distrust between parents and educators; on the other part, there are more and more ‘experts’ who pretend to occupy the role of parents, who are relegated to second place,” he said.
The Pope spoke to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience. His focus on the vocation of families to educate their children is part of his ongoing series on the family.
Since the end of last fall Francis has been centering his Wednesday catechesis on the theme of family as part of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well as October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family.
In his address he stressed that educating and raising children in the human values which form the “backbone” of a healthy society is a responsibility that each family has.
However, many difficulties often impede parents’ ability to properly educate their children. Today parents are spending less and less time with their children, and meeting their needs after a long day of work can be exhausting, he noted.
In off the cuff remarks, Francis also highlighted the struggle faced by the increasing number of divorced or separated families. Many times children in these families are “taken as a hostage,” while their mother and father speak badly about each other.
To do this “does so much bad” to children, the Pope noted, and stressed the importance for parents in these situations to “never, never, never take your child hostage.”
“You are separated because of many difficulties and reasons, life gave you this trial, but may the children not be the ones who bear the weight of this separation! May children not be used as hostages, against the other (parent),” he said.
Although this important task can be very difficult for parents who are separated, the Pope said that it’s not impossible, and that “you can do it.”
Francis also observed how frequently parents are “paralyzed” by the fear of making mistakes, and hesitate to correct their children.
He recalled an episode from his own life when he had said a bad word to a teacher. The next day his mother came to the school and made him apologize, and then corrected him at home.
Nowadays this wouldn’t happen, because too often a teacher who tries to discipline a child is criticized by the parents, he said.
“Things have changed. Parents shouldn't exclude themselves from the education of their children…The relationship between family and school ought to be harmonious.”
Pope Francis also cautioned parents against commanding or discouraging their children by asking them to do what they aren’t able to.
When a parent tells their small child to run up the stairs without taking them by the hand and helping them step by step, they are “exasperating” the child, and asking them to do something they can’t.
The relationship between parents and their children should be balanced and founded on wisdom, he said. Children should be “obedient to parents, which pleases God, and you parents, don't exasperate your children asking them to do what they aren't able to. Understood?”
Francis said that the Church and all Christian communities are called to accompany and support parents in their educative role. He noted that this is done by living according to God’s word and cultivating the virtues of faith, love and patience.
Jesus himself was raised in a family, he said, explaining that “when he tells us that all who hear the word of God and obey are his brothers and sisters, he reminds us that for all their failings, our families can count on his inspiration and grace in the difficult but rewarding vocation of educating their children.”
Pope Francis closed his audience by praying that all parents would have the confidence, freedom and courage needed in order to fulfill their educative mission.
He then went on to greet pilgrims present from various countries around the world, including Great Britain, Finland, Norway, South Africa, China, India, Korea, Canada, the United States of America, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Panama and Chile.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning! The Easter season that we are living with joy, guided by the Church's liturgy, is par excellence the time of the Holy Spirit, given "without measure" (cf. Jn 3:34) by Jesus, crucified and risen. This time of grace ends with the feast of Pentecost, in which the Church relives the outpouring of the Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles gathered in prayer in the Cenacle.
But who is the Holy Spirit? In the Creed we profess with faith: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life". The first truth to which we adhere in the Creed is that the Holy Spirit is K�rios, Lord. This means that he is truly God, as the Father and Son are, the object, for our part, of the same act of adoration and glorification that we address to the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Blessed Trinity; he is the great gift of the risen Christ that opens our minds and our hearts to faith in Jesus as the Son sent by the Father and that leads us to friendship, to communion with God.
But I would like to dwell in particular on the fact that the Holy Spirit is the inexhaustible source of the life of God in us. Men of all times and all places want a life that is full and beautiful, just and good, a life that is not threatened by death, but that can mature and grow to its fullness. Man is like a wanderer who, crossing the deserts of life, thirsts for a living water, gushing and fresh, able to quench deeply his profound desire for light, love, beauty and peace. We all feel this desire! And Jesus gives us this living water: it is the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, and that Jesus pours out into our hearts. "I came that they might have life and have it in abundance", Jesus tells us (Jn 10:10).
Jesus promises the Samaritan woman that he will give a "living water", superabundantly and forever, to all those who recognize him as the Son sent by the Father to save us (cf. Jn 4:5-26, 3:17). Jesus came to give us this "living water" that is the Holy Spirit, so that our life may be guided by God, animated by God, and nourished by God. When we say that the Christian is a spiritual man, we mean just that: a Christian is a person who thinks and acts according to God, according to the Holy Spirit. But I ask: and we, do we think according to God? Do we act according to God? Or do we let ourselves be guided by so many other things that are not exactly God? Each one must answer this in the depths of his heart.
At this point we can ask ourselves: why is it that this water can slake the very depths of our thirst? We know that water is essential for life; without water you die; it quenches thirst, washes, makes the land fertile. In the Letter to the Romans we find this expression: "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (5:5). The "living water", the Holy Spirit, the gift of the risen Lord who makes its home in us, purifies us, enlightens us, renews us, transforms us because it makes us partakers of the very life of God who is Love. For this reason, the Apostle Paul says that the Christian life is animated by the Spirit and its fruits, which are "love, joy, peace, generosity, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit inserts us into the divine life as "sons in the Only-begotten Son". In another passage of the Epistle to the Romans, which we have mentioned several times, St. Paul summarises it with these words: "all those who are led by the spirit of God, are sons of God. And you... have received the Spirit that makes us adoptive children, whereby we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit itself, together with our spirit, attests that we are children of God. And if we are children, we are also heirs: heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order to participate in his glory" (8:14-17). This is the precious gift that the Holy Spirit places in our hearts: the very life of God, life as true sons, a relationship of confidence, freedom and trust in the love and mercy of God, which has as an effect also a new gaze towards others, near and far, always seen as brothers and sisters in Jesus to be respected and loved. The Holy Spirit teaches us to look with the eyes of Christ, to live life as Christ lived it, to understand life as Christ understood it. That's why the living water that is the Holy Spirit quenches the thirst of our lives, because it tells us that we are loved by God as children, that we can love God as his children and by his grace we can live as children of God, like Jesus. And we, we listen to the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit tell us? God loves you. It tells us this. God loves you, He desires your good. Do we really love God and others, like Jesus does? Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, let us allow Him to speak to our hearts and tell us this: that God is love, that He is waiting for us, that God is the Father, he loves us as a true Father [Pap�], he truly loves us and only the Holy Spirit alone says this to our hearts. Let us hear the Holy Spirit, let us listen to the Holy Spirit and let us go forward on this road of love, of mercy and of forgiveness. Thank you.
From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. "Full of grace", Mary is "the most excellent fruit of redemption" (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life. -Catechism of the Catholic Church #508
-Mother: Eat your bread.
Child: I don’t like bread. Why do I have to eat the bread.
Mother: So you become big and strong.
Child: Why do I have to become big and strong?
Mother: So you can provide the daily bread to your family.
Child: But I don’t like bread!
The best first: Little Johnny: Odd. First my parents teach me to speak and then they want me to be quiet the whole time.
-A guy calls the fire department and yells excitedly: “You have to come, now, there’s a fire!” “OK sir, but please tell us how do we get to you.”
The man asks, puzzled: “What, you don’t have them big red trucks anymore?”
One Reason To Buy A Painting
At an art gallery, a woman and her ten-year-old son were having a tough time choosing between one of my paintings and another artist’s work. They finally went with mine. “I guess you decided you prefer an autumn scene to a floral,” I said. “No,” said the boy. “Your painting’s wider, so it’ll cover the three holes in our wall.”
We use yesterday’s technology to solve today’s problems-tomorrow.
“Always obey your superiors. If you have any.” –Mark Twain
Diplomacy: The art of saying “Nice doggie!” until you have time to pick up a rock.
Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'
The man said, 'I do, Father.'
The priest said, 'Then stand over there against the wall.'
Then the priest asked the second man, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'
'Certainly, Father,' the man replied.
'Then stand over there against the wall,' said the priest.
Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and asked, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'
O'Toole said, 'No, I don't Father.'
The priest said, 'I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?'
O'Toole said, 'Oh, when I die , yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.'
Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, 'Pour me a stiff one - just had another fight with the little woman.'
'Oh yeah?' said Charlie, 'And how did this one end?'
'When it was over,' Mike replied, 'She came to me on her hands and knees.'
'Really,' said Charles, 'Now that's a switch! What did she say?'
She said, 'Come out from under the bed, you little chicken.'
1. If walking/cycling is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.
2. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water and is fat.
3. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.
4. A tortoise doesn't run, does nothing ..yet lives for 150 years.
YOU TELL ME TO EXERCISE!
HAIL MARY, beloved Daughter of the eternal Father. Hail Mary, wonderful Mother of the Son. Hail Mary, faithful Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Lady, my powerful Queen. You are all mine through your mercy, and I am all yours.
Take away from me all that may be displeasing to God. Cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to you. May the light of your faith dispel the darkness of my mind, your deep humility take the place of my pride; your continual sight of God fill my memory with his presence; the fire of the charity of your heart inflame the lukewarmness of my own heart; your virtues take the place of my sins; your merits be my enrichment and make up for all that is wanting in me before God.
My beloved Mother, grant that I may have no other spirit but your spirit, to know Jesus Christ and His divine will and to praise and glorify the Lord; that I may love God with burning love like yours. - St. Louis de Montfort
Throughout our lives as Catholics we have made promises. And these promises could more accurately be called oaths.
In Baptism, most of us had our parents make our Baptismal Promises for us.
In First Holy Communion, as we saw just a few weeks ago in our 2nd graders, we made those promise, those oaths for ourselves.
In Confirmation, we confirmed those oaths and were brought fully into Christ’s Church and given the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit helped us make those oaths and offers to help us to keep them.
Sadly however, for too many Catholics the story ends there. But it shouldn’t.
Catholic Life does not end with these promises, these oaths, it really just begins.
Put another way, Catholic Life looks like something and it is daily lived.
Having made those promises, those oaths, We believe in some things and we do not believe other things. For example:
WE BELIEVE everything that is in the creed, listen especially today when we speak about the Holy Spirit in the Nicene Creed.
WE BELIEVE that we are sinners, but by seeking forgiveness and striving to remain faithful, by Jesus Christ, we will enter Heaven one day
By the Holy Spirit and Mary:
We DO NOT believe in Reincarnation. Scripture says, “man you are appointed once to die and then the judgment.
We DO NOT believe we are ever alone. From our guardian angel to the saints, to the Church and our neighbor, we are never alone.
Having made those promises, those oaths, I am some things and I am not other things. For example:
I AM made in the image and likeness of the Triune God of Love.
I AM loved and treasured by God and others.
By the Holy Spirit and Mary
I AM NOT useless or worthless
I AM NOT to be made in the image and likeness of the world or my peers who say that I am this or that.
Having made those promises, those oaths, We do some things and we do not do others things. For example:
WE DO put God first by worshiping Him every Sunday and resting with family. [Someone asked me, Father Robert you are from farm, you understand. Dad never worked on Sunday, He did not want to offend God or put his soul in jeopardy. He did not want to break his promise, his oath to God.]
WE DO strive to love others and forgive them even if it is difficult because I have been loved; I have been forgiven.
By the Holy Spirit and Mary:
WE DO NOT receive the Holy Eucharist unworthily.
WE DO NOT use the Lord’s Name in vain, gossip, or hurt others with our speech, as Scripture says, “say the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them.”
Of course you and I have free will and we are going to do what we are going to do, but let us realize that if we break our promises and lie against the oaths we have taken we block God and His grace, evil comes into the world, the things you daily lament and despise multiply in the world.
But, BUT if you we keep our promises, fulfill our oaths then guess what happens, and guess who comes? The Holy Spirit and Mary gave us the greatest of all gifts not some thing, but some body and His Name is Jesus Christ. Jesus comes, Sin is forgiven, people are saved and made holy, evil is routed and persons enter heaven to see Him FACE to FACE.
[In my favorite movie, Lord of the Rings, Return of the King, a leader of the men of Rowan, says, “men of Rowan, oaths you have taken, now fulfill them all!]
Today, at this Mass, now, let us keep our promises, let us fulfill our oaths, and receive the Holy Spirit anew by coming to Mary!
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – June 7th, 2020
The First Reading - Exodus 34:4B-6, 8-9
Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets. Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with Moses there and proclaimed his name, "LORD." Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, "The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity." Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he said, "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."
The context of this passage is very important, and hopefully the celebrant will explain in the homily. This is not Moses’ first visit up the mountain. It is his return visit after the debacle with the Golden Calf. Moses had descended the mountain, interrupting his reception of the instructions for the Tabernacle, in order to regain control of the people, who were running wild in a pagan ritual in worship of the Egyptian bull god Apis. He now returns to the mountain to intercede for the people and plead for forgiveness and covenant renewal. God accepts his intercessions on behalf of Israel and agrees to forgive and renew the covenant, but Moses has an additional request: he wishes to see the face of God. God cannot reveal his “face” (unmediated revelation) to Moses in this life, but he condescends to show his “back” (mediated or indirect revelation) to Moses on the mountain. So God makes his presence pass before Moses while Moses is hid in a cleft in the rocks. While his presence passes by, the LORD proclaims his “name,” that is, declares what his essence is: “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness (hesed) and fidelity (emeth).” The words used to describe God’s attributes here are significant, in particular the Hebrew hesed, which means not merely “kindness” but rather “covenant fidelity or covenant love.” In the Psalms it is usually translated “mercy.” A closely related concept is emeth, which means “truth,” especially in the sense of “being true to someone.” Hesed and emeth are relational terms. God is in His very being relational (the Trinity), and his greatest attributes pertain to the faithful and unfailing expression of love between persons. The overflow of this love forms the covenant that God continually offers to humanity (see Eucharistic Prayer IV).
Adults - What does it mean to you that mercy and fidelity are attributes of God?
Teens - If you are unfamiliar with the covenants of Salvation History, spend some time learning about them this week.
Kids - How can you show others the mercy of God?
Responsorial- Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
R.Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
The revelation of God’s nature prompts praise from us, his people. The Church turns to the Song of the Three Young Men, the song of praise they sang while being sacrificed in the fiery furnace. The fiery furnace is an image of the burning love of God, which is more than our mortal nature can bear. Yet God sustains us supernaturally, so that we can praise him while plunged in his presence. The young men were being sacrificed because of their covenant fidelity to God expressed by their refusal to worship idols. Their willingness to be faithful to God to death leads to a greater knowledge and experience of God’s nature.
How does faithfulness to God help us grow in knowledge and love of Him?
The Second Reading- 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Reflection - Our Second Reading gives us a more explicitly Trinitarian text. Although the doctrine of the Trinity is not explained in detail in the text of the New Testament, the reality of the Trinity must be presumed in order to make sense of the assertions and statements of the apostles and other sacred writers. For example, in the concluding blessing of this short passage of St. Paul, it would be inappropriate to put the “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” and the “fellowship of the Holy Spirit” in poetic parallelism with “the love of God” unless all three realities were of equally dignity. If Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit were mere creatures, they could not be the source of “grace” and “fellowship” on par with the “love of God.” Furthermore, the term “grace” is particularly freighted, as elsewhere Paul develops the concept as a divine attribute. Benedict XVI explained that dogmas are nothing other than authoritative interpretations of Scripture. Another way to look at them would be as “truths one must assume in order to make sense of all the Scriptural data.” The doctrine of the Trinity helps us make sense of this threefold blessing in 2 Corinthians 13 and many other passages as well.
-Try to learn more about the doctrine of the Trinity this week.
The Holy Gospel according to John 3:16-18
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Reflection Love is the essence of the Trinity. The Trinity tells us that God is not a monopersonal individual who had only himself to love before creatures were made. Self-love is an imperfect form of love. Therefore, God would have needed creatures to love in order to achieve perfection of love. God would have been imperfect in himself. Self-giving love is the highest form of love: “Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” From all eternity Father and Son exchange their Life for each other. Therefore, the gift of the Son by the Father to the world, and the Son’s gift of Himself for the world and for his Father, is nothing other than an invitation for the world to enter into the circle of love that defines God’s essence.
Adults - How do you live self giving love in your daily life?
Teens - How can you model self-giving love?
Kids - Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for His great love for us!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - Why the miracle The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church's Te Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons; for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honor of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God. Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us. The Father created and predestined us; on the first day of the week He began the work of creation. The Son redeemed us; Sunday is the "Day of the Lord," the day of His resurrection. The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple; on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity. -Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
This week one should learn about Jesus Christ, desire Him with all your heart, and then next week, know and beg Mary to bring you to Him fully and Him to you fully.
" The whole world is indebted to Jesus for His Passion. Similarly, all of us are indebted to our Lady for her compassion." - Saint Albert the Great (1206 - 1280)
"It is the nature of Jesus Christ to lead us to the Father. In the same way, it is the nature of the Blessed Virgin to lead us surely to Jesus."- Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort. (1673- 1716)
" Let all hearts give themselves to Mary so that she will fill them with her Heart and the Heart of Jesus ! " - Saint John Eudes (1601 - 1680)
Below, St. Louis de Monfort tells more about being truly devoted to Mary to be perfectly conformed to Jesus Christ, thus love God and neighbor in this life and coming to heaven in the life to come.
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort
[Both of the above will be given below in their entirety in the next 5 weeks.]
Third part of True Devotion to Mary
CHAPTER FIVE - BIBLICAL FIGURE OF THIS PERFECT DEVOTION:REBECCA AND JACOB
183. The Holy Spirit gives us in Sacred Scripture, a striking allegorical figure of all the truths I have been explaining concerning the Blessed Virgin and her children and servants. It is the story of Jacob who received the blessing of his father Isaac through the care and ingenuity of his mother Rebecca.
Here is the story as the Holy Spirit tells it. I shall expound it further later on.
The Story of Jacob
184. Several years after Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob, Rebecca, their mother, who loved Jacob tenderly, secured this blessing for him by a holy stratagem full of mystery for us.
Isaac, realising that he was getting old, wished to bless his children before he died. He summoned Esau, who was his favourite son, and told him to go hunting and bring him something to eat, in order that he might then give him his blessing. Rebecca immediately told Jacob what was happening and sent him to fetch two small goats from the flock. When Jacob gave them to his mother, she cooked them in the way Isaac liked them. Then she dressed Jacob in Esau's clothes which she had in her keeping, and covered his hands and neck with the goat-skin. The father, who was blind, although hearing the voice of Jacob, would think that it was Esau when he touched the skin on his hands.
Isaac was of course surprised at the voice which he thought was Jacob's and told him to come closer. Isaac felt the hair on the skin covering Jacob's hands and said that the voice was really like Jacob's but the hands were Esau's. After he had eaten, Isaac kissed Jacob and smelt the fragrance of his scented clothes. He blessed him and called down on him the dew of heaven and the fruitfulness of earth. He made him master of all his brothers and concluded his blessing with these words, "Cursed be those who curse you and blessed be those who bless you."
Isaac had scarcely finished speaking when Esau came in, bringing what he had caught while out hunting. He wanted his father to bless him after he had eaten. The holy patriarch was shocked when he realised what had happened. But far from retracting what he had done, he confirmed it because he clearly saw the finger of God in it all. Then, as Holy Scripture relates, Esau began to protest loudly against the treachery of his brother. He then asked his father if he had only one blessing to give. In so doing, as the early Fathers point out, Esau was the symbol of those who are too ready to imagine that there is an alliance between God and the world, because they themselves are eager to enjoy, at one and the same time, the blessings of heaven and the blessings of the earth. Isaac was touched by Esau's cries and finally blessed him only with a blessing of the earth, and he subjected him to his brother. Because of this, Esau conceived such a venomous hatred for Jacob that he could hardly wait for his father's death to kill him. And Jacob would not have escaped death if his dear mother Rebecca had not saved him by her ingenuity and her good advice.
Interpretation of the story
185. Before explaining this beautiful story, let me remind you that, according to the early Fathers and the interpreters of Holy Scripture, Jacob is the type of our Lord and of souls who are saved, and Esau is the type of souls who are condemned. We have only to examine the actions and conduct of both in order to judge each one.
(1) Esau, the elder brother, was strong and robust, clever, and skillful with the bow and very successful at hunting.
(2) He seldom stayed at home and, relying only on his own strength and skill, worked out of doors.
(3) He never went out of his way to please his mother Rebecca, and did little or nothing for her. (4) He was such a glutton and so fond of eating that he sold his birthright for a dish of lentils.
(5) Like Cain, he was extremely jealous of his brother and persecuted him relentlessly.
186. This is the usual conduct of sinners:
(1) They rely upon their own strength and skill in temporal affairs. They are very energetic, clever and well-informed about things of this world but very dull and ignorant about things of heaven.
187. (2) And they are never or very seldom at home, in their own house, that is, in their own interior, the inner, essential abode that God has given to every man to dwell in, after his own example, for God always abides within himself. Sinners have no liking for solitude or the spiritual life or interior devotion. They consider those who live an interior life, secluded from the world, and who work more interiorly than exteriorly, as narrow-minded, bigoted and uncivilized.
188. (3) Sinners care little or nothing about devotion to Mary, the Mother of the elect. It is true that they do not
really hate her. Indeed they even speak well of her sometimes. They say they love her and they practise some devotion in her honour. Nevertheless, they cannot bear to see anyone love her tenderly, for they do not have for her any of the affection of Jacob; they find fault with the honour which her good children and servants faithfully pay her to win her affection. They think this kind of devotion is not necessary for salvation, and as long as they do not go as far as hating her or openly ridiculing devotion to her they believe they have done all they need to win her good graces. Because they recite or mumble a few prayers to her without any affection and without even thinking of amending their lives, they consider they are our Lady's servants.
189. (4) Sinners sell their birthright, that is, the joys of paradise, for a dish of lentils, that is, the pleasures of this world. They laugh, they drink, they eat, they have a good time, the . . .