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Friday, May 13, 2016

From the Daughters of St. Paul: Subject: How to open your heart to the Trinity

Subject: How to open your heart to the Trinity

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Do you know the Church's great mystery tale?
Hello Friend,
At this time in the Church’s year we take part in a liturgical mini-series as we celebrate the feasts of the Lord’s Ascension, Pentecost, Holy Trinity, and Corpus Christi. This liturgical mini-series is a classic mystery tale containing all the violence, betrayal, love, and suspense of the typical mystery series we so enjoy on television. 

by Sr. Mary Lea Hill, FSP

The prequelFirst, there was a prequel to our series (the Feast of the Annunciation and the Nativity) in which we learned of an angelic announcement and a virgin birth followed by a deadly pursuit by a jealous ruler. Silent years followed, but eventually gave way to the immergence of a man of power and mystery who performed signs and worked wonders, and who spoke for God yet was condemned and crucified. In a surprise ending this man rose alive from the grave.

The plot thickensThe plot thickens in these days as we pick up again with some unprecedented events. The hero of our mini-series, none other than Jesus himself, has not only risen from his grave, but now lives a new form of life, never seen before. He passes through locked doors, yet can be touched as we all can, and he eats. Jesus walked and talked with the disciples after his resurrection, but his destiny was to return to God the Father’s kingdom and so on May 5 we celebrated the startling day of Jesus’ Ascension. His parting words were “I will be with you always.” How would this be possible? How can he leave this world and yet remain with us always? Only God’s Wisdom would have devised the perfect plan. At the Last Supper Jesus explained his plan. Bread and wine would become Jesus’ Body and Blood at the words of consecration said by the priest “in memory of Me.” This miraculous presence of Jesus takes place every day at Mass in the Eucharist, but we solemnly celebrate it annually at the feast of Corpus Christi. This is one of the many secrets of the Master-author of our liturgical mini-series.

We are enveloped in this sacred mystery as well. It is our story, and even more, it is our living pulse, the breath we take, our daily prayer. In fact, prayer is our personal response to God’s mystery. 

Another big reveal Jesus did make, however, is that God is a Trinity of Persons. There is the Father with whom all believers are familiar. There is the Son who came to our world as one of us, our Savior and our Brother. The third Person is the most mysterious because his revelation is so unfamiliar to us. We know this Divine Person as the Holy Spirit. As a spirit he comes to us in signs such as fire, a dove, or a wind. We cannot see him, nor can we comprehend him, but we can see the effects of his activity. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit made his entrance on gusts of wind – powerful, stirring wind that penetrated the members of the nascent Church to their very souls. He shook the foundations of their life and belief before settling over each of them as a living flame. God uses our senses to enliven our belief, too, as we see at every celebration of the Eucharist. He continues to manifest himself to us through signs and wonders. Every sacramental celebration brings us, soul and body, into contact with the loving Mystery we call God.

The story continues
The original drama of creation with all the events of redemption from the Easter Resurrection to the Ascension, from Pentecost to Corpus Christi is filled with the life of our Triune God. We are enveloped in this sacred mystery as well. It is our story, and even more, it is our living pulse, the breath we take, our daily prayer. In fact, prayer is our personal response to God’s mystery. 

The Feasts draw us into our own future
In these four feasts the Church is trying to draw us into our own future. After the original Easter event Jesus left his disciples to ascend to the kingdom of his Father. This is our future event as well. We will be called home one day. For now Jesus has promised that he will be with us all days. What better promise have we in this life? That little thought is enough of a meditation on the feast of Christ’s Ascension to keep us on track.

The celebration of Pentecost is next when we recall the early disciples trying to figure out how to reach out to the whole world with the message of Jesus. They were hiding together in the same room where they had shared the Last Supper with Jesus. The Holy Spirit had to literally come and sweep them out into the real world, into the mission Jesus had given them. If those close friends of Jesus needed an extra boost, how unsurprising if we need a little more of the light and breath of the Spirit to live out our commitment to Christ. The Spirit is the breath of our faith so we need only breathe to have his strength become our strength.

Holy Trinity is the feast day of relationships. God is a three-person relationship: God the Father loves the Son from all eternity and their very love for each other is the Holy Spirit. Don’t even try to understand this greatest of mysteries except to imitate it in your own relationships: when we love and are loved by another, there exists a living love between us. This is a shadow of the Trinitarian relationship. Rejoice that we are so loved by our God and that we have been baptized in the name of the Blessed Trinity. A simple daily celebration of this feast is to make well the Sign of the Cross remembering that we belong to the God of relationships.

The feast of Corpus Christi, or the Body of Christ, is the moment of truth for the believer. Jesus said over bread and wine: “This is my body,” “This is my blood.” “Do this in remembrance of me.” These are living words by which we remain one with Christ. Whenever we receive Holy Communion, we are receiving the living Jesus within us, not just a memorial, but a reality. The gentle Jesus made it so simple for us. Only our pride will keep us apart from Jesus; we are drawn to Him by our weakness. He promised to be with us always in what seemed an impossible dream, but Jesus devised the perfect plan to make it a reality.

The Bottom LineIn these days of great and wonderful feasts let us remember that we have been given the gift of faith at our baptism. Belief is there for the taking. Always trust yourself to believe. God’s grace, that is His true Self, is there to invite you in to relationship. Come as you are! Come with an open heart: be present, be engaged, be yourself!

Wondering how to open your life more and more to the Holy Trinity? 
Pray to the Holy Spirit
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