Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Welcome to Ordinary Time, when extraordinary things happen! However, you may ask why is the Church not decorated with the “regular” green, but we have white instead? It is because this Sunday the Church observes “Trinity Sunday.” (And the following week will be Corpus Christi, so we will wait a bit more to change back to green.) One may ask the reason to celebrate Trinity Sunday, if we celebrate God every Sunday. There are a couple of reasons.
The Sunday after Pentecost has been dedicated to the Trinity since the 8th Century. So it is a long tradition in the Church to reflect on the mystery of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What better moment in the year we have than the Sunday after we see the whole work of redemption accomplished by the Father (creation), the Son (redemption), and the Holy Spirit (sanctification)? On Pentecost, one may say, we see the whole “team” working together. On Holy Week, we see the Father in action by desiring to re-create mankind after the Original Sin. On Easter and up to the Ascension, we see the Son risen from the dead announcing the defeat of death and the conquering of sin. When the Holy Spirit on Pentecost is sent to the Apostles, we see the sanctifying Spirit that will empower them to go out and announce the love of God. Therefore, on the weekend after all of it is fulfilled and manifested to us, we are called to spend some time contemplating the marvel of their communion in the work of our salvation.
The other reason for dedicating a weekend to the Holy Trinity is to “force” us to contemplate the very mystery of the Trinity. It’s a bit silly to affirm that we always speak of God, but how often do we speak about God himself? All the Scriptures testify the work of God, or the manifestation of God’s love through the different interventions. However, the Scriptures are not so clear when speaking about God. Through time God has revealed distinct parts about himself. Also when faced with different heresies, the Church was called to dig deeper in its understanding of God. In the first Centuries, some people thought that there was only one God, who manifested himself in three different modes (Modalism). Others, Tritheism, believe that there were three different gods, because they were three different persons. Still others either did not believe in the divinity of Jesus (Arianism), or did not believe that Jesus was truly man (Docetism). There were other claims that denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit or even that he was created and did not proceed from the Father and the Son. The Nicene Creed comes to clarify and reinstate that we believe in ONE God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even though there are three persons in the Trinity, their love for each other makes them into one being/substance. Look at what we will pray at the preface of the mass this weekend (the part right before the Holy):
“For with your only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit you are one God, one Lord: not in the unity of a single person, but in a Trinity of one substance. For what you have revealed to us of your glory we believe equally of your Son and of the Holy Spirit, so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead, you might be adored in what is proper to each Person, their unity in substance, and their equality in majesty.“
Therefore, as we come to Church this weekend, I invite you to contemplate the actions of each person in the Trinity and how much they have helped us.
On another note, I would like to highlight that next weekend we will be celebrating Corpus Christi. The Church invites us to make a public profession of our Faith in the true presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We will be doing a trilingual Mass outside in the parking lot at 11:00am next week. After Mass, we will do the procession through the streets of Marlboro, concluding in front of the Church where we will have our sawdust carpet once again. Therefore, there will be no 9:00am or 1:00pm Mass and the 11:00am will be celebrated only outside. In case of rain, we will have the mass inside. The procession however, will happen even if it rains. Please join us. The other day I heard someone who said, how can we doubt the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist if he himself said “THIS IS MY BODY”?
Father Steven Clemence