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"FIRST IMPRESSIONS"

TRINITY SUNDAY -C- JUNE 12, 2022

Proverbs 8: 22-31; Psalm 8: 5-9;
Romans 5: 1-5; John 16: 12-15

By: Jude Siciliano, OP

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Dear Preachers:

Did you know:

Elaine Ireland, an experienced teacher and religious educator posts reflections on the daily Scriptures on our webpage. Good material for daily reflection and "pump primers" for preachers. https://preacherexchange.com/comeandsee.htm



The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated against heresies in the fourth and fifth centuries. Today, at first blush, we seem to be celebrating a dogma of our faith. But we don’t come to church to celebrate dogmas. Today we celebrate the mystery of the Trinity and how the divine Persons have influenced and continue to influence our lives. God is Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier – named for us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and in our worship and prayer we are invited into the mystery of God.

God is beyond our human capacity to know, but even before we reached out to God, God had already decided to redeem the world. God has taken the initiative, offered us grace in Jesus Christ and through the Spirit enables us to enter into relationship with God.

In Jesus, God has entered into human history; joined us in our pain and joy and has become one with us in all things, but sin. In him the fullness of divinity dwelt, yet he shared our death and reveals to us God’s victory over sin and death – God’s power to heal what is broken and unite what is fragmented. Jesus returned to the One he called "Father," but did not leave us on our own; he gave us the presence and power of the divine in his Spirit of love and life. Through the Spirit we can know the living presence of the risen Christ. In the Spirit we have the new life Jesus promised us, made possible by his life, death and resurrection. The yearning and hunger that draw us to worship today has been planted in us by our God, who desires that we come to grow in our knowledge and love of God. Ours is a God of relationship.

Nothing, not even the divine, exists alone and separate. The relationship that exists among the divine Persons suggests to us that we can know God through our relationships – not only in our relationship with God, but to all the created world. The Trinity then, is the origin and foundation of all our personal relationships. One way we are in the image and likeness of God is that we too are created in relationship – to God, to one another and to the created world in which we live.

Our first reading personifies Wisdom as God’s firstborn who participated in the creation of all things. Note the playful aspect of Wisdom, suggesting not only the image of God as creator, but God’s ongoing delight in the fruits of God’s creative work. "Day by day," Wisdom takes delight in what God has made, especially "the human race."

God’s involvement with creation did not end after the initial creative act, but continues throughout history. In particular we read throughout the Old Testament the history of how God, our Creator, has constantly been present to the humans God has made: delivering them; establishing them as a people; and then supporting, encouraging, challenging, rebuking and forgiving them.

Attending to today’s Scriptures deepens our awareness of our triune God. Proverbs reminds us of God’s "hands on" creative energy: for God "made firm the skies above... fixed the foundations of the earth... set for the sea its limit...." If we respond to our Creator today, prompted by our first reading, we will pray for open eyes today to see God’ creative handywork in the beauty of the natural world. Since creation helps open us to the mystery of God around us, we attend to the promptings of scripture by treating our environment with reverence and care. On this Trinity Sunday, a fitting response to our Creator today is both reverence and care of the natural works of God’s hand. (Cf. "Justice Bulletin Board" below.)

Jesus promised the "Spirit of truth" would come to us. The Spirit of truth will help us put aside the untruths and false gods our world worships: the god of power and domination; the god of privilege and exclusion; the god of the rich and prosperous; the god of control; the god of technology, etc.

In Jesus, God came among us and in words and actions, announced God’s saving presence to the world. We identify with Jesus’ life, attend to his words, are guided by his actions and attitudes, share in his death and experience new life in his resurrection. In him we come to trust that God is with us now and will remain with us until the end of time.

The Spirit is God’s divine life present to us, enabling us to share in the intimate love that exists between the Father and the Son. The Spirit’s gift of that love enables us to be free from a mere religion of laws and regimentation and to respond to God’s life in us by a free and spontaneous creative exercise of our faith; put into practice by a love of self, neighbor and the created world around us.

Thus, when we celebrate the feast of the Trinity, we are not celebrating just a private relationship that exists among the divine persons, are we? We are not merely onlookers at some supernatural heavenly mystery we profess belief in, but don’t really see its daily connection to our lives. If the doctrine of the Trinity were dropped would it make much difference in our faith practices, religious education, homilies, etc.? Of course it would! The Trinity isn’t just a mystery we ascent to each Sunday when we profess our faith in the Creed. Instead, it expresses how God relates to us and how we, in response, are to relate to God, ourselves and the world around us.

Click here for a link to this Sunday’s readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061222.cfm

PRAYER FOR PEACE IN UKRAINE

The prayer of Saint Francis

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred...let me sow love

Where there is injury...pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair...hope

Where there is darkness...light

Where there is sadness...joy

Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled...as to console

To be understood ...as to understand,

To be loved...as to love.

For it is in giving...that we receive,

It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.

It is in dying...that we are born to eternal life.

JUSTICE BULLETIN BOARD

What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?

Psalm 8: 5

Have you ever stopped to contemplate these words? It seems almost too-good-to-be-true that an infinite Creator would place us on such a pedestal. Yet, just in the reading before, God’s Wisdom, who is such a delight for God, finds her delight in the human race. Wisdom, always portrayed as feminine in the Old Testament, was with God from the beginning, before creation. She participated in creation and foreshadows the divine intent to pour out God’s own loving being upon humanity. Both of today’s New Testament readings speak of divine life shared so that humankind can also find delight in God. This is how life is supposed to be!

The contemplative prayer practiced by the desert mothers and fathers of many centuries ago, and known today as centering prayer, is once again being practiced. The source of centering prayer is the Trinity dwelling in us: the Holy Spirit calling us to consent to God’s presence and action within. This fosters ever-deepening union with Christ, demonstrated in our delight in caring for others. Contemplative prayer is like a rendezvous with the One you love the most. I find that this mindful centering enables me to face life’s difficulties with the assurance of the Holy Spirit at my side. If you would like to try centering prayer, the Cathedral has a group that meets weekly on Tuesday evenings by Zoom, 5-6PM, when Anne Werdel facilitates a Lectio divina prayer service for the coming weekend Gospel. The second group, Just Pray-ers, meets on the first Saturday of every month by Teams, 11AM-12:30PM. This group uses readings from Thomas Merton and other contemporary writers. Two ways for you to reconnect with the One who loves you best and always.

On this day of the Mass of the Most Holy Trinity, the gift of God’s own being through Christ and remaining with us in the Spirit, intends the complete transformation of human persons. Give yourself the time to contemplate the transformation that God is drawing you toward at this time of your life. Perhaps, it may be through one of the many ways that the Cathedral serves with joy, the least among us, those who also bear the image of our loving God. For more information, contact socialconcern@hnojnc.org.

Contemplate today how life is supposed to be, your life with God. God is mindful of you, is your mind full of God?

Barbara Molinari Quinby, MPS, Director,

Office of Human Life, Dignity, and Justice Ministries

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Raleigh, NC

FAITH BOOK

Mini reflections on the Sunday scripture readings designed for persons on the run. "Faith Book" is also brief enough to be posted in the Sunday parish bulletins people take home.

From today’s reading from Romans:

"...and hope does not disappoint,

because the love of God had been poured out into our hearts

through the Holy Spirit that has been given us."

Reflection:

We don’t celebrate a doctrine of the church today, but the unfathomable mystery that is God, who chose to dwell among us, "fully human and fully divine," and then did not leave us orphans, but gave us a continual share in God’s life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is this Spirit that continues to connect us to God and one another in love.

So we ask ourselves:

  • What names do we have for God that reflect our experience of the divine in our lives?
  • Have we ever spoken of that name and experience to others?

POSTCARDS TO DEATH ROW INMATES

I don’t want a moratorium on the death penalty, I want the abolition of it. I can’t understand why a county [USA] that is so committed to human rights doesn’t find the death penalty and obscenity.

----Bishop Desmond Tutu

This is a particularly vulnerable time for state and federal prisoners. I invite you to write a postcard to one or more of the inmates listed below to let them know we have not forgotten them. If the inmate responds you might consider becoming pen pals.

Please write to:

  • Seaga Gillard #1428278 (On death row since 3/4/2019)
  • David Godwin #1142266 (4/28/2019)
  • Mikel Brady #1403339 (10/28/2019)

----Central Prison, P.O. 247 Phoenix, MD 21131

Please note: Central Prison is in Raleigh, NC., but for security purposes, mail to inmates is processed through a clearing house at the above address in Maryland.

For more information on the Catholic position on the death penalty go to the Catholic Mobilizing Network: http://catholicsmobilizing.org/resources/cacp/

On this page you can sign "The National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty." Also, check the interfaith page for People of Faith Against the Death Penalty: http://www.pfadp.org/

DONATIONS

"First Impressions" is a service to preachers and those wishing to prepare for Sunday worship. It is sponsored by the Dominican Friars. If you would like "First Impressions" sent weekly to a friend, send a note to Fr. John Boll, OP at jboll@opsouth.org.

If you would like to support this ministry, please send tax deductible contributions to Fr. Jude Siciliano, OP:

St. Albert Priory

3150 Vince Hagan Drive

Irving, Texas 75062-4736

Make checks payable to: Dominican Friars.

Or, go to our webpage to make an online donation:
https://www.PreacherExchange.com/donations.htm

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. We have compiled Four CDS for sale:

  • Individual CDs for each Liturgical Year, A, B or C
  • One combined CD for "Liturgical Years A, B and C."

If you are a preacher, lead a Lectionary-based scripture group, or are a member of a liturgical team, these CDs will be helpful in your preparation process. Individual worshipers report they also use these reflections as they prepare for Sunday liturgy.

You can order the CDs by going to our webpage: www.PreacherExchange.com and clicking on the "First Impressions" CD link on the left.

2. "Homilías Dominicales" —These Spanish reflections on the Sunday and daily scriptures are written by Dominican sisters and friars. If you or a friend would like to receive these reflections drop a note to Fr. John Boll, OP at Jboll@opsouth.org.

3. Our webpage: www.PreacherExchange.com - Where you will find "Preachers’ Exchange," which includes "First Impressions" and "Homilías Dominicales," as well as articles, book reviews, daily homilies and other material pertinent to preaching.

4. "First Impressions" is a service to preachers and those wishing to prepare for Sunday worship. It is sponsored by the Dominican Friars. If you would like "First Impressions" sent weekly to a friend, send a note to Fr. John Boll, OP at the above email address.


Thank you and blessings on your preaching,

Fr. Jude Siciliano, OP

Jude Siciliano, OP - Click to send email.

St. Albert the Great Priory & Novitiate

3150 Vince Hagan Drive

Irving, Texas 75062-4736

frjude@judeop.org

972-438-1626


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