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God is Relationship

A reflection on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year C. The readings are Proverbs 8:22-31; Psalm 33; Romans 5:1-5 and John 16:12-15.

The Adoration of the Trinity by Albrecht Dürer (1511). Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

Last Sunday was the Solemnity of Pentecost and with that we concluded the Easter Season. This Sunday we begin the season called Ordinary Time. But there is nothing much ordinary about it. We’re still wearing white and we’re celebrating. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, then next Sunday is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, followed by next Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It’s not very ordinary. It says something about what “ordinary” means for the Christian: Our ordinary means that we are surrounded by the extra-ordinary: by mystery.

And today we celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Trinity: that Doctrine that the Church teaches that is so hard to understand that we call it a “mystery”. It refers to the fact that God is one God; three persons.

It’s not three gods – He’s ONE God; Three persons. Not three aspects, or three qualities, three parts or three different sides of God: Three PERSONS. One God, three persons. It’s hard to understand completely. That’s why we call it a mystery. But it’s not a mystery that we have to solve. It’s a mystery because it’s so amazing and wonderful that it cannot be fully described in human terms. It cannot be fully understood. But that’s OK, because we don’t have to fully understand it; we just have to live it.

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The Holy Spirit Will Teach Us Everything!

A reflection for the 6th Sunday, Easter, Year C. The readings are Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14; 22-23 and John 14:23-29.

“The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of everything that I have spoken.”

That’s what I want to talk to you about today.

I suspect that most of you don’t usually pray to the Holy Spirit. Most of us pray to God, the Father, “Dear God”, “Father in Heaven” or “Our Father”, or we pray to Jesus, “Dear Jesus”. But how often do we pray to the Holy Spirit? “Dear Holy Spirit”? And when we pray to God or Jesus, how often do we ask for them to send us the Holy Spirit? Unless we are Charismatic, we probably don’t usually do that.

But we should. Every day. If you don’t remember anything else from today, I want you to always remember this. Pray for the Holy Spirit, every day. Everyday ask God to send you the Holy Spirit, to guide you, to inspire you, to move you.
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Thank God it’s Friday!

A reflection for Good Friday. The readings are Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 31; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 and John 18:1-19:42.

Detail of Crucifixion with Mary and St. Dominic and Mary Magdalene by Fra Angelico, circa 1437-1446. Museum of San Marco, Florence.

This doesn’t usually happen to me, but the last couple of weeks, for some reason, I’ve found myself counting the days of the week until Friday. I guess a lot of us do that. We can’t wait for the weekend. And when we get there we say, “thank God it’s Friday!” We even have a little sticker that we can text to each other or post on social media, “TGIF”; thank God it’s Friday.

And then we get to this week, and to this day – thank God it’s Friday – this day that we call “good”. This day that should be called “black Friday” or “terrible Friday”. I guess the official name is “Friday of the Lord’s Passion.” Good Friday.

In my head I get it. This Friday is good because it leads to Sunday. Without the death, there is no resurrection. We honour the Friday as “good” because it leads to a victory.

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We Are Citizens of Heaven

A reflection for the 2nd Sunday in Lent, Year C
The readings are Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1 and Luke 9:28b-36.

La Transfiguration by Peter-Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, Lorraine, France.

I went out to dinner with an old friend the other night. We’ve known each other since we were in high school.  She doesn’t believe in God and undoubtedly the conversation turned to the Church and the sex abuse scandals. We spoke about how sex abuse happens everywhere where there is opportunity: in sports, in dance and gymnastics, in the film industry, healthcare, the army, schools, camps – most commonly in the family – it’s not just a church thing and certainly not just a Catholic Church issue (You may be interested in reading this article from Psychology Today).

We sadly agreed that it seems to be part of our human nature.

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