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Monday, June 1, 2015

Holy Trinity Sunday: The Father and I are One

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
Ascension of the Lord, May 31, 2015
Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Tucson, AZ

"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, world without end.”

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the most Holy Trinity. 

As we reflect on today’s celebration we are reminded that the belief in the Trinity is a central to our Christian faith. 

Every baptized Christian is baptized in the Trinity, as our Lord tells His disciples in today’s Gospel reading (Matt 28:16-20) after He  rose from the dead. 

He says, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit...”

Now, as many of you know, I am a convert to Catholicism and was raised and baptized Mormon. Even though I was baptized Mormon, I had to be re-baptized as Catholic because the Mormon Church does not baptize in the Trinity. The Mormon Church believes in the Father, Son, and Spirit, but they believe that the three persons are separate beings.

Yet, as Catholics, we believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three Persons of One Essence. In other words, the Father, Son, and Spirit are One in three Persons. This belief of our faith comes from the Scriptures and in the words of Jesus Himself…

For example in the beginning of the Gospel of John we hear that the Word, who is Jesus, was with God, the Word was God, and the Word became flesh (John 1:1). 

Saint Paul says that Jesus is the
“image of the invisible God… the firstborn of all creation….He is before all things and all things were created through Him." (Colossians 1:15-17).

Again, in the Gospel of John, our Lord says,
“Believe in me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me… The Father and I are one.” (John 14:11, John 10:30) And He says that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in His name to teach us all things. 

Fr. John Paul Shea 
My brothers and sisters, as we reflect on our Catholic belief in  the mystery of the Trinity as Father, Son, and Spirit, One Being in three Persons, we are reminded that God is a God of relationship.

In today’s first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy (Deut 4:32-34, 39-40) we hear that God spoke to the Israelites from the midst of fire, and how He took them for himself
“by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terror.”

So we hear in this reading how God is all-powerful. God is huge! He is incomprehensible to our limited human minds.
But, we are reminded in today’s celebration that although God is huge, powerful, and almighty, He is also a God who is intimate and close. In fact, God wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us. He offers this relationship to us through His Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s second reading to the Romans 8:14-17, Saint Paul says “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God… The
Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” 

God has created each one of us for Himself. We are special. We are His children.
The question we must ask ourselves today is are we acting like God’s children? Do we acknowledge God’s dignity within us and within others? Do we pray to the Father, Son, and Spirit each day, acknowledging our need for God’s help in our daily lives? Or do we wander around like lost sheep as with the rest of the world? 

In today’s Gospel our Lord tells His disciples that
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to [Him].” And He reminds us that He is with us always, “until the end of the age."

Jesus is with us. He has given us His Spirit to help us. And His Father is watching over us. Our Lord is coming again to establish His Father’s kingdom on Earth, and the Holy Spirit will lead the way. May we become part of our Heavenly Father’s kingdom on Earth by living as His children today.

"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.”

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