Being Part of the Family of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

06-04-2023From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

As we go through life we meet and encounter many people. Our first encounter is clearly with our family. We are welcomed and become a source of joy and love when we are born. New life does not lessen the love we have for others, but expands our generous and joyful hearts. When difficulties, problems, sickness, and death occur, we seek to comfort one another because of our common family bond. When we meet new people and let them into our lives they come to see the power of our family bond and we see theirs. As children we “fight” or disagree with each other at times, but as we mature we come to see the goodness and love in each other and experience the joy of one another’s presence, love, and company.

Today as Catholics we celebrate Trinity Sunday. We begin our life in God’s family as we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. As we read and reflect on the Gospels we come to see Jesus’ love for and trust in the Father. And He invites us to experience the Father’s love and life. In chapter six of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus tells us how to pray by giving us the Our Father. How blessed we are to be part of God’s family and to use the very words Jesus taught His disciples. He begins by making it very clear we are part of His life with the Father as He begins telling us how to pray with these words: OUR FATHER. His Father is our Father. That is how intimately He invites us to be part of His life. Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost where the Risen-Ascended Christ sent the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, upon HIs followers. Filled with the fire of the Spirit they went out as members of God’s family and established the first generation of the Church. How blessed we are to belong to the family of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As we hear in the Gospel for today’s Mass (John 3:16- 18), “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” From the very beginning of our relationship with God as seen in Adam and Eve, God had every reason to give up on us. Then Cain killed his brother Abel. The wonder of the Passover and deliverance from slavery in Egypt was not followed up consistently with complete joy, trust, and gratitude. In fact in the first reading today at Mass (Exodus 34:4-6, 8- 9) Moses came down for a second time with the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments because when Moses came down with them the first time they were already worshipping false gods. But God did not give up and more than 3,000 years later offers Himself in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to us. We are the Church, the Family of God. How powerful is the Church? It depends on how powerful our faith, hope, and love are. There is no greater faith, hope, and love than is seen in Jesus Christ who came to save us from life without God, that is, life that leads to division, anger, fighting, and even war. Human beings without God are a horror as history has shown us over and over again. Is God too good to be true? The more we accept His love the more powerful and life giving our love for one another, the more powerful the Church. Individuals can give the Church a bad name, but the faith of all who live in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength are humble, wise, joyful, merciful human beings who are fully alive in the best sense possible, no matter what is going on around them.

May we know this blessing: May the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you forever. Amen. Happy Trinity Sunday!!!