Monday, May 21, 2018

Trinity Sunday - May 27, 2018

Trinity Sunday - 
Year B

Reading I:  Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40

Psalm:  33

Reading:  II Romans 8:14-17

Gospel:  Matthew 28:16-20

We often begin our prayer by making the sign of the cross in which we profess our belief in the Holy Trinity and our redemption through the suffering and death of Jesus on a cross.

Although we are not able to fully comprehend the Trinity, Jesus revealed it to us in His lifetime. He would often pray to and refer to God, his Father, Himself as Son, and promised to send us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love: the expressed bond between Him and His Father. Perhaps, a help to understand the Trinity, to a degree, is to consider how a child conceived by an act of love between a husband and wife can be viewed as an embodiment of their love.

Since we are focused on the Trinitarian aspect of God this Sunday, it might be good to reflect on the sign of the cross slowly since it can simply become a  routine gesture otherwise. While God is one, it helps us to focus on a specific aspect of God, one at a time.

First, we focus on God the Father, as the Creator of all things. Since it is spring we can marvel at the beauty of nature and the universe in which we live. I especially enjoy looking out my window and watching the birds, squirrels and rabbits. These can elicit expressions of wonder and gratitude.

Recalling the devotions and services of Lent, or reflecting on a Pieta or crucifix can deepen our appreciation and gratitude for our redemption. Also, reflecting on the Lord’s constant renewal of His sacrifice each time the Mass is offered can remind us of the Lord’s unconditional, self-sacrificing love. In addition, It can challenge us to respond to the Lord’s request that we love one another as He has loved us.

Finally, the words of St. Katharine Drexel can inspire us: “Be also most faithful to the grace of the Holy Spirit, listening attentively to His inspirations; obeying Him promptly and entirely and giving glory to Him, as is just for the success of all your good actions.” 

Note:  The symbol of the dove represents the Holy Spirit.

 Reflection Question:   How can I avoid allowing the sign of the cross as becoming routine?

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
Domingo de la Trinidad

A menudo comenzamos nuestra oración haciendo la señal de la cruz en la que profesamos nuestra creencia en la Santísima Trinidad y nuestra redención a través del sufrimiento y la muerte de Jesús en una cruz.

Aunque no somos capaces de comprender completamente la Trinidad, Jesús nos la reveló en Su vida. A menudo oraba y se refería a Dios, su padre, Él mismo como Hijo, y prometió enviarnos el 
Espíritu Santoel Espíritu de amor: el vínculo expreso entre él y su padre. Quizás, una ayuda para entender la Trinidad, hasta cierto punto, es considerar cómo un niño concebido por un acto de amor entre un esposo y su esposa puede verse como una encarnación de su amor.

Dado que estamos enfocados en el aspecto trinitario de Dios este domingo, podría ser bueno reflexionar lentamente sobre la señal de la cruz, ya que simplemente puede convertirse en un gesto rutinario. Si bien Dios es uno, nos ayuda a enfocarnos en un aspecto específico de Dios, uno a la vez.
Primero, nos enfocamos en Dios el Padrecomo el Creador de todas las cosas. Como es primavera, podemos maravillarnos con la belleza de la naturaleza y el universo en el que vivimos. Disfruto especialmente mirando por la ventana y mirando pájaros, ardillas y conejos. Estos pueden provocar expresiones de asombro y gratitud.

Recordar las devociones y los servicios de la Cuaresma, o reflexionar sobre una Piedad o crucifijo puede profundizar nuestro aprecio y gratitud por nuestra redención. Además, reflexionar sobre la renovación constante de Su sacrificio cada vez que se ofrece la Misa puede recordarnos el amor incondicional y abnegado del Señor. Además, puede desafiarnos a responder al pedido del Señor de que nos amemos unos a otros como Él nos amó.

Finalmente, las palabras de St. Katharine Drexel pueden inspirarnos: “Sé también muy fiel a la gracia del Espíritu Santo, escuchando atentamente sus inspiraciones; obedeciéndole de manera inmediata y completa y dándole gloria a Él, como lo es solo para el éxito de todas tus buenas acciones”.

Nota: El símbolo de la paloma representa el Espíritu Santo.

 Pregunta de reflexión:   ¿Cómo puedo evitar permitir que la señal de la cruz se convierta en rutina?


  1. Catholics frequently make this holy sign yet how many of us give thought to the mysteries it signifies? I think a quick refresher course on the significance of the Sign of the Cross would help awaken our awareness of all that it represents. Interestingly, while perusing the Internet, I came across an article entitled, “Signum Crucis” (The Sign of the Cross), taken from the Fountain of Catholic Knowledge, Office of the Catholic Publications, Imprimatur, 1877, and from “The Catechist,” by the Very Rev. Canon Howe, Imprimatur, 1898. The following points, taken from the cited article, offer significant, sound insight.
    The Sign of the Cross was first instituted by the Apostles themselves, who, invested with the authority of Jesus Christ, taught this religious practice to the first disciples of the Gospel. It is the outward sign which distinguishes the Christian from other men. And why is this?
    First, it recalls to him who makes it, and to those who see it made, that Jesus Christ is the God of Christians and the Lord of their whole lives. It remnds us that God loved us so much as to give Himself up for our sakes to suffer on the Cross, and that we must love Him with our whole hearts. It places before our eyes Jesus Christ crucified; and Jesus crucified is the Divine and living rule of life to each one of His disciples, and His Sacred Cross their moral law. The sign of the Cross recalls to him who makes it with reverence and devotion that he is bound to imitate in his daily conduct the penance, humility, meekness, patience, detachment, chastity, and obedience of his Master. We are reminded of His love for His Heavenly Father and His Blessed Mother, and toward all men, and of His mercy.
    Second, The Sign of the Cross is distinctively the sign of the Christian, because it reminds him of the blessed eternity which awaits him. It was after His passion and death that Jesus rose again. And by His Cross He entered into glory. And so it will be with His disciples. The Gospel also declares to us that when He shall come at the last day to judge the world, the sacred sign of the Cross shall appear in the heavens, to be recognized by the elect with thankfulness and love, and by the reprobate with fear and trembling; for then shall it be the disciples of the Cross whom He will acknowledge for His Own.
    Third, the Sign of the Cross reminds us of the Blessed Trinity and that God the Son died on the Cross. It revives our faith with belief in the Unity and Trinity of God and the Incarnation and Redemption. It strengthens our hope by recalling that all blessings come through the Cross and by fostering a habit of seeking aid through the Cross.
    Indulgences are given of 50 days for making the Sign of the Cross saying the words and 100 days for the same when using holy water.
    We must always make the Sign of the Cross with reverence and care. Make it on the heart in time of temptation and trial remembering that the evil one always feels its presence. The Sign of the Cross is a sacramental when made with the right hand by touching the forehead (showing our belief in the Cross), the breast (showing our love of the Cross), and the shoulders (showing our readiness to bear the Cross).
    In considering all that is symbolized by this sacred Sign, we can understand why the Church employs it in the administration of all holy things, in the Sacraments, in every blessing at the beginning and end of her prayers.
    Let us make it often, but especially when tempted and when troubled; also before and after meals; and when we make it let us be careful to remember what it signifies, and the obligations imposed on all who bear the holy name of Christians.
    Pat C., ASBS

  2. Sr. Therese M. Warner, SBSMay 22, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Yes, we do express our belief in the Holy Trinity when we make the sign of the cross and it certainly seems appropriate to do so slowly and thoughtfully.

    As the Catholic Catechism explains, "The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life." The Athanasian Creed informs us that "We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son's is another, the Holy Spirit's another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal. (Athanasian Creed; DS 75; ND 16.)

    The following excerpts are from a homily by Father Timothy Radcliff O.P.:

    "In Christ we discover that God is love. It is not just that God loves, but that God is, at the very core of His being, love. When we love, we share in the very life of God... Because God indeed is love, we are caught up in this mystery and cry out , 'Abba, Father.' "

    "This is not primarily a mathematical statement, as if we could get to heaven and count the Persons of the Trinity. It points toward a love which is utterly mutual, but which overflows as the love of the Father and the Son overflows in the Holy Spirit. Love becomes Trinitarian as its mutuality is opened toward others."

    "So, right from earliest times, the disciples had a glimpse of the triune love which they encountered in Jesus. This is not the belief in some strange threesome on a remote planet, It is the love which transfigures our own loving. All our everyday ordinary loving is marked with this mystery."

    "Our love is pulsing with the prayer of Jesus, addressed to His father and ours, "that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and Thou in me, that they may be perfectly one. (John 17, 22F)"