Sunday Church at Home, The Most Holy Trinity, Cycle C

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Sunday Church at Home

The Triune God and God’s Plan of Love.    

The lay leader makes the sign of the cross, saying:

Leader:          In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All reply:        Amen

Leader:          Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

All reply:        Blessed be God for ever

Leader:          Today we celebrate our belief in God, a threefold community of equal Persons who create, redeem and sanctify. Our God is not remote and detached, but intimately involved in our lives.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Proverbs 8:22-31

Introduction to the reading: The book of Proverbs is mostly a collection of wise sayings to help people live a good life. Today’s passage from Proverbs, however, is a hymn to Wisdom which in the Old Testament is sometimes symbolically described as a person coming from God.

A reading from the Book of Proverbs

Thus speaks the Wisdom of God:
“The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit
so that the waters might not transgress his command
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman;and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 8:4-5.6-7a.7b-9 (R. 2a)

Let us now pray the Responsorial Psalm:

R/. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name through all the earth!

When I see the heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little lower than the angels;
with glory and honour, you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hands.

You put all things under his feet,
all of them, sheep and oxen,
yes, even the cattle of the fields,
birds of the air, and fish of the sea
that make their way through the waters.

R/. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name through all the earth!

Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5

Introduction to the reading: Paul’s letter to the Romans is his most detailed and important theological work. The Church chose this brief passage to be read on Trinity Sunday because, in these five verses all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.

Brothers and sisters:

Since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him, we have obtained access
to this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,
and hope does not disappoint us,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

The word of the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit:
to God who is, who was, and who is to come.
Alleluia.

Gospel: John 16:12-15

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

At that time:
Jesus said to his disciples,
“I have yet many things to say to you,
but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you into all the truth;
for he will not speak on his own authority,
but whatever he hears he will speak,
and he will declare to you
the things that are to come.
He will glorify me,
for he will take what is mine
and declare it to you.
All that the Father has is mine;
therefore I said that he will take what is mine
and declare it to you.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection on the Readings

The leader reads the text prepared by the priest and leads the sharing.

“Why do we have to hear all this stuff about the Trinity?” This question burst from a teen in a catechism class. “Why can’t we just be good to each other and go to church”? I answered, “Because.” Because the Triune God is not some kind of brainy speculation by scholars. It is simply the way we experience God in this world. Christian living is the Trinity in action.

Today we have come together to 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 Jesus 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. God wants us to grow in our knowledge and love of the Divine.

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.

Let us turn to the first reading today from the book of Proverbs. The writer personifies Wisdom as God’s firstborn who participated in the creation of all things.

“I was beside him, like a master workman;and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.”

There seems to be a playful aspect of Wisdom, and we see 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 human race: God establishing them as a his chosen people; God  supporting, encouraging, challenging, rebuking and forgiving them.

The Word of God today helps to deepen 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….”

These are beautiful images and beautiful poetry – and remember that these are just images – NOT scientific descriptions. We can meditate on these images to remind us of the need to take care of this world we live in.

We 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 accept the obligation to treat 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. God shares his divine life so that humankind can also find delight in God.

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 control and selfishness.

In Jesus, God came among us and in words and actions, announced God’s saving presence to the world. We identify with Jesus’ life. We attend to his words, we are guided by his actions and attitudes, we share in his death and experience new life in his resurrection.

In Jesus 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. The Spirit’s gift of love allows us to respond to God’s life in us by a free and spontaneous creative exercise of our faith. The Spirit’s gift of love puts our faith into practice by a love of self, neighbour and the created world around us.

Today we celebrate the feast of the Trinity. We are not celebrating just a private relationship that exists among the divine persons. 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. The Trinity isn’t just a mystery we assent to each Sunday when we profess our faith in the Creed.

Instead, The Most Holy Trinity expresses how God relates to us and how we, in response, are to relate to God, ourselves and the world around us.

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 touched me in the readings today?
  • 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?

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader:         

Gathered as disciples of Jesus, we present our prayers of intercession.

Reader:

We pray for the Church: that we may experience the length, breadth, and depth of God’s love that has been poured out into our hearts so that we may be transformed and fully live as children of God.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for a greater desire for truth: that we continually seek the truth so that we may see God in all things and be aware that we are always in God’s presence.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for all who participate in our parish: that the Trinity will inspire us to work for the common good, encourage and accept one another, and make room for the gifts of one another.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for all who are facing their addiction: that God’s healing Spirit will free them, open them to new sources of strength, and restore their lives

LORD HEAR US

We pray for members of our families and friends who have died and those whose anniversaries occur about this time.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for Roger Henderson and Carla Steffenini who died this week.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

And let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace. AMEN

Leader:          Let us pray our PRAYER TO THE HOLY TRINITY

Father,

You sent your Word to bring us truth

and your Spirit to make us holy. 

Through them we come to know

the mystery of your life. 

Help us to worship you,

one God in three persons. 

You reveal yourself in the depths of our being,

by proclaiming and living our faith in you. 

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God forever and ever. 

Amen

Spiritual Communion

We can unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a spiritual Communion.

By making an Act of Spiritual Communion, we express our faith in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and ask him to unite himself with us.

My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you.
But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I receive you. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

Leader:          Let us pray to the Father in the words Jesus our Saviour gave us:

All say:          Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Leader:          

O God,

your name is veiled in mystery,

yet we dare to call you Father;

your Son was begotten before all ages,

yet is born among us in time;

your Holy Spirit fills the whole creation,

yet is poured forth now into our hearts.

Because you have made us and loved us

and called us by name,

draw us more deeply into your divine life,

that we may glorify you rightly through your Son,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God for ever and ever.

All:                  Amen.

Blessing

A leader who is a layperson, using no gesture, says:

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Alleluia. Alleluia

All:                  Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia.

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