"Breaking Open the Word" :
James Cavanagh is the director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. His weekly column, "Breaking Open the Word," is syndicated by the Denver Catholic Register, official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. Click here to visit the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Denver.
June 19: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
In this week’s first reading, God appears to Moses proclaiming his name, originally made known in the burning bush: “Lord”—“I Am.” It’s a common mistake to equate the God of the Old Testament with the first Person of the Trinity. Throughout the Old Testament the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are fully present, though the distinction may not be obvious.
God is fully present to Moses in all his glory. He speaks his word (Son) as Moses is enveloped by the heavenly cloud (Spirit).
God had initially revealed himself to Moses simply as “I AM.” God now reveals more:
“The Lord; the Lord a merciful and gracious God; slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.”
The second reading comes from the end of St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. The reading was chosen for the final blessing in which Paul invokes all three Persons of the Trinity.
The Church in Corinth was troubled by discord. Paul’s blessing was also a prayer that the members of the Church would “agree with one another, and live in peace.”
Communion with each other is rooted in our communion with the Most Holy Trinity in whom we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Through Christ the true nature of God has been fully revealed. In this week’s Gospel we hear how “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” “God is love” Scripture says in another place (1 John 4:8) and love, by its very nature, is relational.
Relative to us, God is one; in himself God is a communion of persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity is a “mystery” in the sense that it’s not something we could have figured out on our own. In Christ, God has revealed his innermost secret.
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis, and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy:
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (No. 249).
Pope Benedict XVI:
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. Cavanagh’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register.
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