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Father’s Day and Trinity Sunday

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/22 at 12:00 AM

I want to say Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads, grandfathers, and god fathers.

I had the good fortune to have a dad that is what you would hope for. He showed me how to be a man of faith, he showed me how to be a good husband, and how to be a good father to my children.

As I was thinking about my dad I thought back to the childhood that he made possible. When I was in grade school I grew up next door to David Spako. He was the biggest kid in school, the fastest, the strongest, and the top student.

Living next to David had a lot of advantages. In sports I was often on David’s team. In football I knew that if I could get a decent block David would run around everyone or over them. In our neighborhood we played a lot of two on two basketball. I would throw the ball to David and he would usually score and we often won.

Playing sports on David’s team gave me a lot of confidence. Because of what he could do I knew that if I did what I could do there was a good chance that we could accomplish what we hoped for.

Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to have confidence with a good team mate. Today we get to see who wants to be our team mate and how confident we can be.

Today is Trinity Sunday when we celebrate the Holy Trinity who is the best team mate we can have and wants to be on our team. So who is this team mate? The Trinity is how we see one God in three persons, the three persons are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at this closer.  God is love.

This seems like a simple statement but it is an amazing statement. This isn’t saying that God is loving like we might say he is merciful. The statement God is love is not describing traits of God but saying what His very nature is. God is love.

Let’s talk about the Trinity and how it affects us as believers. When we talk about the Trinity our language often is inadequate. That is why you’ll hear that the Trinity is a mystery and it is but that doesn’t mean that we can’t gain an understanding of the Trinity.

One God in three persons. That is a difficult concept for us to get our thoughts around but we can see that it had to be this way. Remember that God is love. For love to exist there has to be a relationship. God created all things. Before anything was created God existed and God is love. Who did God love in the beginning before anything was created? If God is love and he always existed in that way there had to be a relationship for love to flow to and from persons.

The Trinity is that community of persons where God as love existed in the beginning and still exists today. We can see that it was so from the beginning. In the story of creation in the beginning of the book of Genesis we read where God was creating all things. He created the heavens and the earth, the light, the sky and the seas, the plants on the earth and all kinds of living creatures.

Finally God was going to create man. The words of God in scripture revealed what man could not know. The scripture says in verse 26 “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness”.

Notice God uses the plural words, “let us”, “our image”, and “our likeness”. Who is the us? God was more than one person from the very beginning. It had to be because  “God is love”.

If the Trinity is one God and three persons what does that mean and how can it show us how we can be believers.

The Trinity is three Persons who are each completely and wholly God, in an intimate dance loving completely, loving unconditionally, and supporting others.  God is love.

This is who God is and who he has always been. Three Persons who are each completely and wholly God recklessly giving of themself.

How can having God as the best teammate ever be a reality in my life so that I can be confident as a believer. I’d like to share my own example to show that we can be confident because God and any of us is an overwhelming majority.

For most of my life I’ve worked hard to stay out of prison and until recently I was successful. A few years ago I was asked to minister to men in prison. With my lifelong aversion to being in prison this did not seem like something I wanted or would be good at. What could I offer to men whose lives were so different from my own?

Yet I kept thinking that I was supposed to do this. The idea of God as my teammate really did give me the confidence that if I did my part we could be successful but he would have to do the heavy lifting. So I signed up with a measure of confidence but I was counting on God.

The first time I went into the prison was a wakeup call. You stand before the iron gates with officers around with guns that I assume were loaded and were not in holsters but looked ready for use

Then I walked in and heard the loud clank of the gates and it is a strange feeling as I am now locked in also. We go through another gate and the same sound and I realize that I am further in. This isn’t an idea anymore it is reality.

I walked into a room with about 30 prisoners in their brown uniforms. You know what I saw? Men who need a savior just like me. These men made mistakes but under different circumstances it could’ve been me. I saw men who wanted God in their lives. When everything is taken away from them they know that true joy and freedom come from love and God is the source of true love.

These men wanted to know about the ways of God. They wanted to know him love him and serve him. I wish that you could see the hunger they have for the sacraments which they might have access to once a month. We prayed, we received communion, we prayed the rosary, we read the scriptures, and we shared our faith.

I met men who helped me to see that faith is what really sets us free and brings joy and hope. Allowing God in my life to do the heavy lifting as my teammate allowed me a holy experience that I would not have been confident enough to tackle on my own. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an even better teammate than David Spako.

So what is our takeaway from all of this? What can we keep from today and use it this week as we leave this Mass and strive to know, love, and serve God?

Remember the words from Genesis. “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness”. Yes, we were created to be in the image and likeness of God.

The image of God is in relationship loving totally, loving unconditionally, and supporting others. Brothers and Sisters this is what we are to imitate. This is what we were created for. This week let’s keep this and mind and ask ourselves are we acting in the image of God? Am I loving totally, am I loving unconditionally, am I supporting others?

God is love. We were created to be like him. Let us bring that idea back into our homes, our workplace, and in our neighborhoods. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit will be with you.

 

Deacon Jack Staub

St. Matthew Catholic Church

Charlotte, NC

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Pope Paul VI – Address to Women

In 07 Observations on 2014/08/01 at 12:00 AM

And now it is to you that we address ourselves, women of all states — girls, wives, mothers, and widows, to you also, consecrated virgins and women living alone — you constitute half of the immense human family. As you know, the Church is proud to have glorified and liberated woman, and in the course of the centuries, in diversity of characters, to have brought into relief her basic equality with man. But the hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness, the hour in which woman acquires in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.

You women have always had as your lot the protection of the home, the love of beginnings and an understanding of cradles. You are present in the mystery of a life beginning. You offer consolation in the departure of death. Our technology runs the risk of becoming inhuman. Reconcile men with life and above all, we beseech you, watch carefully over the future of our race. Hold back the hand of man who, in a moment of folly, might attempt to destroy human civilization.
Wives, mothers of families, the first educators of the human race in the intimacy of the family circle, pass on to your sons and your daughters the traditions of your fathers at the same time that you prepare them for an unsearchable future. Always remember that by her children a mother belongs to that future which perhaps she will not see.

And you, women living alone, realize what you can accomplish through your dedicated vocation. Society is appealing to you on all sides. Not even families can live without the help of those who have no families. Especially you, consecrated virgins, in a world where egoism and the search for pleasure would become law, be the guardians of purity, unselfishness and piety. Jesus who has given to conjugal love all its plenitudes, has also exalted the renouncement of human love when this is for the sake of divine love and for the service of all.

Lastly, women in trial, who stand upright at the foot the cross like Mary, you who so often in history have given to men the strength to battle unto the very end and to give witness to the point of martyrdom, aid them now still once more to retain courage in their great undertakings, while at the same time maintaining patience and an esteem for humble beginnings.

Women, you do know how to make truth sweet, tender, and accessible; make it your task to bring the spirit of this council into institutions, schools, homes and daily life. Women of the entire universe, whether Christian or non-believing, you to whom life is entrusted at this grave moment in history, it is for you to save the peace of the world.

Family – Vol. XXVII,  No.4 Advent-Christmas 2012 – www.wf-f.org.