Father Tom's Notes
As we return to our church’s recently-emptied pews, filling them up again with our communal action of faith in seeking the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, we also return to those weeks in the liturgical year known as “Ordinary Time.” We missed most of Lent, all of Holy Week and Eastertide, including not only Easter itself, but the Feasts of the Lord’s Ascension and the Feast of Pentecost in which we commemorate the beginnings of the Church.
However, as we make a new beginning, of sorts, in marking the weeks of Ordinary Time that lay ahead, we begin with two beautiful Feasts: this week’s Feast of the Most Holy Trinity and next week's Feast of Corpus Christi. Most of our Solemnities commemorate the Saints, such as Mary, the Mother of God on January 1st and St. Jospeh on March 19th. Some Feasts commemorate events in our Salvation History such as the Lord’s Nativity at Christmas and our Parish Feast Day: the Annunciation, March 25th. Still others have us call to mind the reverence we owe to the greatest of Saints such as our other Parish Feast Day: The Holy Name of Mary, September 12th as well as those who have “Gone before us, marked with the sign of Faith,” on All Soul’s Day, November 2nd. The two Feasts coming up are known as “movable feasts” because they are dependent on the Feast of Pentecost, so they come to us on a different date each year.
These two feasts differ from the others in that they celebrate two tenets of our Faith that are at the core of our Catholic beliefs: the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. When we begin to shed some light on these mysteries we realize that the truth which is deeply inherent within them will always escape human language. Or, as G. K. Chesterson put it simply, “If I understand it, then it’s no mystery.” What we have come to receive and to know about these mysteries comes to us from Divine Revelation, not from human imagination.
Our assent to mystery involves faith, humility and trust in the sources that have revealed these truths and have taught them as such down through the ages, from the Fathers of the Church to our own parents, as well as those who have taught us the Faith in the classroom and from the pulpit. Our hope is to grasp the deep meaning of the Holy Trinity, even if our ability to articulate it well escapes us. So, we begin our Mass today, reverencing the Holy Trinity as we make the Sign of the Cross, listen to the word of God revealing the Trinity to us, proclaim our Trinitarian Faith in the recitation of the Creed and sing God’s praises in our hymns.
There will be a particular joy in our celebration this weekend since it’s been so long since we have been able to worship together. Let’s make the most of it.