Right after the conclusion of the Easter Season we are invited to contemplate and celebrate the most important mystery of our faith – the Holy Trinity, God who reveals Himself to us as a unity of three Persons.
“Ronald Rolheiser has written: “The most pernicious heresies that block us from properly knowing God are not those of formal dogma, but those of a culture of individualism that invite us to believe that we are self-sufficient, that we can have community and family on our own terms, and that we can have God without dealing with each other. But God is community – and only in opening our lives in gracious hospitality will we ever understand that” (“Finding God in Community,” Canadian Western Times). And so we need this solemnity that reminds us that God is a Trinity, a flow of relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and ourselves. The Lectionary readings chosen for today, therefore, are about relationships of love.
Today’s gospel gives us the concluding words of Matthew. The risen and authoritative Jesus meets with the Eleven, wounded by betrayal and failure, still a very human mix of hopeful faith and hesitant doubt, of adoration and indecision. For our consolation, these are the disciples to whom Jesus entrusts the inclusive mission of making disciples of “all nations,” without distinction of race or culture. With the authority of the risen Jesus, they are commissioned to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” and to teach these new followers to obey everything that Jesus has revealed to them during his earthly mission. On their first missionary journey (Matt 10:1, 5-8) there had been no command to teach, but now that they have experienced not only Jesus’s life but also his death and resurrection, they are equipped to teach the full significance of his instructions.
We who have gathered to celebrate the Most Holy Trinity have been baptized and taught, called and schooled by Jesus through the mission of his church. We have been drawn into the divine-human communion of that first “trinitarian” moment of Jesus’s baptism by John in the Jordan when the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were named. Matthew gives us the solemn assurance that Jesus, Immanuel, “God-with-us” (cf. Matt 1:23) as the personal promise of God, will be with the church until the end of human history. His is no “absentee lordship” but a presence of a servant Christ who wishes to liberate rather than dominate. His church, therefore, must also be a humble servant that remembers that its authority is not absolute but is derived from Jesus; a church that identifies with those who are a very human mix of faith and doubt; a church that avoids all triumphalism and selfishness to the wounded people of our world…” (Living Liturgy 2021)
Just a few days ago we received some detailed information from the Diocese regarding the process of reopening churches, and when and how the different stages of reopening will unfold. According to this information:
Step One (proposed to take effect around June 14th and to last for 21 days): Limits indoor gatherings at places of worship to the current cap of 10 people. The churches remain closed. During this phase, outdoor religious services are permitted without limits as long as 2m distancing is maintained.
Step Two (proposed for the first week of July at the earliest): Places of worship are permitted are reopening at 15% capacity and with pandemic protocols (masks, social distancing, cleaning, etc.) observed.
Step Three (at least 21 days following the start of Step 2): Places of worship are permitted to hold “larger indoor services” but no specific number or percentage is provided at this time.
With the beginning of Step One (around June 14th), it is permitted to have outdoor religious services. In response to several inquiries and following consultation with the Episcopal Board, His Excellency Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, grants permission for parishes who wish to celebrate Sunday Masses outdoors under the following conditions:
– The parish has an adequate outdoor sound system;
– The parish has adequate outdoor space;
– Participants are not permitted to remain in cars during the liturgy;
– Participants are to be seated at least 2 meters apart as in the church and wearing masks;
– The liturgy is celebrated fully as in the church with the necessary ministers.
Our parish is in the process of assessing the possibility of celebrating an outdoor Sunday Mass here at our property in the Marian Garden, located behind the parish hall on Sunday, June 20.
Our parish Bible Study Group is inviting you to join them for a new study entitled Lectio: Prayer: Finding Intimacy with God. The study will begin this Tuesday, June 1 and run for 6 consecutive weeks. For more information about the study and registration please visit our online bulletin.
Our other online gatherings over the next week are:
Saturday, May 29 – Rosary led by Youth Ministry (7:00pm – 7:40pm)
Monday, May 31 – Coffee with the Clergy hosted by Fr. Claude & Deacon Carmelo (7:00-8:00pm)
Thursday, June 3 – Pray & Chat hosted by Deacon Carmelo and Wes Moga (7:00-8:00pm)
For the Zoom invites or more information about any of these events, please contact Wes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plans are in the works for this year’s summer activities for students! Stay tuned for an update coming next week.
In your prayers please remember our parishioners who passed away this week: Robert Foster, whose burial prayers took place earlier this week, and Juan Mendola, who will be laid to rest tomorrow. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Please pray also for their families to be consoled in their grief.
As always you are invited to join us virtually from your homes this Sunday for the Rosary at 9:30am and the Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity starting at 10am on the parish YouTube channel.
God bless, everyone.