Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (a)
Sunday 15th June: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. (a)
There is a beautiful Russian icon of the Blessed Trinity painted by a monk by the name of Rublev. It shows the three Divine persons sitting at a table but the place at the front of the table is empty. This place is meant to symbolise welcome towards the stranger and the outsider, a place that is meant for you and for me and for the whole human family. It signifies God’s invitation to us to share in the life of the Trinity.
In the first reading, God has revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai as the God who is faithful to his promises. He is a God rich in tenderness and compassion. In the second reading, St. Paul uses a familiar form of greeting and blessing, one that is still used as a greeting at the beginning of Mass. He encourages the Corinthians to live in peace and harmony.
In the extract from John’s Gospel, we reminded how God has shown his love for us by sending his son to save us all. All who believe in him will be saved.
Monday 16th June: Monday in the 11th week of the year.
We continue the readings from the First Book of Kings. Ahab still hasn’t learned his lesson and now steals his neighbour’s vineyard with the help of his wife, Jezebel. He is warned of the consequences of his action by Elijah but to no avail. Naboth is killed through the plotting of Jezebel and the vineyard is Ahab’s.
Jesus continues his radical teaching. No longer is it to be an eye for an eye. The follower of Jesus must go to the opposite extreme to try to bring about conversion to God’s ways in the lives of those who have sinned.
Tuesday 17th June: Tuesday in the 11th week of the year.
Elijah now confronts Ahab again for his lack of faith and his turning to the pagan gods and their prophets instead of remaining true to the God of Israel. He is warned of the punishments to come for him but he relents and seeks repentance that is given but the punishment will come upon his heirs in time to come.
In the Gospel, Jesus presents another strand of his radical teaching His followers must now love their enemies. God makes no distinction but awaits the conversion of the sinner. They have to strive for the same degree of perfection.
Wednesday 18th June: Wednesday in the 11th week of the year.
We move to the second book of the Kings and the end of Elijah’s period. We read about the succession of Elisha and how Elijah picks him as his successor
Three religious practices had a very high priority for the Jews – almsgiving, prayer and fasting. Jesus warns against carrying any of these out with any kind of attention seeking or showiness.
Thursday 19th June: Thursday in 11th week of the year.
The first reading today is from the Book of Sirach. It is a great hymn of praise in honour of Elijah, summing up all that he has done climaxing with his being taken up to heaven in the whirlwind. Elisha now takes over his role and begins to carry on his work.
Having given some instructions on how to pray Jesus now gives a concrete example with what has become known as the Our Father.
Friday 20th June: Friday in the 11th week of the year.
We now move south into the southern kingdom of Judah for our next series of readings. The kingdom was still ruled by descendants of David but efforts were being made to eliminate the line of David mainly through the mother of King Ahaziah. She tried to bring the worship of the pagan god Baal in to the life of the people but this was overturned by a combination of the military and the priests who ministered in the temple.
The final section of Jesus’ sermon gives us some very practical advice concerning the pursuit of holiness. Don’t depend on earthly treasures. They are fragile. Seek the things of God and store them up.
Saturday 21st June: Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
He was born in Lombardy to a family with royal connections. He studied in Florence and spent some time in Spain. His father wanted him to become a great soldier but from his earliest years, Aloysius wanted to work for God. He undertook a routine of much prayer, fasting and abstinence and eventually, in 1585, he became a Jesuit novice in Rome. He died in 1891 during a plague in Rome while caring for the other victims. He is the patron of youth.
Sweet Heart of Jesus,
Fount of love of mercy,
Today we come,
Thy mercy to implore.