Monday, 27 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (Gospel Reading)

Mark 10 : 17-27

Just as Jesus was setting out on His journey again, a man ran up, knelt before Him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus answered, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments : Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat, honour your father and mother.”

The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.” Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and he said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow Me.”

On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful, for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus insisted, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”

Monday, 27 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (Psalm)

Psalm 31 : 1-2, 5, 6, 7

Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven, whose iniquity is wiped away. Blessed are those in whom the Lord sees no guilt and in whose spirit is found no deceit.

Then I made known to You my sin and uncovered before You my fault, saying to myself, “To the Lord I will now confess my wrong.” And You, You forgave my sin, You removed my guilt.

So let the faithful ones pray to You in time of distress; the overflowing waters will not reach them.

You are my refuge; You protect me from distress and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Monday, 27 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (First Reading)

Sirach 17 : 20-28

Their misdeeds cannot be hidden from Him, all their sins are before the Lord. He holds a man’s almsgiving dear as a priceless signet ring; He cherishes a good deed like the apple of His eye.

One day He will rise and reward them; He will place their prize on their heads. He allows those who repent to return; He comforts those whose hopes are fading.

Be converted to the Lord and give up your sins, plead with Him to lessen your offense. Return to the Almighty, turn aside from wrongdoing and totally detest evil.

For who in the grave will praise the Almighty, if the living do not give Him glory? The dead man is as if he did not exist and cannot give praise; He who has life and health can praise the Lord.

Sunday, 26 May 2013 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate a most important part of our faith, that is our belief in the Most Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today we commemorate the triune unity of our God, three aspects of the One God, Three but One, One but Three. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that is the wonder and the mystery of our faith, my brethren.

We hear about the Holy Trinity all the time, and in fact, whenever we make the sign of the cross, we are uttering the Holy Name of the Trinity, that is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and during our baptism too, we are sealed in baptism by the Name of the Trinity. What is then this Trinity, and how does it form the basic tenet of our faith?

It is false to think that we worship three different Gods or three different divine persons in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three of them are one in unity, in a mysterious and indivisible bond of unity, and yet different from one another. Father is not Son, and is not the Holy Spirit, and neither is Son the Father, and neither is He the Holy Spirit, and the same applies to the Holy Spirit as well.

Just imagine a fire, a physical fire with flames that we can see with our eyes. Yes, we can see a fire, and that is the physical fire, because fire produces light that our eyes perceive as the flames of fire, and yet, we can also feel fire through other means, how? Precisely by its heat, which we feel as the warm sensation on our skin when we are near a fire. Then, there is yet, the kinetic energy of the fire, which is what is causing the heat, but certainly, just like heat, is invisible from our eyes.

These different characteristics of the fire is exactly like what the Holy Trinity is truly about, as three different dimensions and characteristics of the same, one thing, in this case, fire. Another example would be ice, in which the same can be observed. We can see the physical form of the ice, as a crystal-like solid, and we can touch and feel the ice, the slippery surface of the ice, and feel the coldness of the ice, even when we do not touch the ice. All of these are just like the Holy Trinity, three dimensions of the one, same being.

Or just like St. Patrick, how he tried to explain about the Holy Trinity to the pagan peoples of ancient Ireland, when he managed to convert them to the cause of Christ, by using the three-leaf clover, which has three lobes within one clover, as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, with each side representing one member of the Holy Trinity, and the entirety of the three sides forming a union of the Holy Trinity represented by the clover leaf.

That is the Holy Trinity of the One God that we believe in. None of them can exist without the other, because they are one in unity, and indivisible, you cannot take one out of the Trinity and expect to have the whole being the same as before, and that is if we can even take anyone of the three out, because it is as I had mentioned, indivisible and no power can divide the perfect unity between the Three members of the Holy Trinity.

We cannot take the heat out of the fire and expect the fire to be the same, and neither can we take out the flames, its physical shape, and expect to have a fire that is still what we call as fire, and neither can we take out the cold from the ice, and still expect to have ice as we know it. The heat, the shape, and the visible form of the flame, and the cold, the touch, and the form of the ice are inseparable from one another. They are clearly different, one aspect from another, but they are one, and they form one thing, that is the fire, or the ice.

That is our Holy Trinity, the God that we believe in, the God who is our Saviour, the one and true God. Who was very evident in the Gospel, at the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River, when God the Father spoke in a loud voice that ‘This is My Son, the Beloved. My favour rests on Him.’, and the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus, the Son of God. All three persons of the Holy Trinity at the same scene indeed. That is why, in our own baptism, we too are sealed in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, just as Jesus Himself commanded His apostles, to make disciples of all nations.

The Holy Trinity is the centre of our faith, and in our Creed, we always reiterate our faith in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God but with three different persona, united as one and indivisible, each with roles that complement each other, and each are united with one another in a perfect union of love.

We must always profess our faith in the Holy Trinity, my brothers and sisters, in God the Father who loves us and who created us from dust, and who gave us the breath of life through the Holy Spirit that gives life as the Lord of life, who proceeds from both the Father Himself and through Jesus His Son, whom He sent out of His great and infinite love for us, willing to redeem us and save us from our eternal damnation caused by our rebellion against His will at the beginning of time.

Though mankind through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, our ancestors, have sinned before God and therefore deserves death, but He does not give us up to death, but give us a new hope and a new chance through His Son, who came upon this world as a lowly and humble man like us. The Son of God Most High incarnate as a poor man, the Son of Mary, born in a stable, though He is a King.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour and Lord, is the Word of God, and if we read the Gospel of John, at its beginning, we note that the Word of God is with God, since the beginning of time, and this Word of God became flesh, and came upon us, in the form of Jesus, so that God’s will that mankind be saved can become a reality, just as Christ had once made God’s creation a reality.

For it is through the Word of God that creation was made, in the Book of Genesis, which gave us the account of creation, God spoke, and creation beckons, and earth with all its goodness was made, together with the entire universe, including us, mankind, which He created last. This Word of God is God’s speech, and indivisible from Him, just as the Spirit is also indivisible, and existed since the beginning of time, when the Spirit of God also floated in the nothingness that is before creation. This again prove that our God is one God, but one God with three distinct persona, but yet united as one and indivisible in perfect unity.

God created us in His own image, and we are in the likeness of God, just as Jesus incarnate as one of us, made God even closer and more personal to all of us. Then to us, to those who believe in Him, in His work of salvation through the cross, He gave us the final gift of the Most Holy Trinity, that is the Holy Spirit, the last member of the Three, who empowers us and gives us strength in our hearts, and in the case of the Apostles, gave them the courage and faith to persevere and preach the Good News to many, that many too were saved, just as all of us today are saved, brothers and sisters in Christ.

The concept of the Holy Trinity in one God is truly not easy to be understood, brethren, and it is to be so, because indeed, in our faith, there are mysteries that our human mind are unable to solve, but we should not worry about that, and neither should we try to claim that we know more than God by trying to understand the Holy Trinity more than what we know through the teachings of the Church, which are the teachings of the Apostles passed down to us, through unbroken chain of apostles and faithful disciples of the Lord throughout history.

What matters is, let the Lord remain in our hearts, and keep His presence strong in us always, remembering at all times, the love of God our creator and our Father, the saving sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son, whom we receive frequently in the Most Holy Eucharist, through which He gave us His own flesh and blood to eat, for us to have part in Him, and in the Holy Spirit that He has given all of us who believe in Him, and who remains in our hearts, bearing much fruits of the Holy Spirit, most important of which, that is love.

Let us profess the Holy Trinity in all that we do, in all our lives, and commit ourselves to the Trinity, most easily through our use of the sign of the cross, whenever we pray, and whenever we ask the Lord for guidance. Do not be afraid to make the sign of the cross, my brothers and sisters in Christ, for the sign of the cross, that is in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, marks the saving passion of our Lord on the cross, which brought salvation to all of us, and even more so, it also highlight to all who see us, as ones who believe in the One God with Three divine natures, that is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three persons, in one God, indivisible in perfect union of love.

May the Holy Trinity remain within our hearts always, and may all of us be strengthened with courage to profess our faith in our words, our actions, and all our dealings with all those whom we meet in our lives, that through our actions, the Holy Trinity is reflected and is shown to all those who have yet to believe in God. May God be with all of us, today, and forever more.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.