Father Valan Arockiaswamy

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Year C)

Jun 12, 2022

First Reading

A reading from the Book of Proverbs (8:22-31)

Thus says the wisdom of God: "The Lord possessed me, the beginning of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago; from of old I was poured forth, at the first, before the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains of springs of water; before the mountains were settled into place, before the hills, I was brought forth; while as yet the earth and fields were not made, nor the first clods of the world.

"When the Lord established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep; when he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; when he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command; then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the human race."

(P) The word of the Lord.
(R) Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalms of David (8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9)


(R) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place - what is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? (R)

You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet. (R)

All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. (R)

Second Reading

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (5:1-5)

Brothers and sisters: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our heart through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

(P) The word of the Lord.
(R) Thanks be to God.

Gospel

Gospel Acclamation


(R) Alleluia, alleluia!

Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come. (R)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (16:12-15)

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."

(P) The Gospel of the Lord.
(R) Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily

Once, a man whose marriage was in trouble sought the advice of his master. The master said, "You must learn to listen to your wife." The man took this advice to heart and returned after a month and said to the master, "I have learned to listen to every word my wife says." The Master said with a smile, "That's great. Now go home and listen to every word she does not say." Not everyone has the wisdom of this master.

The Bible is composed of different kinds of literature such as, history, poetry, prophecy, parables, narratives, letters, and so on. Within the poetic section of the Bible there are different styles of poetry written at different times in the history of Israel. In the Old Testament, there are five poetic books:

  • Song of Songs which is about love and romance,
  • Psalms which contains worship songs,
  • Job which deals with the problem of human suffering and the affliction of the righteous,
  • Ecclesiastes which points out the vanity of everything and
  • Proverbs which is a collection of practical instructions for daily life.

These five books are classified as wisdom writings. Why? Because teachings from the wisdom writings are just as relevant and applicable today as they were when they were written over two thousand years ago. If you have never read these books, please read them. You'll learn many practical lessons, as I have said, about romance and love, worship and praise to God, pain and suffering in life, excessive attachment to earthly life, and teachings for everyday relationship.

The Book of Proverbs was probably written and compiled sometime between the tenth and sixth centuries before Christ. It is a collection of sayings and instructions of King Solomon who was known for his wisdom and many other writers as well. In today's text, we hear praises and exaltations for wisdom. The writer details poetically the origin, role and acts of wisdom. He regards wisdom more than a concept or a virtue. He sees wisdom as a person. He attributes human qualities to the wisdom which is invisible and incomprehensible. Wisdom is personified. In fact, wisdom is the speaker in the text. Wisdom speaks for herself. Now let us not debate about why wisdom is referred as a feminine entity. What we do know is that wisdom is depicted as a woman in the first chapter of the Proverbs and in many other books in the Hebrew Bible.

In the first part of the text, wisdom describes her existence before the creation of the world. Thus says the wisdom of God: "The Lord possessed me, the beginning of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago; from of old I was poured fourth, at the first, before the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains of springs of water; before the mountains were settled into place, before the hills, I was brought forth; while as yet the earth and fields were not made, nor the first clouds of the world...before the heavens...skies...foundations of the earth."

In short, wisdom says that before the skies, heavens, earth, mountains, hills, creatures, dust, time and space were formed, she was there. She sees herself as the first born of God's ways. She has been around since the beginning of time.

In the second part of the text, wisdom describes her presence with God and creation. "Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the human race."

In brief, wisdom sees herself being at God's side at the time of the creation of the world; communicating with Him; helping him, advising him, working with him in creating the world; enjoying every bit of the creation; delighting him by her presence; and especially finding delight in the creation of human race. No wonder why she found delight in the human race. We read in Genesis (1:26), "God said: Let us make man in our own image, to our likeness." "Our" refers to God and wisdom.

Therefore, the wisdom, who has been around since before the beginning of time and who embodies truth, insight, knowledge, power, strength and love, comes from and is woven into God. The wisdom described in today's reading is not the wisdom in human terms (sound advice / good judgment) but it is God's wisdom. No human being can possess God's wisdom wholly but they can seek her. How?

The person or wisdom who was before God, with God and in God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Wisdom is a personification of Christ. Wisdom is the forerunner of Christ. In the prologue of the gospel of John, we read, "In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him.

I must point out here that until the 4th century there was a great controversy regarding the nature of Jesus Christ. Was he God and human or was he just human? Some Church Fathers, particularly a charismatic priest named Arius believed that if wisdom or Jesus Christ was created or begotten or brought forth, as mentioned in the scriptures, then Jesus cannot be God. In fact, Arius argued that Jesus's words and deeds revealed the likeness of God but he was not fully the same as God. Arius's contention undermined the Christian doctrine of Trinitarian God, one God in three persons, which has been part of our faith since the time of Jesus' death and resurrection. The writings of the disciples of Jesus and Saint Paul prove such faith existed much before the time of Arius. So the Council of Nicea was called and, after prolonged theological discussions and debates the Council proclaimed that we believe in the Blessed Trinity. The Council ruled that the wisdom or Jesus Christ existed before creation, regardless of how one pictures her or him coming into being. Today, what we know is that the Nicean Creed, our profession of faith, is an important part of the Holy Eucharist.

Friends, why do I share these thoughts with you today? It is very important for you and me to understand the mystery of God and His word with the help and guidance of those who have gone before us. Many people have spent very many years to study the scriptures, traditions, beliefs and doctrines so that we all through their writings and explanations can better understand God's Word today. However, the doubts and controversies have not gone away. There are many, including Christians still with us, who believe that Jesus was just a wonderful man, or a moral teacher or great prophet or famous miracle worker, but He was not God. So they argue that it is enough for us to be a good and kind man like Jesus and we do not have to profess Him as God. Many refuse to believe in the uniqueness of Jesus. Many people do not believe that the Bible is God's Holy Word that teaches us about Jesus, wisdom itself. It is vital for us to realize that if we want to know the wisdom of God, then we must seek Wisdom, Jesus. Let us listen to Jesus not only to what he is saying but also to what he isn't saying. What is he not saying to us? He is not saying lots of things to us. He is not saying why there is human suffering; why there is death; why the righteous suffer and so on. In today's gospel he warns us "I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth." In other words, to those who humbly seek him like little children do, he does reveal the things hidden from the learned and the clever, to them, Matthew (11:25).

Let us pray always like Saint Arnold Janssen, the founder of my congregation, Divine Word Missionaries, who said, "May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace and may the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all."

(P) Amen.

God Bless You!

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