We are entering a new season. The first day of summer is two weeks away. The days of Phase 2 reopening are potentially eminent. The new liturgical season begins. Ordinary Time opens with two solemnities celebrated on these coming Sundays: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. We reflect on the love of unity and the path of salvation as manifested in the Trinity and the Eucharist.  

The Sign of the Cross  

As Christians, we invoke the Most Holy Trinity daily. From personal prayers to the celebration of the Mass, we call upon the triune God beginning with the sign of the cross: “In the name of the father, and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” In doing so we invoke the mystery of one God in three persons: father, son and Holy Spirit. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Para. 232-256), “The Holy Trinity is at the very root of the church’s living faith as expressed in the creed … as revealed by Jesus, the divine son of the eternal father … God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children.”  

Life_Giving Faith.pdf

Jesus promises the coming of the paraclete, the Holy Spirit, during the Last Supper, and poured out on Pentecost, as we recalled this past Sunday. Blessed Trinity. Foundation of unity. Holy and adored.  

Unity of the Trinity  

To divide the blessed Trinity is what my graduate school professor would passionately say, “Back up. You are entering the waters of heresy.” Noted. Rather, we believe, “For as the Trinity has only one and the same nature, so too does it have only one and the same operation … each divine person performs the common work according to his unique personal property. Thus, the church confesses, following the New Testament, ‘one God and father from whom all things are, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and one Holy Spirit in whom all things are.’ It is above all the divine missions of the son’s incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit that show forth the properties of the divine persons” (CCC 258). “Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do. But within the single divine operation each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, especially in the divine missions of the son’s incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 267).  

Made for communion  

Therein are foundations about the human person. We believe “the human individual, is made in the image and likeness of God; a someone; body/soul; capable of knowledge, self-possession and freedom who can enter into COMMUNITY with other persons and with God” (CCC 357, 362). It is important to embrace the heart of the Trinity and recognize that we are made for communion with one another and with God! Our relationships serve beyond individualism. We are to join as distinct persons, who are one with each other and one with God, as we are rooted in love that desires the good of the other and the glory of God. In this communion, we experience a deep call of love and sacrifice for the good of the whole. Blessed Trinity. Foundation of unity. Holy and adored.  

Food for the journey 

Moses reminds the Israelites in the Book of Deuteronomy of God’s inexhaustible mercy and kindness, as God freed them from slavery in Egypt and provided daily miraculous manna in the desert, food for the journey, a bread from heaven. Moses repeated these words again and again, “Remember, recall, don’t forget, God guided you, fed you, brought you water, always near” (Dt 8:2-3,14-16). Recalling now the goodness and loving care of God, we also have food for our journey that satisfies our “hunger.” What is this food? Where can we find it?  

Body and blood of Christ  

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world … This is the bread that came down from heaven. 

“Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51, 58).

The second person of the Holy Trinity,
Jesus Christ, who “for us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven,” offered as sacrifice his flesh and blood in order to release us from the bondage of sin, to reconcile us with God, to open the gates of heaven, to be united as one in him, thus one with the father and the Holy Spirit, for all eternity. From Jesus’ pierced side, while hanging on the cross, flowed “blood and water, which gushed forth from his heart as a fount of mercy for us.” To Jesus, we pray, “I trust in you for what I truly need, to remain one with you now and for eternity.” His ultimate sacrifice, his body and blood, are our food which we eat and drink in holy Communion. We are made for Holy Communion.  

Eucharist 

St. Paul reminds us, “Brothers and sisters: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ” (Cor 10:16)? During the celebration of the Mass the gifts of bread and wine are brought to the altar. By the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of Christ prayed by the priest, these gifts become the BODY AND BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the living bread of life. We respond to this in faith as we kneel in adoration of our heavenly father, invoke his holy name, surrender to his will, strive for holiness, ask for physical and spiritual food, ask for mercy and for the ability to be merciful, pray for the path of virtue and away from evil. All of this before we receive him in the Blessed Sacrament. We stand on holy ground as the real presence of God is with us! </span id=”23″>

The Eucharist unites all believers to the paschal mystery of Jesus: “His passion, death and resurrection. Eucharist increases our union with Christ and in turn, draws us closer to others united with him, nourishes our spiritual life, separates us from sin, strengthens our charity and wipes away venial sin, preserves us from future mortal sin, and dedicates us more openly to the poor” (CCC 1391-1398). This is the source and summit of our faith. “By the eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all” (CCC 1326).  

By faithfully receiving the body and blood of Christ, we are fully united to God and each other. Thus, we grow in love through this ultimate sacrifice that is rich with mercy, joy, peace, goodness and care. St. Augustine writes, “Believe what you see, see what you believe and become what you are: the body of Christ.” When we say “amen,” we are saying “Yes! I believe this is the body and blood of Christ and that I will be the body of Christ to others” (St. Augustine, Sermon 272).  

So we close as we began, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” 

Dow is the director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Baton Rouge.