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Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD

June 4,2023

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Once a pious woman who was bringing a bunch of novena-booklets to church met the parish priest. He asked, “Who is your favorite saint?” “Of course, I like the Blessed Virgin Mary best! But I also like her sister!”

Taken aback, the priest said, “Her sister? Who is she?” “Of course, Santa Trinidad, Father.”

The Virgin Mary had no sister and the amusing story only shows how difficult it is to understand the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (in Spanish, “Santa Trinidad”).

* * *

St. Patrick, a missionary to Ireland, used as analogy the shamrock leaf. It has three leaflets but only one stem. Others use the example of water, which can exist in three different forms: ice, liquid, and steam but they’re one and the same water.

* * *

Why should we Christians believe in a mysterious three-in-one God? It’s simply because Jesus Christ Himself revealed it to us when he came to our world. The Lord said: “The Father and I are one.” “I will send to you the Paraclete (the Third Person of the Holy Trinity), the Spirit of Truth.” Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus said: “Go into the whole world; teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.”

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The Holy Trinity is not completely beyond comprehension. Through Christ, God the Father revealed his main attribute which is love. Jesus said, “As the Father loves me so I love you.” The Scripture declares: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jn 3,16).

Moreover, love is the bond that unites the Trinitarian family of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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If there’s ever a more appropriate place where the love of the Holy Trinity can be reflected, it is in the family.

The family becomes a “little Holy Trinity” when family members show love, caring and respect for one another.

Once a young boy, doing his homework, approached his father and asked: “Papa, how do wars begin? The father answered, “Well, war begins when, for example, the USA attacks Britain; then Britain retaliates.”

* * *

The mother, who was within hearing distance, suddenly intervened: “How could that happen? USA and Britain are allies!”

“That’s just an example!” the husband retorted. “And how do you expect a child to learn with wrong examples!” the wife shot back.

* * *

Irked, the husband shot back, “But that is only an example…Why are you meddling? Would you shut up!”

“You shut up, too!” the wife snapped. “What you’re teaching is wrong!” And the two engaged in a shouting match. The son raised his voice and said: “Papa, Mama, that’s enough! Now I know how wars begin.”

* * *

That amusing story illustrates that there is no perfect family, unlike the Trinitarian family, simply because family members are only human. Children quarrel and become disobedient and disrespectful; married couples break up or become unfaithful, so there’s always the need for forgiveness and reconciliation. As a writer puts it: “Marriage is the institution of two forgivers.”

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Let’s be aware of the Holy Trinity by praying more attentively the Trinitarian prayer and making the sign of the Cross: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and forever.”

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FAMILY LAUGHS: Many homes nowadays have three shifts. Father is on the night shift; mother is on the day shift, and the children shift for themselves. Lesson: Parents should have time for one another, especially the children.

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Rings in Marriage — Engagement ring, Wedding ring, Suffe-ring!” a fourth ring: kung may tiri-ring; the best is: Sha-RING the family’s burdens and hardships.

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