Although the Easter Season ended with Pentecost, last week, and
Ordinary Time has begun, this Sunday's celebration is not quite in the
normal mold of Ordinary time. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy
Trinity. It is a celebration of a most intimate detail about God's
inner life which we could never even have guessed at had He not
revealed it to us. The readings this week approach the Trinity
indirectly in terms of function or mission.
8:22 "The LORD begot me, the first-born of his ways, the forerunner of
his prodigies of long ago; 8:23 From of old I was poured forth, at the
first, before the earth. 8:24 When there were no depths I was brought
forth, when there were no fountains or springs of water; 8:25 Before
the mountains were settled into place, before the hills, I was brought
forth; 8:26 While as yet the earth and the fields were not made, nor
the first clods of the world.
8:27 "When he established the heavens I was there, when he marked out
the vault over the face of the deep; 8:28 When he made firm the skies
above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; 8:29 When he
set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his
command; 8:30 Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his
delight day by day, Playing before him all the while, 8:31 playing on
the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men."
NOTES on First Reading:
In Jewish tradition, Divine Wisdom is God's self-disclosure. Because
Christians see Jesus as the complete revelation of God, they have
always understood Jesus as God's wisdom incarnate. Thus the Church has
always taken this text as an ancient preview of the doctrine of the
* 8:22-31 Wisdom is superior to all things because of her divine origin
and her existence prior to all created things. The Jews saw Wisdom as
an attribute of God but they also spoke of it in personified terms as
Lady Wisdom, a servant or handmaiden of God. Here she is represented as
a personified being which existed before all things (Prov 8:22-26) and
was with God when He planned and executed the creation of the universe,
adorned it with beauty and variety, and established its wonderful order
(Prov 8:27-30). In this passage Christians saw early hints
foreshadowing the Trinity although it was to be fully revealed only
when Wisdom in the Person of Jesus Christ became incarnate.
* 8:23 The exact meaning of the Hebrew expression that has been
rendered as "Poured forth" is uncertain. Scholars generally believe
that the expression implies the equivalent of "born." Hebrew speech
likened the movement of air and of spirit to that of liquids.
* 8:24-26 These verses speak of the formless mass from which God
created the heavens and the earth. See Genesis 1:1-2; 2:4-6.
* 8:30 Wisdom as His craftsman furnished God with the plan, as it were,
for the creation of all things. See Job 38:1-2; Wisdom 7:22-8:1. Wisdom
was the ever-present object of God's delight and joy.
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 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. 5:3 Not only that, but we even boast of our
afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, 5:4 and
endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, 5:5 and hope
does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into
our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
NOTES on Second Reading:
*5:1-11 Popular thinking frequently took reverses and troubles to be
punishment for sin as in John 9:2. Paul assures believers that God's
justifying action in Jesus Christ is a declaration of peace between God
and humanity. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ displays God's initiative
in giving us unimpeded access to the divine presence. Reconciliation is
God's gift of pardon to the entire human race. The term, justification,
as used by Paul, means to benefit personally from this pardon through
faith. The ultimate aim of God is to liberate believers from their
pre-Christian selves as described in Romans 1-3. Because this
liberation will first be seen in the believer's resurrection, salvation
is described as future in Romans 5:10. Thus it is called the Christian
hope. Paul's Greek term for hope does not suggest any note of
uncertainty. Rather, God's promise in the gospel fills believers with
expectation and anticipation. The persecutions that attend Christian
commitment teach believers patience and strengthen this hope, which
will not disappoint them because the Holy Spirit dwells in their hearts
and imbues them with God's love (Romans 5:5).
John 16: 12-15
16:12 [Jesus said to His disciples] "I have much more to tell you, but
you cannot bear it now. 16:13 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. 16:14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is
mine and declare it to you. 16:15 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."
NOTES on Gospel Reading:
* 16:12-13 Because Jesus has not been able to teach the disciples
everything they need to know and they could not understand it all, the
Holy Spirit will be extremely important in the community of believers
in that He will fill in what is missing. The Paraclete will guide the
community in and through the future.
* 16:13-15 The truth into which the Holy Spirit will guide the
disciples will not be new truth but will stem from Jesus as the
revelation of the Father. He will help the disciples to understand the
truth of Jesus more deeply and more completely.