Blue

Reflections: 27th May 2018

A Reflection for The Feast of the Holy Trinity

MT 28: 16-20 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052718.cfm)

A group of people in southern Sierra Leone held a strong belief that something fatal would happen in their village whenever its fountain dried up. A very old man, who was also a diviner, herbalist and a blacksmith took care of the fountain. Though he was materially poor, he was highly respected. One day he fell ill suddenly, becoming too weak even to walk. An atmosphere of gloom fell over the whole village; children, not knowing fully what lay ahead, remained silent; groups of adults, paralyzed with fear of the unknown, murmured and shook their heads helplessly. Even the chickens, sheep and goats seemed to be affected. No one could free the village from the fear of the unknown.

The old man's wife quietly left the room, tip-toeing to the fountain. Finding it absolutely dry, she ran back, wailing. Everyone knew then that the end was near. In agony, the man opened his eyes, held his twenty-year old only son by the hand, and said, 'I have lived happily with these people, worked with them and served them absolutely free of charge. You do likewise. My ancestors and I will always be around to guide you and the entire village.' Then he closed his eyes. His wife, sitting on the man’s bed in silence beside him, smiled and swallowed hard, holding back her tears. His last words had changed the whole village’s mood.  His death was not now an end but a new beginning.

Compare this scene in the life of that man to that of Jesus and his disciples. In their 2012 article, authors Michael LeFebvre and Philip Graham Ryken had this to say: “The disciples were deeply troubled at Jesus’ words about leaving them, thinking it would bring a devastating break in their relationship with God. But Jesus spoke tenderly to them, giving them guidance for continuing their walk with God after his departure. … Jesus spoke about God’s Trinitarian nature. This passage of Scripture teaches that knowing God as three in one should be at the center of our daily relationship with him.”

(See https://www.crossway.org/articles/how-does-the-trinity-practically-apply-to-your-life-today/)

 

"Almost nothing we've ever invented is 100% beneficial" said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. But the same can hardly be said of divine (biblical) revelations. Knowing God as three-in-one has continued to be beneficial to Christians as well non-Christians.

Being aware of the 'unconditional love' of God the Father should have a great impact on our lives. God’s love for Mary, Jesus' mother, is exactly the same as his love for the most immoral person that you can think of. The difference lies in our response to that love. Jesus, the Son, perfectly mediated between us and God, and this continues to be beneficial both spiritually and materially. Jesus' example in the washing of his disciples' feet and his crucifixion can never be surpassed. The Spirit instructs, guides, and encourages us to persevere even when the chips are down.

So, my life IS because of the Holy Trinity. And what a wonderful privilege it is to bless myself daily in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.                                          


John Michael Fillie C.S.Sp. –  Fr. Fillie is from Sierra Leone’s Mende people and from the Diocese of Bo. After studies in Kimmage Manor, he returned to Sierra Leone and worked in a teacher-training college. He now works in hospital chaplaincy in Dublin.

MT 28: 16-20 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052718.cfm)

 

A group of people in southern SierraLeone held a strong belief that something fatal would happen in their village whenever its fountain dried up. A very old man, who wasalsoadiviner, herbalist anda blacksmithtook careofthefountain.Though he was materially poor, he was highly respected. Onedayhefellillsuddenly, becomingtoo weak even to walk. An atmosphere of gloomfell over the whole village; children,notknowingfullywhatlayahead,remainedsilent; groups of adults,paralyzedwith fearoftheunknown,murmuredandshooktheirheads helplessly. Even the chickens, sheep and goats seemed to be affected. Noonecouldfreethevillagefrom the fearoftheunknown.

 

The old man's wife quietly left the room, tip-toeing to the fountain. Finding it absolutely dry, she ran back, wailing.Everyoneknewthenthattheendwasnear.Inagony,themanopenedhiseyes,heldhistwenty-yearold only son by the hand, and said, 'I have lived happily with these people, worked with them and servedthemabsolutelyfreeofcharge.Youdolikewise.MyancestorsandIwillalwaysbearoundtoguideyouand the entire village.' Then he closed his eyes. His wife, sitting on the man’s bed insilence beside him, smiled and swallowed hard, holding back her tears.Hislastwords had changedthe wholevillage’s mood.  Hisdeathwasnot now anendbut a new beginning.

 

Comparethisscenein thelifeofthat man to thatofJesusandhisdisciples. In their 2012 article, authors MichaelLeFebvreandPhilipGrahamRyken had this to say: “The disciples were deeply troubled at Jesus’ words about leaving them, thinking it would bring a devastating break in their relationship with God. But Jesus spoke tenderly to them, giving them guidance for continuing their walk with God after his departure. … Jesus spoke about God’s Trinitarian nature. This passage of Scripture teaches that knowing God as three in one should be at the center of our daily relationship with him.”

(See https://www.crossway.org/articles/how-does-the-trinity-practically-apply-to-your-life-today/)

 

"Almost nothing we've ever invented is 100% beneficial" said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Butthesamecanhardlybesaidofdivine(biblical)revelations. KnowingGodasthree-in-onehascontinuedtobebeneficialto Christiansaswellnon-Christians.

 

Beingawareofthe'unconditionallove'ofGodtheFather should have a great impact on our lives. God’s love for Mary, Jesus' mother, is exactly the same as his love for the most immoral person that you can think of. The difference lies in our response to thatlove. Jesus,theSon,perfectlymediatedbetweenusandGod,andthiscontinuestobebeneficialbothspirituallyand materially.Jesus'exampleinthewashingofhisdisciples'feetandhiscrucifixioncanneverbesurpassed. TheSpiritinstructs,guides,andencouragesustopersevereevenwhenthechipsaredown.

 

So,mylifeISbecause of the Holy Trinity. And what a wonderful privilege it is to bless myself daily in the name of the Father, the Son and of the HolySpirit.  Amen.                                          

 

John Michael Fillie C.S.Sp. –  Fr. Fillie is from Sierra Leone’s Mende people and from the Diocese of Bo. After studies in Kimmage Manor, he returned to Sierra Leone and worked in a teacher-training college. He now works in hospital chaplaincy in Dublin.