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Select Exegesis
May, 22 2016

Most Holy Trinity (C)

Sr. Betty Jane Lillie, S.C.

Prov. 8:22-31 Ps 8:4-9 Rom 5:1-5 X John 16: 12-15


           In the beautiful season of springtime the world bursts into blossom and God’s creative work becomes the delight of all humanity.  At the same time the liturgy thrills us with a succession of marvelous feasts, one of which is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  In the work of creation we become aware of the distinction between God the creator, and humankind as creature.  We also sense the creative love of God through which he brought creation into being. 

            Our first reading is from Proverbs 8 in which God’s first act of creation is personified as Lady Wisdom. (Prv 8:1)  Standing behind the teachings of Proverbs are the creation traditions in Genesis 1-2.  The Sacred Writer’s first word to the readers is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  With those words the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms three important beliefs about God.  God brought into existence all things outside himself; God alone is creator; and the totality of all that exists depends on the one God who gives it being and keeps it in existence. 

            Further, the New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal Word, his beloved Son. (CCC 291)  The Church’s faith also proclaims that the Holy Spirit is the “giver of life” and the “source of every good.” (Veni Creator Spiritus; The Nicene Creed)  To state this clearly as the Catechism gives it, “The Old Testament suggests and the New Covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit, inseparably one with the Father.”  In the rule of faith there exists but one God who by his Word and by his Wisdom, by the Son and the Spirit, is the creator of all things and the giver of order.  “Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity.” (CCC 292)

            These teachings are approached in our passage, and again in Wisdom 8, where Lady Wisdom is described as a master worker (Prv 8:30) and the fashioner/craftswoman (Wis 8:6) of all that exists.  She comes across as rejoicing in God’s presence and delighting in creation more in a playful way than as a worker.  In Wisdom, which is a later writing, she projects even more strongly the attributes of God. 

            Our Gospel reading is taken from Jesus’ farewell discourse to his Apostles (Jn 14:1-17:26) and brings a Trinitarian theology into focus.   Jesus’ followers were saddened at the prospect of the Master’s departure, but Jesus told them that through that suffering they would receive the Advocate who is the Spirit of truth to guide them in all the truth. 

            Thus we reflect again on what was said above.  The Son and the Spirit are inseparably one with the Father.  In the rule of faith there is but one God who by the Son and the Spirit is the creator of all things.  He is the giver of life and sanctification.  As Paul says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5)

            The Psalmist sings of God’s glorification in creation.  So we too can glorify the Lord.  “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps 8)

Betty Jane Lillie, S.C.

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