Sunday, June 11, 2017

TRINITY SUNDAY

After the Son revealed His relation to the Father through Good Friday and Easter, and the Spirit revealed Himself at Pentecost, the most Holy Trinity can now be fully worshipped.

Tobit, Chapter 5, Verse 21
Tobit reassured her: “Do not worry! Our son will leave in good health and come back to us in good health. Your own eyes will see the day when he returns to you safe and sound. So, do not worry; do not fear for them, my sister.

It is natural to fear something you cannot control. Christ could not be controlled by the men in charge of the Temple system; so they feared Him and they feared the crowd that followed Him. Christ’s message was good news to the crowd who were but pawns in the Jewish Temple system of wealth and power. We in times of trouble should be like Tobit and seek to walk all the days of our lives in paths of truth and righteousness. It was Tobit who defied those in power to do an act of mercy by burying the dead. While his neighbors mocked him and saying to one another: He is still not afraid! Once before he was hunted down for execution because of this very thing; yet now that he has scarcely escaped, here he is again burying the dead!” (Tobit 2:8) Love makes sacrifices. He (Christ) laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our live for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)

Tobit[1]
  1. On the first night out, Tobias and Raphael/Azariah camped by the Tigris River.
  2. When Tobias went to bathe, a fish jumped out of the water and tried to swallow his foot.  Scholars see much symbolism in this event.  Typically, water represents chaos; then it’s an attempt to disrupt their trip.  “Feet” sometimes has sexual connotations; then it’s an attack on his manhood.
  3. Azariah told him to grab the fish.
  4. He hauled it out on the shore, and Azariah told him to cut out the heart, liver, and gall bladder.  What he couldn’t eat, he salted and took with them.  Since he ate it, it could not have been an unclean fish. (Now, as an angel, Azariah never ate anything, which he will point out later in the story.  Tobias, however, didn’t catch on to any of this.)
  5. Along the way, the angel told Tobias what to do with those fish parts.
Most of us by the grace of God are never confronted with such terrors as Tobit. Yet, we too in our quiet lives can lay down ourselves in service to our brothers.

John McCain in his book Character is Destiny[2] highlights the life of John Wooden who in his own quiet way as a Basketball coach made a huge difference in countless lives of young men growing up teaching them the power of COOPERATION. Coach Wooden was a modest man who inspired young men under his tutelage, leading by example; teaching them wisdom and decency to become both winners and good men.

McCain states Wooden:

He cared about his players, and paid strict attention to teaching them the small and big things that would help them become the best basketball players they could be, and, most important, the best men they could be. He would bench a player for using profanity or for criticizing a teammate or for treating an opponent disrespectfully. He expected his players to dress appropriately, be courteous to everyone, acknowledge their other teammates when they scored, and to refrain from showing excessive emotions on the court. He taught them dignity, based, as dignity is, on self-respect and respect for others. And he taught them not only the usefulness of teamwork, five men all playing their assigned roles, but the virtue of cooperation, and the sense of satisfaction it provided to an individual.

Coach Wooden[3] taught that success is, “peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Coach Wooden developed a Pyramid of Success which he taught his players which not only help them win at the game of basketball but also in the game of life.

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity[4]

Sunday is dedicated to the worship of the Triune God, and is called accordingly the Lord s day; but the first Sunday after Pentecost is appointed by the Church a special feast of the Most Holy Trinity, because this mystery, as the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, began at once to be preached by the apostles, as soon as they had been enlightened and strengthened by the descent of the Holy Ghost.

What thoughts and affections should occupy our minds on this feast? Although the mystery of the Trinity is incomprehensible to us, we must consider: 1. That God would cease to be God, if our limited understanding were capable of penetrating the substance of nature. 2. The mystery of the Blessed Trinity, though incomprehensible to our intellect, is yet not without fruit in our hearts. The records of revelation show us God the Father as our Creator, God the Son as our Redeemer, God the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier; and should not this move us to a child-like gratitude towards the blessed Trinity? In praise of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass, Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy name in all the earth.
Though the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the greatest dogma of the Christian faith and the Feast of the Holy Trinity one of the beloved annual feasts of Christianity, there are not many customs or rituals quintessentially associated with this day. It has always been the custom, however, to keep this day with great reverence and solemnity. Festivals after Mass featuring thunderous preachers and thunderous bands aroused their listeners to joyful heights, while Holy Trinity Confraternities (which were once very influential) would sponsor special events and devotions on this their name day. Superstition also ascribed great powers to the weather on Holy Trinity Sunday, regardless of what it was: "Trinity rain" was considered as healthy as "Trinity sunshine."[5]


Trinity Sunday Top Events and Things to Do[6]

·         The Trinity is often described as a holy mystery beyond complete human understanding.  To mark Trinity Sunday, consider other things that are beyond human understanding, like the universe, or the concept of time never ending.
·         Listen to a sermon on Trinity Sunday to see what examples the pastor uses to illustrate the concept of God in three persons.
·         Johann Sebastian Bach wrote music to celebrate the Trinity.  Listen to one of his Trinity Sunday cantatas on YouTube.
·         Experience the Trinity in art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  One painting that depicts this is The Trinity by Italian painter Angulo Gaddi.

Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood







[1]http://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/tobit-and-tobias.php
[2] McCain, John; Salter, Mark (2005-10-25). Character Is Destiny.
[4]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

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