May 26th – Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

My Dear Friends,

Last week during the Solemnity of Pentecost, the apostles were empowered by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit to go into the whole world and preach the gospel to all nations. The Catholic Church exists because of the work of so many missionaries around the world who bring Christ to the poorest of places. Today, we welcome Fr. Luigi Benigni to our parish who is the parish administrator of St. Gabriel Parish in Gugulethu, South Africa.  

The parish is in one of the poorest areas in the city of Cape Town. There’s a video that Fr. Luigi provided us with that we will post on our Facebook page in which you see the conditions his parishioners live in. Their homes are basically shacks and that is being generous to call some of these structures shacks. One of the biggest concerns of the parish because of the unsettled conditions in South Africa is the security of the church. In the last year, they have had several break-ins. Fr. Luigi himself was robbed at gunpoint on parish grounds recently. His greatest concern is not his safety, but the safety of the people of God who come to worship. Despite poverty and lack of security, the people of St. Gabriel still show up to joyfully celebrate Mass. In the video, you will see them process through the streets on Palm Sunday two months ago.  

Fr. Luigi comes as part of the Archdiocese of Miami’s yearly Missionary Co-Op so that we can all be made aware of the plight of Catholics around the world who struggle to live out their faith in impoverished conditions. We are all one family and one Body of Christ as a Universal Church. When one of our members suffers, no matter where they are in the world, we all suffer. This weekend Fr. Luigi will be preaching at all Masses to tell us more about his work in South Africa. While we are thousands of miles and an entire hemisphere away, we join him in praying for our brothers and sisters in Gugulethu. Today’s second collection will be entirely for Fr. Luigi’s parish to help the good people of St. Gabriel get the security they need to worship in peace in their church. Please pray for Fr. Luigi and for his flock during Mass today, and thank you for your generosity to raise funds for his parish. 

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. Allow me to share a reflection on the Trinity from Pope Benedict XVI from 2009: 

Today we contemplate the Most Holy Trinity as Jesus introduced us to it. He revealed to us that God is love “not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance” (Preface). He is the Creator and merciful Father; he is the Only-Begotten Son, eternal Wisdom incarnate, who died and rose for us; he is the Holy Spirit who moves all things, cosmos and history, toward their final, full recapitulation. Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is wholly and only love, the purest, infinite and eternal love. He does not live in splendid solitude but rather is an inexhaustible source of life that is ceaselessly given and communicated. To a certain extent we can perceive this by observing both the macro-universe: our earth, the planets, the stars, the galaxies; and the micro-universe: cells, atoms, elementary particles. The “name” of the Blessed Trinity is, in a certain sense, imprinted upon all things because all that exists, down to the last particle, is in relation; in this way we catch a glimpse of God as relationship and ultimately, Creator Love. All things derive from love, aspire to love and move impelled by love, though naturally with varying degrees of awareness and freedom. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps 8: 1) the Psalmist exclaims. In speaking of the “name”, the Bible refers to God himself, his truest identity. It is an identity that shines upon the whole of Creation, in which all beings for the very fact that they exist and because of the “fabric” of which they are made point to a transcendent Principle, to eternal and infinite Life which is given, in a word, to Love. “In him we live and move and have our being”, St Paul said at the Areopagus of Athens (Acts 17: 28). The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: love alone makes us happy because we live in a relationship, and we live to love and to be loved. Borrowing an analogy from biology, we could say that imprinted upon his “genome”, the human being bears a profound mark of the Trinity, of God as Love. 

And one last thing: take time this Memorial Day Weekend and during Mass to honor and pray for the souls of all the men and women who have given their lives for our country and for our freedom. We owe them and their families a debt that can never be repaid. We entrust their souls to our God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

God bless you all,

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