Trinity Sunday-May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016

Deacon Blaine Barclay

Jesus is the Wisdom of God, with God from the beginning, before time, from all eternity. Incarnate in time for us. As our first reading says, “I was beside Him, like a master worker“. God and the wisdom of God are co-eternal and co-present with each other, they are in a relationship of reciprocity, of mutual delight and rejoicing. Listen again to what proverbs says about this relationship. “I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always.” Other translations use words like, playing, content, smiling, having fun, pure delight, laughing, rejoicing in his presence, to characterize the quality of this relationship. The Christian scriptures and Tradition have always read this ancient Jewish text as prefiguring the Theology of the Trinity. We have here then, the eternal life of the one God being portrayed in the language of relationship, mutuality, reciprocal delight, and of joy of the presence of the other person. There is a playfulness about the language of this text. Apparently, God knows all about having fun, about having a good time, even before there was time, of enjoying the company of the other Persons.

It is no wonder that the Early Church Fathers described the relationship between the persons of the Trinity as “Perichoresis”, a Greek word which means “to dance around with”, a circle dance. It captures well the quality of reciprocity and mutual delight in each other’s company that is internal to the nature of God. What is God? In short, God is not a ‘what’, but a ‘who’, not a solitary lonely who, but the who of communio, of giving the gift of the self to the other, and receiving the gift of the Other. The One God is Three Personed. As the hymn says, “God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity”, ‘the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit’. To be sure, Christians are Monotheists, we believe in One God. We do not believe in Three Gods, nor are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three modes, aspects or faces of the one God, as if there was a God behind God, so to speak. God is at the same time both one and three. There is real otherness and difference in the one nature of God. This is why we can proclaim that God is love.

This Trinitarian profession is at the heart of our Catholic Faith. Catholic Faith stands or falls with the Doctrine of the Trinity. Are we not baptised, plunged into the mystery of this three-fold name? Do we not sign ourselves with sign of the cross, which is a Trinitarian profession of faith? “In the Name of Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. The Creed that we profess, whether the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed, are Trinitarian in their structure. “Do you believe in God the Father, do you believe in God the Son, do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?” At the high point of our Eucharistic feast, in what is called the ‘epiclesis’, just before the consecration, the priest asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit to transform the gifts of bread and  wine into the body and blood of the Son. In short, the whole of the Christian life is lived as a participation in the life of the Trinity. This participation calls us ever deeper into a life of self-donation. In the Trinity, self-donation holds nothing back. Jesus says, “All that the Father has is mine”. In the Trinity, the reciprocal openness to the gift of the other persons is also total. Jesus says, the Spirit “will speak whatever He hears”. And we are created in this image.

According to St. John Paul II even our embodied human nature reflects this image of the Trinity, this threefold pattern. The very biological structure of the human body says that we are incomplete without the other, without relationship, without intimacy, without love, and this relationship by its very nature is meant to be fruitful and generative in the birth of the child, the other. This is St. John Paul’s famous Theology of the Body. The Trinitarian pattern of One, Two, Three, is inscribed, written in our very flesh. Like God, we too are made for communion, otherness, fruitful love, mutual delight and rejoicing.

Of course our lives often fall short of this. Fragmented, and wounded, we stumble towards ecstasy. But the life of our Three Personed God is ex-static as well, eternally flowing out towards the other in radical reciprocity, and overflowing towards us in Creation, Incarnation and the Spirit’s animating power, rejoicing and delighting also in the company of human beings, and inviting us into their dance. The dance of this Trinitarian love that, as St. Paul says, “has been poured into our hearts”.

 

 



The Chief medical Health Officer of Kingston has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Please read and observe the six key principles outlined below.

1) The key principle is that we come to Mass to worship God. Out of justice and exercising the virtue of religion we must give God what is God’s due. That quite simply is worship, adoration and praise. Thus, the absolute essentials of Mass will be included so that the Sacramental praise of God will take place and we will be exposed to one another for as brief a time as possible.

2) The second key principle is that the health and safety of parishioners, staff and clergy here at St. Mary’s are essential and require our utmost concern and attention. Therefore, the dispensation from the obligation to come to Sunday Mass by Archbishop Mulhall continues to be in effect. Those who are sick, elderly or have other critical health concerns should not come at this time. However, that is left to your discretion. Should you make the choice to come, knowing the risks, you are most welcome.

3) The underlying principle of all of our restrictions in isolating, physically distancing, wearing masks etc. is the common good as we live out the Lord’s commission to “love one another.” We are to care for each other and at this time we are called to be as prudent and careful as we can to protect the health of everyone else and ourselves.
4) The principle for the next few weeks will be brevity. The received scientific wisdom is that the virus spreads within groups who spend a prolonged period of time together. Therefore, we will be reducing the Mass to the bare essentials.
5) Singing is considered more dangerous than speaking so you are asked to please not sing at all throughout the Mass. I will not be singing either.
6) If you have any sickness, are elderly or have a critical illness you should remain at home. The dispensation from the obligation to come to Mass continues through this time of 30% capacity. Of course, if you choose to come you will not be turned away. We will continue to live- stream the Masses until we are back to a more normal arrangement.
PROCEDURAL NORMS FOR
THE NEXT FEW WEEKS

The Chief medical Health Officer has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Brevity
We will pray a shorter Penitential Rite.
The Gloria will be said not sung. There is to be no singing by the congregation during the Mass. Only by a cantor or as we have today a physically distanced choir in the choir loft…3 metres apart.
We will only have one reading followed by the Psalm
The second reading will be omitted.
The choir will sing the Alleluia on Sundays. During the week it will be omitted. Please do not join in.
The Gospel.
A very brief (3-4 minute) homily will follow.
The Creed will not be prayed.
There will be no petitions. Please prepare your own petitions and offer them in your heart during the Mass.
There will be no procession of the gifts.
There will be no regular collections at this time in the Masses. It will happen later. Ushers will be at the doors to receive your offering as you leave.
The Eucharistic Prayer will be prayed. This is the Most Important Part of the Mass.
The Our Father
Sign of Peace. This is a time when we won’t shake hands. Please do not wave to each other or give the two finger sign of peace. Neither of these reflect what is the intention here…You are recognizing the presence of God in the other person and praying they know God’s peace. The most appropriate gesture is a slight bow or nod of the head to the other person. You have seen me do this at the sign of peace to all of you at every Sunday Liturgy.
Please be seated.
Then the ushers will direct you to the place where you will receive Holy Communion. Please do not leave your pew until an usher has indicated you should do so.
Another usher will be close to the Communion Station to receive your Sunday Offering.
When it is your turn to receive Holy Communion. You will stand 6 feet away on the red line. The person distributing Holy Communion will say “The Body of Christ”. You will say “Amen”. Then move forward within arms length and receive the Host. Once you have received go straight out the nearest exit and make your Thanksgiving on your way home.
Aisles 1 & 5 will come forward to receive Holy Communion and leave by the side doors.
Aisles 2, 3 & 4 will go to the back to receive Holy Communion.
Aisle 2 will exit by the exit closest to the rectory.
Aisle 3 will exit out the centre door which you came in
Aisle 4 will exit out the door by the washrooms.
You are strongly encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Receiving on the tongue endangers the person giving Holy Communion and yourself, the person receiving Holy Communion. If you wish to insist on receiving on the tongue please wait until the very end as the person giving Holy Communion should sanitize their hands after each communicant. The usher will pass you by and will come back to you after everyone else has received. Please don’t leave your pew until that has taken place.