Lectionary Reflections: Trinity Sunday [a] June 15 2014

Engaging Faith | Thu, Jun 5, 2014

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Trinity Sunday [a]

June 15, 2014

Copyright @ 2014, Center of Concern


Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

John 3:16-18



June 15: Father’s Day in the US

June 17: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 

June 19: Juneteenth - African American Emancipation Day 

June 20: World Refugee Day 

                (June is Refugee Awareness Month.)

June 21: Start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere

June 26: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

               (June is Torture Awareness Month.)



The solidarity which binds all people together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist.

- John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, #157


A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us.

 - John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte


God reveals himself to us as one who is not alone, but rather as one who is relational, one who is Trinity. Therefore, we who are made in God's image share this communal, social nature. We are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice.

- Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops


Each member of the human family is equal in dignity and has equal rights because we are all children of the one God. We are sisters and brothers to each other. We understand God to be a trinity of persons and so we see the image of God reflected not only in individuals, but also in communities. Together in community we bear the image of our God whose very nature is communal.

- Sandie Cornish


At times we can be self-absorbed. Lord, help us to open our hearts to others and to serve those who are most vulnerable. 

- Pope Francis@Pontifex, June 2, 2014


Thoughts for your consideration

In some ways today’s scriptures for Trinity Sunday are a story of discovery – the discovery of God – the discovery of who God is, what God is like and what God offers to us.  Our God is a social God. 

On the mountain, Moses finds a God with whom he can converse in some way.  Moses finds a God with whom he (Moses) wants to walk.  Moses asks this God to journey with all the people.  

Again and again, in the scriptures we discover a God of relationship. God is more than totally other.  We discover a God traveling with us and with the whole community.  Our God is a social God – a God who is concerned with our world and its people.

The second reading reminds us that the relationship that exists within God (Trinity) also mirrors the relationship that should exist within us as a human community – a relationship of mutuality and support - a relationship of love and respect.  Jesus reminds us in the gospel that God travels with us not to condemn but to love – to be of help to all of us.

Our teaching about God and the great mystery of God is a social teaching.  As God is a social being, so are we.  Any good theology of God has social implications.  It calls us to social values.  Our religious faith involves a community of mutual support and discovery.  It involves a set of values that we share in common. We are concerned with the issues of the world and everyday life. We are concerned with justice and peace. We focus on the common good. We see God in all people and in all of creation.  We have a special concern for the poor.  We have hope in the midst of all the problems and challenges of the world. 

We are concerned about any political and economic power that excludes the poor.  We are concerned for the protection of the environment.  We are concerned about those attitudes that see people simply as consumers. We are concerned about domestic violence as well as the violence and war in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and so many other places. We are concerned with those who are in need whether it is the people in nation like Haiti who struggle for economic justice or the people of Ukraine who are seeking political unity or those who have lost jobs here in the United States, or those who cannot afford the increasing prices for food, or those who work in the developing world without a living wage,  

We repudiate any spirituality that disconnects us from these concerns for the world.  


A Note for Father’s Day

God, of course, is ultimately mystery and transcends all of our images, categories and words. God is both like and unlike a father and is both like and unlike a mother. On this Father’s Day, we might ask ourselves what the scriptures for Trinity Sunday are saying to us.  Certainly a good father is social like God is social.  A good father is one who promotes good and healthy relationships.  A good father is one promotes relationships of mutuality, love, respect, and support. A good father is one who helps the children grow into responsible adults with healthy loving values. Our first reading from Exodus reminds us that "The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity."


Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

When have you discovered God as someone who is journeying with your community?  

When has God blessed you with the experience of being in community with others?


In John’s gospel we read: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.”

As God loves the world and looks at the world, how does God react to how we have treated the planet and used its resources? 


In John’s gospel we read: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.”

As God loves the world and looks at the world, how does God react to all our wars and history of violence and fighting?



During a visit to the NASA space center in 1962, President Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom.  He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”

“Well, Mr. President,” the janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

We love this story because it emphasizes the true team ethos developed by NASA. The janitor understood the importance of his contribution. He truly felt he was a valuable part of something bigger than himself, and his attitude created a feeling of self-confidence in his mission.  He wasn’t merely a janitor; he was a member of the 1962 NASA Space Team!

This simple anecdote demonstrates what most of us understand which is that by working together, being part of a strong and dynamic team, results in greater levels of sustainable and scalable success.

Actions - Links
June is Refugee Awareness Month.
June 20 is World Refugee Day:
The Jesuit Refugee Service USA:
Jesuit Refugee Service:
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
United States Association for UNHCR (USA for UNHCR)
June is Torture Awareness Month.
Get ideas and action suggestions from the National Religious Campaign against Torture at 
Consider signing the petition to the president at:
“Crazy Facts”
A refugee is legally defined as a person who is outside his or her country of nationality and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. In 2012, there were 15.4 million refugees around the world, including 4.8 million Palestinian refugees. According to the UN Refugee Agency, the leading countries of origin for refugees in 2012 were:
  •     Afghanistan: 2.6 million
  •     Somalia: 1.1 million
  •     Iraq: 746,000
  •     Syria: 728,500
  •     Sudan: 569,200
  •     DRC: 509,400
In 2013, there were an estimated 33.3 million people displaced internally by conflict. The largest populations of internally displaced people are found in:
  •     Syria: 6.5 million
  •     Colombia: 5.7 million
  •     Nigeria: 3.3 million
  •     Democratic Republic of Congo: 2.9 million
  •     Iraq: 2.1 million
  •     Somalia: 1.1 million
The following is from a journalistic article in Common Dreams:
the top 1% of Americans hold 35% of the nation's net worth; the bottom 80%, only 11% percent. The United States has such an unequal distribution of wealth that, in global rankings, it falls among the planet’s kleptocracies, not the developed nations that were once its peers. The mathematical measure of wealth-inequality is called "Gini," and the higher it is, the more extreme a nation's wealth-inequality. The Gini for the U.S. is 85; for Germany, 77; Canada, 72; and Bangladesh, 64. Nations more unequal than the U.S. include Kazakhstan at 86 and the Ukraine at 90. The African continent tips in at just under 85. 
Prayers of Intercession
Response:  May we share the fullness of life in Christ.
For all immigrants and refugees who are searching for a safe home, we pray…
For people who live in nations that are torn apart by violence, we pray…..
For all victims of torture, we pray….
For the people of our world as they struggle with higher food and energy prices, we pray…..
For those children of the world who still do not have access to education, we pray….
For all those who do not have access to quality health care, we pray….
For the people of our nations who have lost jobs or homes in our recession, we pray…..
For all the people of the world who desire to live in peace and harmony, we pray….

Teach me your Way, O Lord 
Lord, teach me your way of treating others – sinners, children, Pharisees, Pilates and Herods, and also John the Baptists. 
Teach me your way of eating and drinking, and how to act when I'm tired from work and need rest. 
Teach me compassion for the suffering, the poor, the blind, and the lame. You who shed tears, show me how to live my deepest emotions. Above all, I want to learn how you endured your Cross. 
Teach me your way of looking at people: the way you glanced at Peter after his denial, the way you touched the heart of the rich young man and the hearts of your disciples. 
I would like to meet you as you really are, since you change those who really know you. If only I could hear you speak as when you spoke in the synagogue of Capernaum or on the Mount of Beatitudes!
Give me grace to live my life, within and without, the way you lived your life, O Lord. 
- Pedro Arrupe, S.J.