THE MYSTERIES WE LIVE BY
By Archbishop JOSÉ H. GOMEZ of Los Angeles
In the two Sundays that follow Pentecost, our Church asks us to reflect on the two central mysteries of our Catholic faith.
So last Sunday we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This Sunday we will contemplate Corpus Christi — the mystery of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Eucharist.
The Church gives us these feasts as a kind of summary of our identity as Catholics.
Jesus promised that he and his Father would send their Spirit of truth to his Church. He said the Spirit would guide us to understand the deeper purposes of his mission and teachings.
Since that first Pentecost, the Spirit has led the Church to see that everything Jesus came to reveal can be summed up in these two great mysteries.
The Trinity and the Eucharist tell us who God is and how much he loves us. They tell us about his great expectations for our lives. And these mysteries tell us about his plan for the world.
It’s hard sometimes; all our daily duties and activities can weigh us down. We can lose sight of the truth — that our lives have a purpose and direction in God’s eyes. We can feel the same way about our world. So many tensions and struggles and so much confusion. We can wonder sometimes if God is really in charge.
But he is! God has a beautiful plan of love for each one of us and for our world. God is unfolding — in the events of history and in our daily lives — what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls his “economy of salvation.”
God’s plan of love has one goal. He wants to join everything in heaven and on earth in perfect unity in Jesus Christ. He wants you and me — and everyone in the whole world — to share in the glory of his blessed life as the Trinity.
St. Augustine said, “If you see love, you see the Trinity.” There is a beautiful simplicity to what God wants for our lives and for creation. God is love. He made us to love and to be loved.
The economy of salvation continues in the mission of the Church. That’s why Jesus commands us to baptize men and women from all nations into the life of the Trinity.
The Father makes us his beloved sons and daughters in Baptism. Through his Spirit of love he comes to dwell within us, so that we can share his divine life and holiness. He wants to transform us slowly, little by little through his love, into the image of his Son.
The Eucharist reveals this plan of love. As Jesus gave himself in love to share in our human condition, now he gives himself as our daily bread. To strengthen us for our journey through this life. To stay with us and live with us. To grow his divine life within us.
The Eucharist is the sacrament of love and a school of love. As we find Jesus hidden under the appearances of bread and wine, we begin to sense his presence in the people we meet every day. We start to see them in a new light — as children of God and our brothers and sisters; as fellow sharers in God’s blessed life.
From love we learn love. We find true happiness in making a sincere gift of ourselves to God and to others. We find true happiness in opening ourselves to receive God’s love and the love of others.
This year, I see a beautiful symbolism in our celebrations of these two great feasts.
Last week, on the day before Trinity Sunday, I ordained four new priests. This weekend, on the day before Corpus Christi, I will ordain new deacons to serve at the altar of God.
This is a beautiful reminder that the ordained ministry stands at the heart of the Church’s mission and at the heart of God’s economy of salvation. In God’s plan, the priest is a servant and a sign. The priest opens for us the heart of Jesus Christ. He is the instrument who gives us the living waters and the bread of life.
Let’s pray for one another this week — especially for our priests who bring us Jesus. And remember to pray every day that Jesus will call many more men to this beautiful work of being his priests.
Let’s ask Mary our Blessed Mother, to help us to really understand the mysteries of our faith — and to really live these mysteries. So that we may know true joy in this life. And so that we will be preparing ourselves every day to live forever in the blessed light of the Kingdom to come.
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