Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!

Trinity Sunday—19 June A.D. 2011

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!
How incomprehensible are his judgments and how unsearchable His ways”!

Albrecht Durer—Adoration of the Trinity (1511)

[Ordinary of the Mass]
[Latin Text]
[English Text]

    I am sure that you all know that it is possible to know the existence of God without the benefit of revelation.  From His effects on the universe around us, we can inductively reason to God as their cause.  Things like motion, causality, and order demand a first mover, first cause, and an intelligent designer.  To be sure, God did not leave us to our own efforts, but rather, He revealed Himself to mankind, first through Moses and the Prophets, and later in the Person of His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  But the point is that we could have known God’s existence, even if He did not chose to reveal Himself.

    What we could not have known through mere human reason is the existence of God in Trinity.  The reason for this is that, apart from purposeful revelation, the relationships of the three divine Persons are between themselves alone and have no physical manifestation outside of the Trinity.  Saint Augustine proposes that the Father knows Himself from all eternity, with a knowledge so powerful and real that He begets the Second Person, sometimes identified as the Λόγος or the Word of God.  And then, according to Augustine, the Father and the Son, love each other with a love that is so powerful and real that the third Person, the Holy Ghost proceeds from them.  All three Persons are equally God, and since all of this took place before the creation of space and time, there is no question of “before” or “after.”  But none of this directly involves us.

    Sometimes, those with no faith criticize Christians for having an “anthropomorphic” God.  That is to say that they claim we have fashioned our conception of God after ourselves, giving Him human characteristics and even human form.  They say that if zebras were capable of reasoning, they would have a god that had the characteristics and form of a zebra!

    What they miss is that the God revealed in the Old Testament did not have human form.  The Jews of the ancient world did not conceive God as a father, and even less did they think of His as the stereotypical old man with a very long beard.  Man was made in the “image and likeness” of God, but that did not translate into God being of human form, with head, torso, arms, and legs.  Indeed, on the rare occasion that the Jews fashioned an image of God to worship, it had the form of a golden calf![2]

    In the New Testament, of course, we encounter God in the human form of Jesus Christ.  Cur Deus Homo?—Why did God become man?  Saint Anselm answers that He did so to satisfy for the sin of Adam, which had separated all mankind from God’s graces.  Man had sinned against his infinite Creator, and had no means of making atonement, so God became man to pay the debt for him.  This incarnation of God was precisely the opposite of anthropomorphism, for it was God’s idea, and not man’s.  At the baptism of our Lord in the Jordan, the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove, but no one is foolish enough to claim that the birds of this world chose that form for Him![3]

    What we have is God creating His favored creatures—Men and Women—to be like Him.  Today on the secular calendar we celebrate Fathers’ Day.  Saint Paul tells us in the Epistle to the Ephesians, “I bend my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth receives its name.”[4]  We have only to look back to the good fathers we have known to confirm what Saint Paul wrote.  God is the Creator, as likewise the good father is blessed with children in his own likeness, and recognizes them as the gift of God.  God is Provider and Protector, as likewise the good father provides for the needs of his family and protects them from the dangers of the world.  God is the Lawgiver, as likewise the good father must lay down and enforce rules for his family, so that they may make good use of their resources, live safety, and learn to behave in the society of decent people.  But, even as God is both stern and loving, the good father tempers the rule of his home with love for his wife and each of his children.  By example, the good father will train his children in the love of God and the practice of prayer and frequent reception of the Sacraments—these are not womanly things that ought to be left to the children’s mother.

    So, those of you who are good fathers have every right to feel honored on your day.  And, of course, just as I said on Mothers’ Day, we cannot restrict the honor of Fathers’ Day to those who are biological fathers, for many good men have to fill in for the missing; whether they be older brothers, uncles, teachers, Boy Scout leaders, or whatever.  All such men deserve to be honored as well, for they too participate in the Godly role of fatherhood.  And in our crazy world, sometimes they are women.

    As we owe everything to God, on a slightly reduced level, we owe our fathers.  We would have nothing without them, not even ourselves.  We don’t pray to our earthly fathers, but certainly we should spend time with them if that is possible;  in person if possible, or by phone if they are far away.  And, whether or not they are with us on earth, they should always be in our prayers.

    So, today as we honor the Holy Trinity, on God, let us honor all good fathers—all those who have their “fatherhood from the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!