Pastoral Message – June 4, 2023
Today our Church calendar shows that we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity! Now if you’re an old timey Catholic, in both the past and even now in the present we might sing the lyrics of this hymn on this occasion.
Holy God, we praise thy name. God of all, we bow before thee.
All on earth your scepter claim; all in heav’n above adore thee.
Infinite thy vast domain, everlasting is they reign.
Hark, the loud celestial hymn, angel choirs above are raising.
Cherubim and seraphim, in unceasing chorus praising,
Fill the heav’ns with sweet accord; Holy holy, holy Lord.
Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit, Three we name thee.
While in essence only one, undivided God we claim thee.
And adoring, bend the knee, while we own the mystery.
While not going into great detail, not defining what is essentially a mystery, this hymn is both doctrinal and devotional. In simpler words, it states just what we believe, that God – Father/Son/Spirit – is three distinct Persons yet one God. That is doctrinal. We state that in our liturgy – in the Eucharistic prayers. We state that in our Creed. We see it throughout Scripture. It is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This triune yet one God has been argued about, written about, and is the entire, foundational subject of Christian philosophy and theology. So if you’re interested, please study up on this doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity. You will grow intellectually by the study of God.
But how about the devotional aspect of God. Well, I think that God is devoted to us. God revealed His Three-Personhood to us. God is devoted to us knowing God in fullness! The God who identifies as I AM WHO I AM (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה Gen 3:14) reveals that all existence created from nothing (ex nihilo) is Godly. And God then reveals plan of wisdom, relationship and redemption which is personified in God the Son – Jesus, the Christ. And God the Father and Son have poured forth into us, and onto us, unto us God, the Holy Spirit who is with us always. So it’s pretty evident that God is devoted to us.
So how about us? Are we devoted to God? That’s the operational question we should be asking ourselves. We might sing that old familiar hymn, but do the words ring true in our hearts, minds and consciences? Are we praising God’s name? Or do we take God for granted? Are we humble enough to “bow before thee”? Or are we too busy shining our scepters, acting like foolish, frail, and imposter kings and queens? Do we live under the tyranny of the sin of our own making? Do we have a sure and certain hope in heav’n? Or does a heav’nly end scare us to death?
If we have true devotion, we might recognize that we can’t answer those challenging questions above without some further conversion. But if we can learn to be “adoring,” if we can be vulnerable and honest enough with ourselves to not just “bend the knee” but also fall down and prostate, then we can ever more fully be devoted to our God, in all Three Persons – Father, Son and Spirit. As we seek evermore sincerely our God who is devoted to us, then we can fully “own the mystery”!
God bless you and yours!