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May 31, 1996     The Message
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The Message  for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana "- Commentary-- The Holy Trinity: Three persons yet one god spel Commentary for June Holy Trinity Sunday: 3:16-18 gospel reading one might today is that of the end of ew, where the told to teach and bap- "in the name of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit." are given a brief read- from the theological ex- of the dialogue between land Nicodemus in the Gospel reading begins with By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST statement: "God so the world that he gave his only Son, that who- in him should not perish but have eter- is no explicit mention of Father, Son, Why was this text chosen for today? answer is in the meaning or interpre- words. Although the word "Father" is it is nevertheless implied in the use It is God as Father who gives the Spirit of God, i.e. the Holy Spirit, is implied that is expressed in the Father's gift of the Spirit of GOd who performs the works from GOd into and onto creation. From 1:3, where the beginning of creation is ex- Spirit of GOd moving over the water," creation expressed in John 20:22, where the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, it is that "moves" the divinity to act. The Spirit is that overflows onto us in the Father's gift of his Son. Our language is inade- quate. We speak only by analogy, by weak comparison. As love moves us to do good outside ourselves, so the Spirit of GOd, the Spirit of love, moves God to do good outside of GOd. When New Testament Scrip- ture expresses God as Father, Son, and Spirit, it rests on Old Testa- ment language as much as the rest of New Testament theology. In the Old Testament God is often referred to as Father, e.g. Deuternomy, 32:6; Psalm 89:26: Isaiah 63:16; Jeremiah 3:4. 19. Likewise God is often re- ferred to as the Spirit of God, e.g. Genesis 41:38: Exodus 31:3: Numbers 27:18: Judges 3:10), etc. But does the Old Testament ever speak of God as "Son"? Israel as God's people is referred to as God's son, e.g. Exodus 4:22-23. Likewise the king of Israel is called God's son, e.g. Psalm 2:9: 45:6. Such references come under idoptive expressions. But is there anything of a son of God who is eternal with God as Father and God as Spirit? It is not unlikely that the early Church and the theologians responsible for our New Testament litera- ture relied heavily on what is referred to as "wisdom literature" for the concept of an eternal son of God. An important text would be Proverbs 8:22-31, a descrip- tion of divine wisdom: "When there were no depths, I was brought forth...before the mountains had been shaved, before the hills, I was brought forth .... When he established the heavens I was there .... I was beside him like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always .... " One can almost see John forming the Prologue of his gospel from Proverbs 8: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God .... All things were made through him .... "And in Wisdom 18:14-15 John would have seen these words: '%Vhen peaceful silence lay over all .... down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leaped your all-powerful Word .... " We must, however, be cautious not to say that the Trinity, three persons in one God, is already re- vealed in the Old Testament. This is not the case. But what does take place is the transfer of terminol- ogy and ideas from Old Testament to New Testa- ment as our New Testament authors worked under the inspiration of the Spirit of God to express the new thing that had taken place in Jesus, God's love continuing to overflow onto and into God's creation. "God so loved the world .... " Finally, we look for some practical application or meaning of this feast of the Holy Trinity. The liturgi- cal celebration of God as Trinity of Persons happens to occur between our American celebration of Mothers' Day and Fathers Day. This coincidence can remind us not only that God is both Mother and Father to us, but also that God within God is Family to the highest de- gree. The unity of individual families and the family of humankind ought to reflect the total love-giving of three divine persons that is but one God, a giving so boundless that it overflows outside of God: "God so loved the world that God gave his only Son .... " Readings of Trinity Sunday, A: Exodus 34:4-6, 8.9: H Corinthians 13:11.13. Bicknell ,o,,. Sandborn ' Princeton Patoka F.D.I.C. IAN'S IESTONE INC. Franklin lie, IN 424-5000 00rnpany STREET OX 191 -7441 GERMAN FOOD STEAQK SALAD BAR PARTIES NEEDS, CALL Loads in Stock" .95 sq.& up higher) to $37.95 sq. 1.95 to $29.95 sq. In Stock DOORS in Stock ............. $239.81 1Off span for Free Quotes METAL SALES , Cannelburg. Y Golden Jubilarians Walter and Margaret (Kremer) Stephens of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving for family and friends on June 1. The couple was married June 1, 1946, at St. Boniface Church, Evansville. They are the parents of five children: Mark Stephens of Indianapolis, Randy Stephens of Wadesville, Terry Stoltz of St. Philip, Scott Stephens of Evansville, and Paula Maxwell of Indianapolis They have 26 grandchildren, and four great.grandchildren. Mr. Stephens retired from Kriekhaus O'Neill in 1983, and Mrs. Stephens is a home- maker. Ph: 482-1125 RT. 4,, JASPER,, I KREMPP I =:lj, I LUMBER CO. | I BUILDING MATERIAL SUPPLIES & I | GENERAL CONTRACTING I Christian Books & Gifts | HOMECENTER CONSTRUCTION I Bev& Charlie Mendel, owners 482-1961 482.-6838 I (I11'I14- ,16 Jaon St J,rN47546 Golden Jubilarians Joseph and Rita Mae (Hohler) Healy will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. June 2 at St. Joseph Church, Jasper. A dinner for invited guests will follow the Mass, and an Open House will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Home in Jasper. The couple was married June 4, 1946, at St. Joseph Church by Father John Finis. They are the parents of three children: Robert of Aurora Colo., Liz Steiner of Cannelburg, Ind., and William of Carmel, Ind. They have six grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and one step-great- grandchild.