Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings

 

The Solemnity of the Seventh Sunday of Easter, Cycle B, May 13,  2018

Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 2018

 and Trinity Sunday, May 27, 2018

Readings:
Pentecost: Acts 2.1-11; 1st Corinthians 12.3-7; 12-13; John 20. 19-23

Trinity: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20
Meditation:

Pentecost Sunday and Trinity Sunday bring the Liturgical year to its fullness in sharing and celebrating the Mystery of our redemption in Christ. The ultimate gift from God is the Holy Spirit who brings us into the heart of the Holy Trinity. The Spirit brings us into the heart of the Triune God because the Holy Spirit is the heart of the Trinity.

The Spirit is poured into our hearts in the grace of our baptism, in the grace of our renewal in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and mysteriously augmented in each Eucharist. Thus we are in the Spirit. Being in the Spirit is to be in the Trinity.

There are three cycles in the Liturgical Year and they are identified with the letter “L”—light, life and love.

They correspond to the deepest longing of our human nature.

We seek light in the deepest levels of our consciousness because we have been created to understand truth, to savor the beauty and goodness in the truth that comes from God who is truth.

We seek life so that the source of all our life, the soul, may fulfill its purpose of attaining eternal life, the fullness of life.

We seek to love that we may lose ourselves in love, the gift of ourselves to the other, the “I-Thou” of the Lover to the Beloved at the heart of the Holy Trinity.

The first cycle is of Light. Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Presentation have to do with the divine Light overcoming the night of our alienation from God.

The second cycle is of Life. Lent, the Passion and Death of Jesus, Resurrection and Ascension have to do with Life overcoming the curse of death caused by sin.

The third cycle is of Love, the feast of Pentecost. Thereafter, it includes the time after Pentecost, “Ordinary Time”, the time of renewal in our life in the Church.
is the completion of Christ’s ascension. “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, ‘If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet been glorified” (John 7.37-39).

This process of being filled with the Spirit commences on the evening of the first day of Jesus’ glory: As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." (Gospel of Pentecost).

The day of Pentecost in Acts is the coming of the Holy Spirit in his fullness upon the Church. The mystery of the coming of the Holy Spirit begins on the night of Christ's resurrection with his appearance in the upper room. It is completed when Christ has entered into his full glory. By his ascension Christ is in full glory and thus by the Spirit the fullness of the Church is born.

Suddenly from up in the sky there came a noise like a strong, driving wind which was heard all through the house where they were seated. Tongues as of fire appeared which parted and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them (The First Reading of Pentecost).

The Holy Spirit who is the Love of the Trinity comes and dwells within us, opens our souls to breathe with the life-breath of Trinitarian life. God’s love is poured forth within us whereby we cry Abba, Father. It is this sharing in the divine life of love that is at the heart of Christian contemplation. At the deepest level of divine union we participate in the divine life of love through the immediacy of the Spirit’s Presence within our consciousness. The Holy Spirit is immediately present to the very core of our personhood, our deepest level of soul. In an analogous way, not existentially, the Holy Spirit becomes our soul, the principle of our being and becoming.

The Holy Spirit brings us into union with Jesus: No one can say: "Jesus in Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. It was in one Spirit that all of us, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, were baptized into one body (Second Reading of Pentecost).

But our union with God in Christ is accomplished not in an isolated way, in cold starry solitude nor in an absolute silence, but in the mystery of Church, in the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ. The birth of the Church and the birth of our new life in God are one. We are one with the Spirit because of Church. And Church is because of the indwelling of the Spirit in individual members.

In this exchange of divine love there is no absorption into God as if to lose our identity as distinct, unique creations. Our souls are not illusions. We are a substantial, real, inner identity that is the source of our being and life. That inner reality is what is called the soul. The soul is the created principle, the real locus of divine union. This life principle, the soul, is immortal and by grace is destined for eternal life in the general resurrection that will come at Christ's second coming.

The Holy Trinity is the source and goal of all this process of creation and redemption that we are living through. The alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end is the Blessed Trinity.

The Holy Spirit leads us into a relational participation in the love-life of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the mutual breath of the Father and the Son. The Spirit is Their Love. Sharing in the Holy Spirit we share in the divine life of the Trinity. And hope will not leave us disappointed because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (The Second Reading of Trinity Sunday).

The Sacrament of the Trinity is the Church. Practically speaking we touch the life of the Trinity through the visibility of the Church in the sacraments and in the handing-on of Revelation given in Tradition and Sacred Scripture. From the very beginning the Trinity moved forward to creating the mystery of the Church, the fullness of Him who fills all things (Ephesians, 1.11-23). Thus says the Wisdom of God: "The Lord begot me, the first-born of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago” (First Reading of Trinity Sunday).

The sacraments are visible and particular in their signs. The Church is the prime sacrament of the life of the Trinity. So it is that the Church is visible and particular, touchable and Theimmersed in history and the human condition. The Word is made incarnate and is eternally present in the risen and ascended Jesus. The particularity of Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s son is the model of the particularity of the Church. When the day of Pentecost came it found the brethren gathered in one place ( First Reading of Pentecost).
The Church of Christ is invisible in aspects of its mystery, it is also visible and particular. The Church must always possess its particularity as a sacrament. The Church is made visible in the ministry of the apostolic hierarchy and in the proclaimed doctrine of faith. The hierarchical ministry and the Magisterium are at the service of the visible Sacraments which celebrate the Mystery of Christ. Thus the Church protects its sacramental life, especially the Holy Eucharist, wherein the divine sharing in the life of God is celebrated and dispensed within the Church.

The Church then stands as the sign to all peoples of all places and times—in this way the Church is Catholic. The Church remains faithful to its fonts of apostolic teaching and memory through the Petrine ministry of the Roman bishop with whom all the bishops are united in communion.

This week of Pentecost and Trinity is the climax of the Christ-mystery that is at the heart of our Christian life and the source of our Christian mystical life. We rejoice in our mission to celebrate the Catholic mystery of the Church and the gift of the contemplative life and practice.

Pentecost reigns throughout all humanity and history because of the Holy Spirit and the power of redemption flowing from the wounds of Jesus, the Savior of all peoples. Who knows of this wonder of grace’s re-creation? Only the wisdom hidden from all ages in the bosom of the Triune God reveals the mystery. This wisdom holds the fullness of revelation now given as a deposit of faith-doctrine within the Church. The Church in the power of the Holy Spirit is able to meet each crisis of doctrinal faith and schismatic rebellion as it occurs in history. The gates of hell do not prevail, that is, the gates of false doctrine, the power of the Prince of Lies to deceive even the elect.

We seek to live the contemplative life. In particular, we hold the Blessed Virgin Mary as our mother and model in opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Like the Apostles, we sit in prayer and await the ever-renewed gift of the Holy Spirit. “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts of the Apostles 1.14).

Like Mary, we hold the fullness of the Triune Wisdom in one pin-point of time within the marvels of grace in the prayer of the heart. Sitting in silent prayer we sit with Christ in the glory of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our prayer is partially unknowing in absolute love. The wisdom of the Trinitarian life is the light of God’s glory shining on the face of Christ within our hearts. But it is the divine love of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our final resurrection into the fullness of light, life and love.



--William Fredrickson, Obl. OSB, D.Min.


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Frederickson
Fredrickson46@msn.com