THIS WEEK IN PRAYER
Teilhard’s Prayer –Last week’s homily referenced Teilhard’s “Preamble to a Prayer for Patience.”(BTW – His full name is “Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ” though he is usually referred to simply as “Teilhard.” He was a French Jesuit, paleontologist, geologist and philosopher who lived from 1891 to 1955.)
Teilhard’s Preamble to a Prayer for Patience
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability— and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
Sunday’s Homily – “The Trinity and Our Patience”
To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here.
To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.
THIS WEEK IN COMMUNITY:
Welcome New Parishioners – A great welcome and all best blessings for those who joined our parish last month. May your experiences of prayer, service, and community be greatly blessed and may you continue to be a blessing for your/our parish. Welcome to:
Louis and Louise Distefano
Charles and Arlene Jacey
Stephen and Christine Lewis and their children Jackson, Emily and Sarah
Barry Panzarino and Linda Tancs-Panzarino
A Break in the Action? – After several weekends of elevated activity levels, this weekend at church will be a little on the mellow side. Enjoy it. But then . . .
Father Tholitho’s Ordination – Deacon Tholitho will become Father Tholitho at the ordination liturgy on Saturday, June 9 at 11:00 am. If you have never participated in an ordination liturgy, this is your chance. Call the office if you want to go and need a ride.
Pancakes! – One of our most talented and ambitious CCD classes is hosting a pancake breakfast after the Masses on Sunday, June 10. If you are running in the race, this is your chance to reload your carbs! If you are not running in the race, this is your chance to enjoy pancakes and great company.
Father Tholitho’s First Mass Here – Father Tholitho will be celebrating his first Mass at St James in Jamesburg on the morning of Sunday, June 10. He will then celebrate the 6:00 pm Mass here that evening. Refreshments will follow.
The Blessing of the Graduates – Our hope is to congratulate and bless all of our high school graduates at the 6:00 pm Mass on Sunday, June 10. We also want to send you off to your next adventure with a bible from the parish. If you have not already RSVP’d through Bob Ferretti, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you will be there, so we can have your bible ready.
20th Anniversary – At the 4:45 Mass on Saturday, June 23, we will recognize the 20th anniversary of the dedication of our current church building. Refreshments to follow – BYOB!
THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:
Elijah’s Promise Kitchen – Great blessings for the St. Joe’s Parishioners who regularly keep the cook fires burning at Elijah’s Kitchen. Special thanks to Terry Lee who coordinates the work of our 10-15 volunteers who, on the third Sunday of each month, prepare lunch for nearly 80 people who regularly come in off the street for their main meal of the day. Might this be a great ministry for you?
The Heifer Project – Plans for the summer CCD program’s service project are moving ahead at a brisk pace. Stay tuned for information about how you can support the Heifer Project – an international program that gets farm animals to the people who need them most.
Summer Work Trips – Also stay tuned for news about the parish’s two upcoming work trips – our Youth Group’s Trip to Newar and our Young Adult Trip to Appalachia.
With all best blessings for you and your loved ones and all that June has in store.
Summary of this Week’s Homily:
Trinity Sunday and the Call to Patience
“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The incomparable familiarity of our trinitarian blessing might encourage us to think “It has always been that way.” That inference gets partial credit. The Trinity has always been there. Our understanding of it has not. Good, holy, smart, prayerful people labored for centuries to figure it out.
Sunday’s first reading (Deuteronomy 4) emphasizes the existence of only one God. Many of Israel’s neighbors in the ancient Near East believed there were many small-g-gods, and their beliefs tempted Israel. Moses knew how little it took for his people to embrace their neighbors’ blunder. He reminded Israel over and over and over – There is only one God.
In the second reading (Romans 8) Paul refers to “Father, Christ and Spirit.” This comes close to being a Trinitarian formula, but not completely. (N.B. – See 2 Corinthians 13:13 for Paul’s most explicit reference to the Trinity). In the gospel, Matthew 28, the evangelist has Jesus speaking of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” One might infer from these passages that, by the time Jesus ascended, we understood the notion of Three Persons in One God and have clung to it ever since. We did not.
In 325 AD, nearly three centuries after Jesus died, the Council of Nicea concurred that Jesus was equal to God, that he was “Consubstantial with the Father.” This phrase dismissed Arius’ popular argument that Jesus was not quite God. It was not until 381 that the church fathers factored the Holy Spirit into the creed as also equal with the Father and the Son. Then, depending on how you slice it, the Church took somewhere between another three hundred and another seven hundred years to finally settle on the belief that we hold today – the belief that we celebrate on today’s feast of the Trinity – that God is three persons in one being. We took a very long time to embrace God’s truth.
Along the way to that final agreement, many good people lost patience with the deliberations. Their impatience caused them to act in ways that Jesus would not. Would that all those good people had trusted in God’s slow work and remained patient with God’s slow work.
While we cannot change history, we can change ourselves. We can recognize those situations in which we doubt God’s slow work, in which we are growing impatient and tempted to behave as Jesus would not. Where might that place be for you? In your faith? In relationships? In your personal growth? In your athletic or academic or professional life? And as you identify a situation that tries your patience, it might be helpful to keep that frustration in perspective, to ask how the matter compares with the importance of the truth of the Trinity, how long is it taking relative to the time it took for us to understand the Trinity, and how you are behaving as you deal with the frustration.
Where might you benefit from consideration of Teilhard’s admonition: “Above all, be patient with the slow work of God?”