Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. It is the second of the three Sundays that follow the Easter Season. The gospel begins with a familiar verse:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16
The first reading, which for the past 8 weeks has come from the Acts of the Apostles, is taken from the book of Exodus. In this reading we find Moses on Mount Sinai with the two tablets on which he will inscribe the 10 commandments.
As I sit here thinking of what to write next; frustration sets in. There are so many prerequisites to grasping the significance of these stories. Their being placed together adds to this significance. I suspect anyone preaching today shares similar questions.
* Where do I begin?
* What do I cover?
* What do I leave for another time?
Liturgical music to the rescue!
My answer to this dilemma can be found in the juxtaposition of our prelude and processional hymn.
The refrain to Marty Haugen’s “For God So Loved the World” centers on today’s scripture. Here's a link to the words: Be sure to bottom.
The verses refer to an event recorded in the Book of Numbers where…the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” Numbers 2:5
God responds in anger and sends a particularly venomous type of snake (called a seraph) that bites many of the Israelites. Realizing that they have sinned, the people come to Moses who intercedes on their behalf. God tells Moses to make the bronze seraph mounted on a pole and whoever looks on it is saved from death and recovers from the bites .
This leads me to our processional hymn Lift High The Cross
Consider for a moment the connection between the saving pole with the seraph and the saving Cross of Christ.
This leaves one important thing for me to cover:
Today’s celebration of the Most Holy Trinity. Look for references to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in today’s liturgy. It will be the very first thing the presider says as he greets us in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
It will be part of the closing blessing and will occur in many of today’s prayers.
Each verse of our recessional hymn O God Almighty Father centers on a different person of the Trinity.
In thanksgiving and memory of Fr. Dominic Schiraldi, who in 1977 took a chance by hiring a fifteen year old to be music director.
It's always good to see old friends.
St. Mary's is located at 17 Monsignor Owens Place
Nutley NJ 07110
I'm playing this Sunday at 9 - 10:30 - 12