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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

Trinity Sunday

From our children:  Two great questions suited well for Trinity Sunday:

 Why do we make the Sign of the Cross and say Amen both before we pray and again after our prayer?

           While it is easy to remember that the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and “Glory be” are prayers, sometimes we forget that the Sign of the Cross is also a prayer.  Whenever we make the Sign of the Cross, not only do we remind ourselves of Jesus’ Cross, but we remember the Blessed Trinity, who is “The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  Every prayer is an offering to God (even when we pray the Hail Mary, asking Mary to pray for us, we are still offering our prayer to God through Mary’s help.)  Since we offer every prayer to God, it is fitting to call upon God’s name in three persons as a beginning of the prayer and as an end, since our whole life beginning in baptism is lived in him.  Our making of the Sign of the Cross focuses our prayer directly upon him and his Name.

Another way to understand our making of the Sign of the Cross both to begin and end our prayers is to remember that our faith in God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is understood to be the “central mystery of our faith.”  It is central because we only know God to be Trinity because he revealed this truth to us; that is, he “told us” that he is a Trinity of persons through what he showed to the world as written in the Scriptures and as shown to the Apostles by Jesus himself.  As this is central to our faith, it is fitting that every prayer would also recall this great truth that is a mystery beyond our understanding.

 

Why does God love all the people in the world so much?

           I don’t think any honest human being can fully understand God’s thoughts so much that we can answer this question correctly.  On the other hand, I think that part of the reason that God loves all of us so much is simply this:  He made us in his own image.  Yes, we are made to be like God, who loves all that he made.  This likeness to God is why we can love him and love one another.

    Another reason God loves us so much is because he made us for heaven.  This too is very important and beautiful to remember.  God is deeply in love with us – so much so that he became like us and then died on the cross for us.  When he rose from the dead, he opened for us the way to heaven, showing us the life and joy that he wants to share with us forever with him.  By doing all these things on earth, he shows us that while we are on earth, we can already love him in return, so that we will be ready to love him perfectly in heaven, where there is nothing painful or sad; there will only be perfect love in God, who made us for the reason of sharing that love forever.

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