By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton


This picture shows one of the panels on the holy door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have always loved it, and it speaks beautifully of the Good Shepherd reaching out to save the lost. That's the reason for hope.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mystery and Hope

You may have heard the story of the Bishop, who decided to visit one of his Catholic schools and ask the students questions about the catechism. That day one young boy was having difficulty speaking clearly because his mouth was slightly swollen from a hockey accident the night before. When the Bishop asked him to explain the Trinity, he said, "Wahn Gawd, Three Perthonth." The Bishop said, "Pardon?", and the student repeated, "Wahn Gawd, Three Perthonth." Bishop: "I'm sorry but I cannot understand what you are saying." Student: "You're not thuppoth'd to; it'th a mythtery!"

Well, yes, the Trinity is a mystery. Its full comprehension is, indeed, beyond our limited human understanding. Yet, it remains important to ponder it, because this mystery of God's being unveils truths about us that give meaning and hope.

By sending His Son and Holy Spirit, the Father has revealed to the world that God is, yes, one God, who is nevertheless a Trinity of Persons, an "eternal exchange of love", as the Catechism puts it (n. 221). Furthermore, in the very act of revealing His nature, God has made known His plan for us. The gift of the Holy Spirit unites us to Jesus, the only Son of God, so that, through this union, we are adopted as God's children and thus become co-heirs with Christ of eternal glory! (cf. Romans 8:14-17) Moved solely by love, God has created us with an eternal destiny, and has redeemed us in Christ to bring it to fulfillment. Herein lies the basis of our inalienable human dignity: we are fashioned by God to be His children for all eternity, to share forever in His "eternal exchange of love."

In the mystery of the Trinity, we thus find the meaning of our own lives. We also find the reason for hope. God is not indifferent to our situation. On the contrary, God draws near, He gives Himself to us, and guides our every step and moment toward Himself, if we but accept Him in faith and love. There is no reason for fear.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen!