SALFORD DIOCESE OFFICE FOR LITURGY

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The Most Holy Trinity (A)

God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved.

The Word This Week

We begin our Summer 'Ordinary Time' by celebrating a strange feast - not of a particular saint or event, but of the awesome paradoxes of our God, the Three-in-One, Father, Son and Spirit: so immeasurably distant, yet so amazingly close, so full of power and so full of love. It is love that is the key to the mystery: the revelation of God, to Moses and in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shows a perfect love - a perfect unity. In the beginning, in the story of Creation in Genesis, God made man and woman 'in the image and likeness of God', to live together as a community of love. So too, the Church is an image of this perfection of community which is Father, Son and Spirit. We, as many members of one Church, strive in our everyday lives to imitate God who is Three and One, perfect unity and perfect love.

Notes for Readers

First Reading: Exodus 34:4-6.8-9

A remarkable reading - very short and simple, but with immense depth and meaning. Notice one thing: at the beginning of the second paragraph, it is the Lord God who speaks, saying ‘Lord, Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion...’ This is the peculiar richness of this reading: that God himself proclaims his own tenderness, compassion, kindness and faithfulness. It fulfils something God says to Moses just before this reading: “I will let all my splendour pass before you, and I will pronounce before you the name of the Lord.” (Exodus 33:19) So here we have God telling Moses who he is - what he is like. This could easily be missed, so the reader will have to concentrate on bringing it out. There is a strange, almost mystical feel to the reading, as Moses shares this awesome but intimate moment with the Lord. Allow this to influence the way you read, especially emphasising what the Lord does and says: ‘the Lord descended...’, ‘the Lord passed before him and proclaimed...’ Above all, take your time, especially with the words God speaks.

 

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Another brief reading (which is always an excuse to take time over it), but with great riches. God is revealed as Three-in-One, united in perfect love: the members of the Church in Corinth are encouraged by Saint Paul to imitate this perfection, this unity, this love. So are we. There is almost a tone of pleading: the Church at Corinth had been in a bit of a mess, and Saint Paul’s two letters to them contain some fairly severe comments: this is his final word, which tries to sum up all that he has said before. He wishes them to live as a true community, in the ‘God of love and peace’. The reading is filled with very short phrases (very unlike the Saint Paul we usually hear, so allow this to come across clearly) - short so that they may sink in, and be remembered. Pause as you read each one, so that it becomes almost like a litany. This is a word from Paul (and so, because he is an apostle of the Lord, from God) which will almost require no interpreting, being so straightforward. Read it with great clarity.

Wordsearch

 Click on the link to get this week's Gospel based Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.