May 26, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

As we gather to celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, I invite you to reflect deeply on the nature of relationships and community.

The renowned French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once famously remarked, “Hell is other people.” Many of us can relate to this sentiment at certain moments in our lives. After experiencing a series of negative interactions, we often yearn for solitude, envisioning a state of blissful isolation. However, even the most introverted among us occasionally crave human connection and companionship. Deep within, we understand that true wholeness comes from being in relationships with others. Reflecting on the happiest moments of our lives, we often find they involved some form of communion or community, a genuine connection. Even in an age marked by rampant individualism, we instinctively know that no one is an isolated island.

The Solemnity of the Trinity reminds us that this truth about human connection is even more profoundly true for God. At the core of God’s existence is a community—a communion of persons—a network of relationships. The Gospel reading today from Matthew 28:16-20 highlights the commission of the disciples by Jesus, where He commands them to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This directive underlines the integral relationship within the Trinity and extends it to the mission of the Church. The deep bond within the Trinity could not remain confined but was generously poured out upon us through the sending of the Holy Spirit. This divine community invites us into the essence of God’s loving nature. The community present within God is not an exclusive enclave but an inclusive one that extends an open invitation to each of us.

If God exists as a communion of love—a loving community—and we are created in God’s image, then our purpose, our vocation, is to foster communities of love that reflect God’s very essence. Our first encounter with such a loving community typically occurs within our families. We are born into families, none of which is perfect, and we continually grapple with various challenges. Yet, the family has the potential to become a loving communion that mirrors and embodies the love found within God.

Beyond the family, the Church is called to be a community of love. On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to His disciples, saying, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you… Love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus envisioned the Church as a loving community that emulates the love shared within God’s community. Although the Church, the assembly of Jesus’s followers, has often fallen short of this divine vision, the Holy Spirit continuously reminds us of Jesus’s teachings and our lofty calling. With the Spirit’s guidance, we must persist in striving to embody this calling. Each parish, as a local expression of the Church, is summoned to radiate the loving communion that resides within God.

Whenever we take action to forge a family, build a parish, or cultivate a community, we are acting in a Trinitarian manner, even if we are unaware of the Trinity’s significance in those moments. Every time we bring people together in ways that affirm and uplift them, we are embodying the spirit of the Trinity. This is the invitation and challenge presented by the Solemnity of the Trinity. Though it may initially appear distant from our everyday lives, it is, in fact, a deeply practical celebration. It reminds us of the purpose that should guide us in our day-to-day existence.

As we embark on the month of June this week, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity takes on a profound dimension. The Sacred Heart, brimming with divine love, serves as a powerful manifestation of God’s boundless love for humanity. This love is the foundation of our call to live in loving community, mirroring the divine communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let us embrace this divine love and strive to create communities that reflect the heart of God.

Yours in Christ,

Msgr. Cuong M. Pham