The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Priority and Mutuality

June 15, 2014 click on left end of black bar to play-pause

June 15, 2014
John 3:16-18
Fr. George Smiga

We celebrate the feast of The Most Holy Trinity every year, but it does not always fall on Father’s Day. This year it does. And because it does and because we call the first person of the blessed Trinity Father, we might ask ourselves, “What can we learn about human fatherhood by reflecting on God the Father?”

Now this seems like a good idea, but it is quite risky and difficult. So you will have to work with me today, because the Holy Trinity is a mystery. It is the mystery of God, and we can never fully understand God. There are some true things that we can say about God: We can say that there is one God. We can say that this one God is three divine persons. But it is impossible to understand how God can be both one and three at the same time. Nevertheless, I still think that we can use some of the true things we believe about God the Father and apply them to human fatherhood. So here goes–stick with me.

We call the first person of the blessed Trinity “Father” because in a sense the Father is the source of the Trinity. We say that the Son, the second person of the blessed Trinity, proceeds from the Father. And we say that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the blessed Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son. “I get that,” you say. “That seems clear.” But here is where the mystery of the Trinity asserts itself. Because although we say that the Father is the source of the Trinity, at the same time we say that there never was a time when the Father was, and the Son and the Spirit were not. God is always God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even though we say that the Father is the source of the Trinity. You see what I mean about the Holy Trinity? It is impossible to comprehend. But let’s push on, okay?

If we can say that the Father is the source of the Trinity even though there never was a time when the Father was and the Son and the Spirit were not, then we can say that there is in the Trinity a certain priority: God is Father. Yet at the same time, that priority is not the most important thing. The most important thing in the Trinity is the mutual love that is shared by Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, in the Trinity then there is both a priority and a mutuality. But it is the mutuality that is primary.

Let’s apply this to human fatherhood. (We could apply it to human motherhood, too, but this is Father’s Day.) In human terms, the priority of human fatherhood is obvious. With our human fathers there was a time when our fathers were and we were not. Because of this priority in human terms, we always respect and honor our fathers. Life came to us through them. Indeed it is this honor and respect for fatherhood that most people believe we are celebrating today. We are honoring fathers because they have given life to us, both physical life and personal life. All this is fine and good, and we should always honor fathers because of their priority. But the mystery of the Trinity pushes us to another truth. It tells us that although we honor the priority of our fathers, the basic goal of our relationship with them should be mutuality. Even though we honor our fathers as the ones who gave us life, we should move toward the time when we can be equal with our fathers, when we can share a common life together. To put this in colloquial terms, we say that fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, should be able to become friends.

Now, when we look at this in human terms, that process obviously takes time. We cannot be mutual with our fathers while we are children. Then the father must take the primary role. But as we grow older, as we become adults, it becomes possible for us to see our fathers not simply as the ones who have given us life, but as equal to us as human beings, sharing common likes and dislikes, fears and dreams. In other words, we can begin to relate to our fathers as mutual sharers of a common life.

Now, of course, in many circumstances this mutuality with our fathers cannot be achieved. Our fathers may die too soon, or there can be obstacles or limitations that prevent us from attaining that kind of relationship. But in most of our relationships with our fathers, there are moments when mutuality becomes visible. There are moments when we recognize that this man is not simply the man who has given me life, but is a partner with me in a common life. Those moments of mutuality are important, because today’s feast tells us that every time we touch a note of mutuality with our fathers, we receive a glimpse of the very life of God.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options