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United we stand

The story is told about a man who looked sad on his birthday. When his friend asked him why, he said: “My older brother and my younger brother forgot to greet me on my birthday.” Wanting to console him, the friend said, “Well, it can happen that brothers can forget one another’s birthdays.” Whereupon the man said: “Oh, yeah? But we’re triplets!”

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Today is Trinity Sunday wherein we honor the oneness and the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today we raise our voices and say: “Oh, most Holy Trinity, undivided unity! Holy God, Mighty God, God Immortal be adored!” And with St. Arnold Janssen, the founder of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), we pray: “May the Holy and Triune God live in our hearts, and in the hearts of all. Amen!”

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In today’s gospel (Mt. 28, 16-20), the Risen Lord gave the mandate to His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” along with the command to teach them to observe all that He has commanded us. The Lord also gave to the disciples this blessed assurance: “And behold, I am with you always till the end of the age.” How consoling to know that we are included, we are united in the life and mission of the Trinity!

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What keeps people together? In our recent Marian pilgrimage, we had young and old couples traveling together. In most of the sharing sessions, what constantly came out was the importance of prayer life, and the presence of God in the ups and downs of their married life. There must be a “third party” in the lives of married couples—not another man, not another woman, but God. Indeed, love is not so much looking at each other as looking at the same horizon together. Let God be the constant horizon of all our relationships, works, aspirations, and dreams.

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It was also very edifying to be with parents traveling with their children on this pilgrimage. What a privilege indeed for children to be given the chance and the opportunity to bond with and serve their parents. How touching it is to see children serving, helping, and feeding their own parents with so much tenderness and love. Whenever we love, the Trinitarian love as well is manifested and concretized.

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I thought I saw a glimpse of the Trinitarian love and unity in the way the grandmother, the uncle, and the auntie of 11-year-old Meggy Pe loved her, and took care of her throughout our recent pilgrimage. She was the center of their attention and affection, providing for all her needs, and even for her wants. She was free to go and do what she wanted, and she knew that her loved ones were there for her when needed. What I enjoyed the most was seeing them at the table eating together, sharing, and laughing together. How lucky, how loved Meggy is! May we also feel the same toward the Trinity!

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It was the belief in the Trinitarian love and unity that made Meelah strong throughout our trip in spite of the news about her older brother’s death in the Philippines. As much as she wanted to go home, she chose to finish the pilgrimage, believing that prayers and sacrifices were the best gifts she could give her brother whom she hopes she will meet again in the hereafter.

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In front of my desk is a big sign that says, “Live well, love much, laugh often,” to remind me of the Trinitarian mission in my life. Life is not so much a matter of living long as living well and right. Love is not so much a matter of quantity as quality and intensity. Laughter is not so much a matter of obligation as of choice to see the Divine hand with joy and confidence in all the twists and turns of life.

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Why do people walk five or 500 kilometers to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain? It’s all about finding themselves and God. Be it for love, for sacrifice, for cleansing, for a request, for thanksgiving, or for repentance, a pilgrimage always brings out that part of us that wants to reach out and to be completed by the Divine.

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A visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France would not be complete without taking the bath at the spring near the Grotto where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Some people wait two to three hours, braving the cold in winter, and the heat in summer. For me, the waiting and the taking of the bath in Lourdes are an experience of purgatory as one learns how it is to be helpless, obedient, and trusting. It is an experience of penance and prayer as one waits for his/her turn. It is an experience of helplessness as one is being led and being told what to do. And it is an experience of cleansing and healing as one is submerged into the cold and refreshing spring water.

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By the way, the three branches of our government—namely, the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary—like the Trinity, must remain equal and united. For whom? For the people, not for themselves! For what? For service, not for self-preservation or self-aggrandizement.

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If the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were looking at you right now, would they be smiling, or would they be shaking their heads in disappointment and disgust? The answer to that question depends on the kind of life you are living right now. Let us try to live lives pleasing to the Most Holy Trinity! As a family, as a community, as a nation, and as one human race, let us emulate and live out the oneness and unity of the Most Holy Trinity!

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, may we become agents of peace and unity amidst conflicts and diversities for the sake of the Most Blessed Trinity. Amen.

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, Gospel, Moments, opinion, Religion, SVD, Trinity
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