The gift of persons

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The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity-B, 26 May 2024
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40 ><}}}*> Romans 8:14-17 ><}}}*> Matthew 28:16-20
Photo by author, the Holy Trinity as depicted at the Parish of St. John the Baptist, Calumpit, Bulacan, March 2021.

We are now into the Ordinary Time and for the next two consecutive Sundays we are celebrating three important Solemnities in the next three weeks.

First in these series of Solemnities in Ordinary Time is that of the Most Holy Trinity, the highest truth in our faith which is our belief in One God in three Persons. Contrary to common beliefs, mysteries can be explained and understood, but, not fully well. After all, mysteries are not really meant to be solved but simply be lived and enjoyed like the mystery of the person which is in the heart of the Most Holy Trinity: How can there be three Persons in one God?

Moses said to the people: “Ask now of the days of old, before your time, ever since God created man upon the earth; ask from one end of the sky to the other: Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of? Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terror, all of which the Lord, your God, did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?”

Deuteronomy 4:32-34

Photo by author, sunrise at the Lake of Galilee in Israel, May 2019.

Our first reading this Sunday invites us too to examine ourselves and our lives to see how God has been so personal, so relational with us. As we say in Tagalog, “Sigue nga, paano mo naranasan ang Diyos?”

How did you experience God? Was it not just like the way we experienced other people in our relationships?

Very often when we meet people, our tendency to welcome or accept them were a result of their conduct, of their approach to us. If they are kind and good natured and warm, we are easily disarmed and we feel like knowing them.

That is what Moses was telling his people at that time, including us today: recall how personal was God in dealing with us with all His warmth and love because they indicate relationships and therefore, another person to relate with.

“The Trinity” (1425-27), an icon by Russian artist Andrei Rublev from wikipedia.org.

Remember how the books of the bible were written: the first questions the biblical writers asked were not the origins of the world but those asked by Moses today. After they have experienced the kindness and love of God that they eventually asked and reflected on the origins (genesis) of everything on earth and the universe.

In that experience, they felt a relationship with a Father as source of all life like dads giving life as well as protecting life and giving back life to those who may have lost it. That personal experience of God as a Father so loving and caring moved the biblical writers too to ask and reflect on the presence of evil and sufferings as we find in the Wisdom books like the Psalms and the Book of Job.

There is always the primacy of God’s personal relationship and of His conduct towards us humans that prompt us to “know” Him, to believe Him. Like people dear to us, God first revealed Himself to us in the most personal manner through a succession of events and other people we have met and known. That is why when we say “I believe in God”, we not only express a concept but also a relationship. Most of all, in this relationship is a commitment too to get to know God as a person! Before knowing any details about God or people, we first have relationships no matter how little it may be at the start. Later, we get phone numbers and other contact details with people we meet because we feel “committed” to getting to know them more in the future. In a sense, we believe them that is why we keep in touch with them. The same is true with God.

Photo by author, St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Egypt, May 2019.

The word person means “a conscious relating being”. Whether with God or with others, we experience the person and the relationship unfolding through time. There is always first the experience of a conduct like kindness before questions and details of a person come.

That word “kindness” actually indicates a relationship because its root is kin that means “one of us” or “of same tribe”. When we say “he is so kind to me”, it means he treats me as one of his family or his own. In that kindness and whatever good conduct present, there seems to be an “invisible line” linking us with people we meet. Or with God which the Holy Spirit does.

Of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the most elusive in nature and yet, it is the most frequently and concretely in contact with us. It is the principle of unity in the Trinity and among us as we have reflected last Pentecost Sunday. Today, St. Paul explains to us how the Holy Spirit as a Person keeps these relationships among us and with God united and strong, enabling us to cry out “Abba” or “Our Father”. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the courage to keep our relationships as persons and with God especially at this modern time when some people refuse to recognize God and worst, some are bent in deleting God entirely from life.

That is why in today’s gospel, Jesus instructed His disciples including us today to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt.28:19-20). Persons always presuppose relationships; hence, the need to gather others always like what God did and continues to do in His Church.


It has been three weeks since my mother peacefully passed away. People ask me how am I doing. Truth is, I am not so well. I miss mommy so much. It is true we only realize the value of a person after he/she is gone. And it is most difficult with mothers!

Photo by author, Mt. Sinai in Egypt, May 2019.

Every time I come home, I have that strange feeling, wondering deep inside me of that great mystery, how did it happen that it was my mom – just one person – who had left us but our home has become so empty? Since May 7, that image of mommy’s empty room after her body was taken to the funeral had remained in my mind and as days passed, I have noticed how our home has been so hollowed when there are still my siblings and niece staying in the house?

That is the gift of person. A person fills not only spaces and homes but most of all, fills us. Every person fills another person in the same manner God first fills us with His love through persons dearest to us. That is why we believe in God.

Let us have good relationships with others so they may experience God too in their lives. Let us gather in the Father’s love in Jesus Christ to celebrate the gift of life together in the Holy Spirit through one another. Let us pray:

God our loving Father,
thank you for the gift of life,
for my gift of person
and for the gift of so many
persons in my life;
dwell in me, Holy Spirit,
fill me with your fire and life,
animate me with the Son's
justice and love
so that in myself
the mystery 
of the Blessed Trinity
be alive.
Amen.
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