There were prayers in memoriam of George Floyd, for peace, for the victims of COVID-19, and also for solidarity in these modern times at the Trinity Sunday Mass June 7 at Holy Redeemer Church which was celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS.
Concelebrants at the emotional liturgy, taking place in the midst of a week of protests in downtown San Antonio, were Father Kevin Fausz, CM, pastor; Father Mike DeGerolami; and Father James Schellenberg.
The archbishop acknowledged that we live in a time of great crisis and turmoil – COVID-19, racism, protests, and violence. He explained that ancient Israel also experienced a great crisis when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, the Jews were deported to Babylon, and the people were scattered, isolated, exiled from the Promised Land. They were disillusioned, in despair. “Had God abandoned them?” he asked. “Were they no longer the chosen people?”
Archbishop Gustavo described how some of the faithful — a remnant — came to understand that God continued to love them with an unconditional love. “They were not orphans or cast out from God’s presence. They began to review their traditions, their basic values and beliefs,” he said. “They realized that they had to live in accord with those beliefs and values. They had to observe God’s commandments in order to establish, maintain, and restore, when necessary, just or right relationships within their own lives, with one another, with the land, and with God.”
The San Antonio prelate emphasized that living justice leads to peace, harmony, reconciliation, unity.
He admitted that the idea of the Holy Trinity is often very abstract and full of mystery language, and while we sign ourselves with the Sign of the Cross every day, it may remain disconnected from daily experience. “God the Father is very much like a parent or grandparent who shows us mercy, compassion, understanding, unconditional love,” the archbishop pointed out. “Those are truly experiences of God the Father in our lives! Our Creator God is with us always!”
Moreover, he continued, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son … so that we might have eternal life.” Archbishop Gustavo stressed that when we encounter others as sisters and brothers — those who accompany us on our journey, share our joys and sorrows — we have an experience of our brother Jesus, walking with us, helping us carry our burdens, calling us to conversion and change of attitude or lifestyle, reassuring us of God’s enduring love for us. “The risen Lord is on the journey with us!”
The Missionary of the Holy Spirit highlighted that the Holy Spirit comes to us sometimes as a mighty wind and, at other times, as a gentle breeze. “When someone shares God’s word with us — or helps us work our way through a difficult stretch of the road, that person is giving us a taste of the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and our world,” he said.
The archbishop warned that the challenge as missionary disciples is to continue the healing, reconciling ministry of the risen Lord — primarily as believers, as God’s covenant people — no matter which political party or movement with which we identify. “We are all sisters and brothers, children of the one God! We must stand together for truth and justice for all!” he said emphatically. “We must live the New Covenant sealed in the Precious Blood of Jesus — in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!”