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Father Muench Says...

Believing in God changes everything

June 21, 2017

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I would like to talk with you today about God.

After the Feast of the Pentecost, the Church’s liturgy presents us with a Feast in memory of the Blessed Trinity. When we think of God we believe in and pray to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I am well aware of how much has been written and spoken about God, the Blessed Trinity, in the centuries since the time of Jesus.  Is there anything that I can add to all of this? Probably nothing new.

Today, however, I would like to use this time to encourage you to join me in a time of prayer and consideration of how God fits into our lives.

First, we must begin with what you believe.  The question for ourselves is “do I believe in God?”  This is not some idle question.  I must not simply shrug my shoulders or say ‘of course.’

If I believe in God, everything about me and my life is different; everything changes because I believe in God.  I am not like other people because I believe in God.  My daily life is a unique challenge to live out my faith in God because I believe in God.

Jesus teaches us to baptize with our Trinitarian God saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” 

The apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.  As you remember, Jesus instructed then to pray by saying, “Our Father who art in Heaven.”  We are urged to approach our God as a Father, our relationship with God is best as a son or daughter.

In Jesus’ time, people –probably even the apostles – found this image of God difficult to accept.  For them, God was the God of Moses, the God of Mount Sinai, the God of thunder and lightning, a God to be feared.  Instead, Jesus urges us to come to God as going to a loving Father.

Remember the Prodigal Son parable.  Jesus makes it very clear in that parable that the Prodigal’s Father is an image of God.  When the Prodigal return repenting his sinfulness against his Father, Jesus teaches us that the Father does not reach out in anger or violence. Rather the Father rushes out in love to welcome the Prodigal home.  He celebrates this return.  He is a loving, forgiving Father.

When we speak of this Trinitarian God we must remember all that Jesus did for us all: he lived among us, died for us, rose again for the dead.  There are many times when we turn to God that we need to find Jesus.  We need the Jesus who experienced what we experience in our lives.  No one of us can say to Jesus “Lord, you don’t know what I am going through.”  Rather our prayer to the Lord Jesus can be “Lord, you know what I am going through – please help me.”

And, finally, as we consider the Trinity, I again revisit Pentecost. There are many times when we must find the Holy Spirit.  Each day of our lives the Holy Spirit comes to us to be our guide and support. 

At the Last Supper, Jesus tells the apostles that he will leave them and the Father will send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit. 

So, God presents a challenge for us. Do I believe in God? Do I recognize the Trinitarian God?  Do I realize how carefully God wants to come to us where we are and what we need?

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