June 12, 2022
by Beth Samson
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Lectionary: 166

Proverbs 8:22-31
Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

Praying Ordinary Time

Pope Francis on Trinity Sunday, 2021

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

How do I prepare for Mass on Sunday?

From May 22 through June 4, 2022, I was walking in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Spain with 20 college students and 5 other colleagues from Jesuit universities in the USA Midwest province. We walked over 120 miles in 2 weeks – up mountains, into valleys, across wheatfields, into countless Catholic churches and birthplaces of saints like St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Peter Claver.

As I continue to process this incredible experience, I find great resonance with the second reading today:
“…and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint…”

I can tell you from the blisters still on my feet, the healing sun rash, and the experiences of mental low points, that the afflictions are real. As each of you knows in your own, painful ways. So, I am struck by the call from Paul to boast in them. Maybe lament or complain or grumble about them, sure. But to boast?!

But what comes after this in the reading, I watched unfold before me in the college students, and know from my own life experience. Affliction leads to endurance, character, and HOPE and it is in hope that we rely, rooted in God’s great love for each of us.

I firmly believe that our God does not want us to suffer, and yet, by our free will, by our very being human, suffering may and does happen. And where is God in all of it? Right there beside us. I watched God do this through students as they walked hand in hand, offered encouraging and compassionate words, kept each other going step by step. I witnessed God show up for each of them in the big life questions, in the little moments of joy and laughter, in their resilience and fortitude.

The message of our faith is wrapped up in this short reading – hope and love win, given to us by the Trinity – in the love of God, the life of Jesus, and the breath of the Holy Spirit.

So, let us pray.

Triune God, we come to you today with our afflictions. Naming the heaviness we hold and bear, asking in big and little ways for relief in the ways we need. May we always know your presence amid these afflictions, trusting you are with us even we cannot feel that you are. And may we always remember that hope, rooted in your love, is the foundation of our life in you. Amen.


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