I remember many years ago hearing the story of an Irish sister, Sr Philomena (this time!) who had come to America in the early 20th century and was ministering out in the Boondocks teaching Sunday school. Trinity Sunday was approaching and suddenly she realized that her usual visual aid, the Irish shamrock, was nowhere to be found. What to do? How could she talk about the mystery of the three persons in one God of the Most Holy Trinity to the children? Living in the countryside, Sr Philomena and her other sisters kept chickens and that evening they had boiled eggs and bread for supper. As if a cartoon a light went, “ping”, above her head Sr Philomena knew what she could use…hard boiled eggs, they have the white, the yolk and the shell; the three making the one egg. So diligently in preparation for the Feast, Sr Philomena hard-boiled and cooled down half a dozen eggs.
When she had gathered the children she spoke beautifully about the wonder of God’s loving relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. She took a knife and carefully removed the shell of the first egg and said this is like the Holy Spirit binding the whole together, then she carefully cut the egg in two showing the yolk and white, the Father and Son. Ahh, the whole thing worked! So she had some of the older children cut up the other eggs. When the last egg was cut open, like all good plans of mice and men, something un-planned intervened….a double yoker! “Sister, who is this?” one of the kids asked. In a panic Sr Philomena improvised, “That is the Mother of God!”
This little story reminds two things we must recognize about the way we theologize especially about mystery. All our ways of talking and thinking about things, especially the mystery of God, are limited and secondly be careful not to improvise into the netherworld of heretical conjecture!
But really let us just bask today in the wonder and glory of the mystery of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whose mutual love for each other outpours as grace upon us and all of creation.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY
My all Dads and those who play that role, be blessed in this most profound call to raise children lovingly in the Faith and as good, well rounded persons and responsible citizens.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter