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A Glass and a Lake | Gospel of May 26

By 22 May, 2024No Comments
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Gospel according to Saint Matthew 28,16-20:

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

A Glass and a Lake

Luis CASASUS President of the Idente Missionaries

Rome, May 26, 2024 | The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Dt 4: 32-34.39-40; Rom 8: 14-17; Mt 28: 16-20

The genius of St. Thomas Aquinas led him to reflect on the Holy Trinity; what it was like “inside” and how it manifested itself to human beings. Interestingly, he was concerned with understanding what it meant that we were created in the image and likeness of God.

Thus it began to become clear that the important thing is not to have a logical explanation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, but to be aware of how we are in His image, no matter how unfaithful we have been to this reality. Not meditating, not contemplating this fact, leads us to an incomplete life, in which the fruits that God and our neighbor expect from us are lacking and we are left with a sad look at the difficulties and hardships of life.

I would like to illustrate this with one of those stories of oriental flavor, whose spiritual stories have an intuition of what Christ has clearly revealed to us.

An elderly spiritual master got tired of his apprentice complaining all the time, so one morning he sent him out to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the grieving young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and drink it.

How does it taste? asked the master.

Bitter, the young man replied.

The master smiled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and pour it into a lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice shook his handful of salt into the water, the old man said, now drink from the lake.

As the young man finished drinking, the master asked: How does it taste?

Much fresher; the apprentice observed.

Can you taste the salt? asked the master.

No, replied the young man.

At this, the master sat down next to the young man who reminded him so much of himself and said: The pain and difficulties of life are pure salt, no more and no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the vessel in which we put the pain. So when you feel pain, the only thing you can do is expand your sense of all things…. Stop being a vessel. Become a lake.

Certainly, the lake has its shores, but it is not the most important thing, contrary to what happens with the glass walls. Perhaps we could interpret this suggestive story thinking that this lake is our soul.

Yes, our soul is a lake, resting in that bowl formed by the hands of the Father. We have creativity, initiatives and an inner freedom, but we have not “invented” ourselves, we cannot even know ourselves well. We forget that God the Father has a plan for each one of us, which no setback or unfaithfulness on our part can thwart. This is what the First Reading reminds us today, with the stern and imposing tone of the Old Testament. With the Word of Jesus and his testimony, today we understand even better that the Father’s mercy is manifested in that he continues to call us after every denial on our part, after every clumsiness or insensitive action. We are certain of this because we feel that nothing else can restrain our life, our small acts of love and our little faith.

The waters that arrive and depart from the lake are the Holy Spirit, who fills us, as the traditional prayer says: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, enkindle in them the fire of your love, and at the same time push us to share with our neighbor thirsty for God all that we receive in prayer. When we are aware that ALL that we have is received, in a thousand ways, from many rivers and streams, then our lamentations about the shortcomings of others, the lack of time or our own (and undoubted) mediocrity cease. We receive life, faith, strength, but also the confidence of a God who expects us to bear witness in the most difficult and unexpected situations.

Finally, Christ is the sun, the light that illuminates the waters, showing us the way to follow, especially with the authority of his example.

Many of us are, or behave, like the vessel, in which we are dominated by limits that do not even let us imagine that we are the dwelling place of the Trinity and yet we contemplate our life as if it were simply an endless succession of problems to be solved.

What interests us about the Most Holy Trinity is not simply that it exists, nor that we understand it, but that it is within us and at the same time at our side, as we say of a friend.

In fact, in the First Reading, Moses demands the obedience of the people to God only because this God made contact with them in an intense way.  The Lord acted in their lives and in their history, delivering them from their enemies, especially from slavery.  Indeed, they had heard the voice of God, they had seen him in nature, thunder, lightning, a pillar of fire and clouds. They witnessed God’s power over nature in the Ten Plagues and in their struggle against the Egyptians and their enemies on their march to the Promised Land.

Our case is no different. We are to contemplate that we have a personal relationship, with Three Persons manifesting themselves to us.


The apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium represents Pope Francis’ emphasis on our divine call to live in community with others, a much-needed message in an age when so many are drawn to what has been described as the interactive solitude of virtual communities. The fact that we are created in the image of the Trinity -perfect divine communion- reminds us all that we are meant to live in communion with others, that no one walks or is saved alone, that in heaven souls we have loved and others we do not suspect await and welcome us. Francis reminds us of this.

The celebration of the Eucharist begins with a greeting of welcome: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Some people ask why these words, which seem too formal for what we think of as a fraternal gathering. But the Holy Mass is still more than that. It is an invitation from the Blessed Trinity for us to enter into the intimacy of his love. That is the tone of the Second Reading, where St. Paul reminds us that we have not received a spirit of slavery and fear, but the filial character, and he proclaims this in a few lines, mentioning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was clear to St. Paul, a true intellectual of his time, that the Most Holy Trinity is not merely a matter of academic reflection, nor is it just any devotion.

Let us think about the meaning of the simple gesture of the cross that we make in that condensed prayer, when we make the sign of the cross.

We touch our foreheads for the Father, the one who created us. This is where we begin, in the mind of God, the Creator of our world. That finger on the forehead is a reminder not only of a Creator, but of a God so totally in love with us that he sent his only Son to draw us back into his presence. It is the same Father we mention as our Father who art in heaven.

We touch our hearts for the Son, the one whose unceasing love led him to the cross, and the one who taught us, too, to love through his own Sacred Heart. He gave the definitive and agonizing proof of His love for us on the cross.

Our shoulders are touched by the Holy Spirit: the one who gives us strength, on whose shoulders we are carried, and who enables us to be the arms of God, working on earth. With the Holy Spirit around, no one is ever alone. God, through the Holy Spirit, is always with us. What we embrace in blessing, the Holy Spirit strengthens in life so that we can better carry our burdens and responsibilities.

Jesus explained to Nicodemus: God so loved the world that he gave his only son (Jn 3: 16-18). Theologians have called this declaration of love a “gospel in miniature,” because it speaks in a few words of the immeasurable dimensions of God’s saving love.

The martyred saint Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, suggested that, if this brief text represents the Gospel, then Christ is the voice that continues to explain to us that God is love, that God is power, and that God’s spirit is upon Jesus and he is the divine Word, the presence of God among us. Today’s Gospel also affirms that God’s motivation for wanting to engage with humanity is love, inexplicable, immeasurable, undeserved. This same quality of love is characteristic of all God’s proposals to us.

For example, when God chose Israel to be an integral part of the divine plan, the reason given by the author of Deuteronomy was love: If God set his heart on you and chose you, it was not because you were greater than any other nation; you were the least of all peoples! It was out of love for you (Deut. 7: 7-8). It was this love that became flesh in Jesus and dwelt among us.

As we continued the Eucharistic celebration, we heard the expression the communion of the Holy Spirit, used by St. Paul, which reminds us of the intimate relationship that each of us has with the Holy Spirit. The Risen Christ pours out his Holy Spirit upon each of us. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we can call Jesus “Lord” (1 Cor 12: 4); and, it is in the power of the Holy Spirit that we call God “Father” (Gal 4: 6).

This wonderful fact explains why the French poet Paul Claudel (1868-1955) stated that we must teach that our only obligation in the world is to be joyful. For those who are in relationship with God and have an intimacy with Him, their only task is to be joyful.

Our Father and Founder, in Dialogue with Three Voices, prays to God that we may live in this mystical joy, which the world does not give: I ask God that the members of the Institution may be characterized by joy, a joy in all things that is not like the passing joys of this world. I want them to grow with this mystical joy to such an extent that they see the earth from heaven and not heaven from earth.


In the Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,