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7801 Bay Branch Drive
The Woodlands, TX

Class Two

 

Class Two 

To complete the homework please read the lesson and fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

 

1.       The teaching of the Trinity tells us who God is at His very core. First, we need to understand that God didn't reveal Himself right off-the-bat as Trinity: He waited until Christ came before He did so. That doesn't mean that He wasn't Trinity before Christ came, but that He didn't show us that He was Trinity. Why would God wait to reveal Himself as such? God waited to reveal Himself as Trinity to us because we were not ready for it. God was preparing the people of Israel for their saving mission, and only when Christ came was that mission fulfilled. Christ redeemed us on the Cross, then gave us the Spirit at Pentecost to make us holy, into God's Children.

2.       Let's stop for a second to examine what we're saying. God is one there is only one God. There are not three Gods, nor does God have a personality problem. There is one God, made up of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are all God, and they are so united that they are literally one God, and yet, each of them are distinct from each other. Why is God one, yet three distinct persons? God, in His essence, is a family of love. The love between Father, Son and Spirit is so strong that it actually makes them one. Think of the analogy God placed to this on earth with a human family. The family is one, but the love between the separate persons of husband and wife is so strong that it actually takes the form of a person, a child. Three persons, one family, bound together in love. The bottom line with God is that He is a family, He is a community, not a being that is hiding by Himself, but One who is ever-present to us, wanting to always reach out in love. God has always existed, He is all powerful, all knowing, all present, and most importantly, He is all loving. Everything comes from the Trinity as the source of life, and everything is going to the Trinity as the end of everything. The Trinity being three persons teaches us that love is other-oriented.

3.       There is no way we could know God is Trinity if He didn't reveal Himself as such through Christ. We can, without God's help, know that God does exist, but we would know very little about Him. The Trinity is a ‘mystery’ not in the sense that we can't intellectually understand Him, but in the sense that we can't understand Him without His help. The way we practice and live our faith is to be a reflection of the eternal and unconditional love of the Trinity. If you can understand that family and community are at the heart of what we do, then you will understand the basis for all of the Church's teachings on who we are as humans (children of God), on the hierarchy of the Church (brothers and sisters in Christ), on the sacraments (that bring us into God's family), on the nature of the human family unit (a model of the Trinity): In short, understanding the Trinity as family explains everything we do as Catholics.

4.       The first person in the Trinity is God the Father. 'God as loving Father' is the most basic description of Who God is, more basic than calling God 'Creator', or 'Savior', or 'Judge'. 'Father' shows us Who God is, whereas the other titles show us what God has done. This is key, because most of us want to be loved for who we are, not what we have done. This is true with God. Therefore, our first response to God is one of praising God just for Who He is, not for what He has done (which is called 'thanksgiving'). This may not be something we do in our daily lives, but it is the first step in our spiritual lives (Psalm 9:2-3).

5.       We have let many things get in the way of trusting our loving, heavenly Father. Perhaps we try to depersonalize God (How can we call God 'He'?), or perhaps we try to call God a different name than ‘Father’ (How can we call God 'Father' and not 'Mother'?), even though He Himself gave us that name. Some of us are afraid to move forward because we have been let down so many times by others. Scripture says that God is love. We must learn how to get rid of anything that separates us from the love of God (1 John 4:7-8). Many of us have had bad relationships with our dads. Some of us have been hurt by our fathers and left with a deep wound. While God doesn't want that to happen, He wants us to realize that all of our dads our imperfect. Our call is to move towards our heavenly Father and realize that He is perfect, that He loves us perfectly, without condition. He will do everything, even offer His Son's life, to show us that He will not hold back anything for our good and our love. (Romans 8:31-39)

6.       God the Father calls you by name to life a life of holiness. He calls you because He is madly in love with you and wants the best for you. His love for you will never fade away. It is the love that created the universe and the love that gave you life (John 10:2-3).

7.       So many people struggle with the existence of evil in the world, and they often blame God for it: How could a loving God allow evil to exist? Evil was not brought into the world by God, nor did God create evil. Mankind has free will, and mankind freely chose sin. Sin entered the world through Satan, who tempted Adam and Eve. Sin caused a separation in the family of God. This first sin, and our condition of being separated from God's family, is called Original Sin. Original Sin has passed through generations, with the bottom-line that we are separated from God (Romans 5:12, 19).

8.       Think of Original Sin as a divorce. Like a divorce in a family, sin has separated the entire human family of God. Through Original Sin, death and suffering entered the world (Genesis 3:14-19; Romans 6:23). God did not originally make us separate from Him, but our choices drove us away from Him. Although you and I didn't commit the first sin, each one of us has sinned (further proof of the existence of Original Sin). Each one of us finds a certain attraction to sin. This attraction is called concupiscence (Romans 7: 19-23).

9.       Of all the things that can hurt us, only one thing has eternal consequences: Sin. Sin is the only thing that can separate us eternally from God. If you believe this, then you can see that sin is the greatest difficulty in the world with which we have to deal. Sin is our responsibility, both individually and as a human family. Our evil and the evil in the world points to a need for our personal salvation. Evil is not a proof for atheism (some say, 'how could a loving God allow evil to exist,'), but is rather a chance for God to show His healing, forgiveness, love and mercy. We must admit our sin before God and admit our need for Him. We are powerless to overcome sin without Him. We can only overcome sin by submitting ourselves to His plan of salvation (Colossians 3:12).

 
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