Trinity Sunday – Sister Mary Ann Cook, SNDdeN

Jun 8, 2022 | Gospel Reflections

June 12, 2022

John 16: 12-15

Today’s Liturgy of the Word invites us to reflect on the three-ness and one-ness of God. Sounds too abstract? Give today’s Liturgy of the Word a chance to surprise you!

The first reading, from Proverbs, is sheer poetry that personifies (rather than conceptualizing) divine wisdom. Lady Wisdom invites us to witness God’s creation of the whole earth through her eyes. She was already there, she boldly claims, before the curtain went up: “at the first, before the earth,” when as yet there were “no fountains or springs of water,” and “before the hills” and “fields” and “first clods of the world” were made. She “stood beside” the Lord as his “craftsman ” she explains, as he “established the heavens”, “fixed fast the foundations of the earth,” and “set” the sea’s boundaries lest its waters “transgress his command.” Through it all, she asserts: “I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth, and I found delight in the human race. (Proverbs 8: 22-31; italics mine) What Proverbs 8 tries to capture in the poetry of Lady Wisdom, John raises to Christological and Trinitarian significance in the Prologue to the fourth gospel:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race . . . . And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us . . . . (John 1: 1-5, 14)

Today’s Gospel, taken from the Last Supper discourse in John, has Jesus telling the disciples they have yet to learn “much more” “but you cannot bear it now.” Seeing their sorrow at the prospect of his leaving, Jesus promises to send them another Advocate, the “Spirit of truth” who will guide them to “all truth” and declare to them “the things that are coming.” And that Advocate, that Spirit, Jesus says, “will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you”:

For everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that [the Spirit] will take from what is mine [and the Father’s as well] and declare it to you. (John 16: 12-15)

Rather than resorting to abstract philosophical categories, today’s Liturgy of the Word draws us into the living presence of a triune God who delights in creating beauty, life and order; a God whose “craftsman” (divine Wisdom), having “found delight in the human race,” became flesh and dwelt among us.

Today’s readings also call us to find delight in our communion with such a God: As the second reading (Romans 5: 1-5) asserts, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” In other words, as Rublev’s icon suggests, there is a place for us at the table of our infinitely hospitable, triune God!

On this particular Trinity Sunday in the Year of Our Lord 2022, moreover, we have good reason to give special thanks: Our God of generative, life-giving power, creative wisdom, and all-embracing love is indeed good to have fashioned us in his own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), as persons in communion, enriched by one another’s multi-faceted diversity and interdependence. Pope Francis is inviting us to practice this being-in-communion with one another by participating in a world-wide, two-year synodal process—“walking” together along the Way marked out for us by Christ. Participating will require patient listening to, and respectful dialogue with. our sisters and brothers – especially those who are marginalized, for whatever reason. They may live right next door, down the street, on the other side of town, or across the world. Whoever and wherever they are; whatever their race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, lifestyle, or capacity: they and we are, in the words of Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti, sisters and brothers all. What are their/our joys, sorrows, hopes, anxieties, ideologies, differences, commonalities? How is the Spirit speaking to us through one another? What is God asking us to become /do in our world today?

May the power of the Father govern and protect us, / The wisdom of the Son teach and enlighten us, / The love of the Holy Spirit renew and quicken us. / May the blessing of the All-Holy Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit – be with us now and forever. Amen!


John 16: 12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Gospel of the Lord.



Meet Sister Mary Ann Cook, SNDdeN

Sister Mary Ann Cook entered Notre Dame in 1954, at Ilchester, Maryland. Her ministries include a brief stint in parochial-school teaching before she was missioned to the English Department at Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University). Exploring major works of Western literature with undergraduates left her with a particular love for poetry and drama. Serving as Trinity’s Academic Dean taught her the value of interdisciplinary learning, and engendered strong interest in curriculum- development and organizational planning. In 1978, , she began working in an innovative post-conciliar adult faith-formation program called Education for Parish Service (EPS), designed to equip lay Catholics for fuller participation in the Church’s life and mission. Its eight substantive foundational courses in theology, scripture and evangelization carried CEUs, and were taught by faculty from nearby universities. EPS grew into a network of eight programs serving five U.S. dioceses and the Vicariate of Rome. Over time, its design was picked up by independent affiliates in London, North Dakota, California and Wisconsin. Over its 33-year life cycle, Sister Mary Ann served as a facilitator, lecturer, academic-program director and, eventually, chief executive officer. She counts her EPS experience as a major influence on her own faith development, her work with Associates of Notre Dame and her appreciation of the church’s rich diversity. Sister Mary Ann’s formal ministries and SND community responsibilities included “working visits” to England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Italy and the Holy Land, as well as opportunities to participate in international meetings of SNDs from across the world . Now a retiree at Mount Notre Dame in Cincinnati (OH), she is exploring ways of drawing “new treasures as well as old” from her storehouse in service of others (Mt 13: 52). God is indeed good!