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The Most Holy Trinity, Year B – Homily

The Most Holy Trinity, Year B
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 (12b)
Romans 8:14-17
Matthew 28:16-20
May 27, 2018

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  It would be a wonderful time to fully explain the Trinity.  I can’t do that.  It’s not that’s it not allowed.  It’s a mystery.

When we use the word “mystery” to describe some aspect of our faith, it expresses that it is beyond our human comprehension but it is still real.

The Trinity is one of the most basic elements of our faith.  We use it at the beginning and end of our prayers when we make the Sign of the Cross and say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Doing so is not some human invention.  Jesus tells us to invoke the Trinity when he commands the disciples to “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.

Some people say we can know everything by science.  I disagree.  We don’t have to know everything as scientific fact to believe.  Even the early disciples who saw Jesus risen and worshipped him, still had some doubts.  They didn’t know what it mean that Jesus had risen but they did believe because they opened themselves to something more than human knowledge.

So, instead of trying to “explain” the Trinity, let’s shift and talk about what it means for us.  Today’s Prayer After Communion speaks of the Trinity as “undivided unity.”  Today’s Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one God, “a Trinity of one substance.”

This can prove difficult for us to understand.  Unity as described in the Trinity can seem impossible.  Division is more familiar to us.  We celebrate Memorial Day on Monday to honor those who have died while serving in our military.  They die because there is disunity in our world.

The disunity we see in wars or more simply in own families does not mean that there can’t be perfect unity in the Trinity.  We think based on human experience.  Unfortunately, sometimes we subconsciously think that God is just like us.  This would lead to think that since we don’t have perfect unity as human beings, it can’t be achieved.  This leads some to think the Trinity can’t be “undivided unity.”

We need to turn this around.  Instead of thinking God is like us, we need to make God our model and seek to become like him.  We are not God but we are created in God’s image and so are called to strive to be like him.

God is one, three person (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) each acting with one will, which is based on love.  It is about relationship.

Look at the terms we use in faith.  We call each other brothers and sisters.  We call the first two persons of the Trinity as Father and Son.  Paul speaks of us received “a Spirit of adoption.”  We are “children of God.”

These are all terms that speak of relationships.  The love God has for us begins our relationship with him.  Our love back to God shows that the relationship means something to us.  Our love for our neighbors speaks of our relationship to them.

Love draws us into relationship with God.

In love, God has always cared for his people.  The story of the Exodus from Egypt is the story of God’s love for his people.  Jesus shows us just how far his love for us goes when he lays down his life for us on the Cross.  Really, the whole Bible is the story of God’s love for his people, how God blesses “the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

One of the things that makes us difficult to image the “undivided unity” of the Trinity is all the disagreements we have.  It is a fact that there are people we don’t agree with.  It can start with our own families.  It’s no secret that parents and teenagers don’t always agree.  That doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.  Love is the very thing that keeps them together.  Brothers and sisters don’t always get along but they can still love one another.  In this way a family becomes a domestic church, where the love within the family serves as an image of God’s love.

What I just said I do in the context of “everyday” family life.  I admit that sometimes the situation is far worse involving perhaps abuse or theft on the level of mortal sin.  These things should never happen.  Forgiveness can seem difficult, especially when the sin is denied.  Such families can be broken but while it happens, it is never the ideal.  It is never what we are to seek.

The disunity and the brokenness we can see in the world today is real but it is not what we are created for.  What seems common in the world is not to be our model.  Our model is the love God shows to use.  Our model is the unity of the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three persons but one God.

 

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