Sunday, June 03, 2007

Most Holy Trinity Sunday - homily

A mother was talking with her three-year-old son about God one day. The little boy said, “oh, you mean, Harold”. “No, son, we’re talking about God”, she said. “Yeah, Harold”, the boy responded. “Why do you call God ‘Harold’?”, she asked puzzily. “Mommy, we all do. ‘Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be thy name”…! Ok, so that one looked good on paper, at least.

Who is God? This is a question that has been on our minds and hearts ever since we’ve existed as a race. And, for thousands of years, we didn’t know who God is. God remained invisible and silent for so long. We see in the Old Testament that God begins to slowly reveal to us who He is. And, then, of course, with Jesus, God reveals Himself fully to us. Christ reveals that God is Father, Son, and Spirit. Three persons, one God. It is a great mystery, of course – one which we cannot grasp fully. We can’t understand how this is true but we believe that it is true. We’ll profess who God is in a few minutes in the Creed, and hopefully ponder the amazing words we say.

God is Father. God is a loving Father…he loves us. He loves us unconditionally. He loves us for who we are. He sees us as very good; He created us that way. He is always there for us, and will never leave us. He always keeps his promises to us. He is our Father who loves us, and we are His children.

The Father loves us so much that He sent His only Son to us: God’s Son comes down to Earth! What was the whole reason of Christ’s mission? To reveal the Father and the Father’s love. The Father and the Son are one. As Christ says in today’s Gospel, “everything the Father has is mine”. The Son has the Father’s love and brings it to us so that we may share in it. The Son is the Father’s love in the flesh…the Father’s love Incarnate. The Son is the Father’s love personified; when we see the Son, we see the love of the Father.

The Son reveals the infinite love the Father has for us. He tells stories about the Father’s love. He says that even if we leave the Father’s love by squandering His inheritance on a life of dissipation, as soon as we turn back toward the Father, He will embrace us with His love. The Son not only teaches us about the Father’s love, he shows us the Father’s love on the Cross. The Cross is the greatest sign of God’s love in the world.

The Son sends his Spirit to us so that we may receive the Father’s love in a real way. We may have a hard time picturing or imagining the Holy Spirit. The best analogy I’ve ever heard about the Holy Spirit has to do with coffee. Imagine a coffee cup overflowing with coffee. This is the love between the Father and the Son. They have infinite love for one another that overflows and generates a third divine person, the Holy Spirit. It’s like a husband and wife whose love overflows and creates a third person, a baby. The baby is then the love between his father and mother. So, too, the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son.

When we receive the Spirit, then, we receive the love of the Father and the Son. This happens in very real ways – first at Baptism, then the Eucharist, Confirmation, and all the sacraments. Even if we leave the Father’s love, we can receive it in the Spirit through Confession. The Father invites us to a relationship with Himself, and gives us the Spirit to receive His love. A life in the Spirit is a life in the Father’s love.

Whenever we come to Mass, we see the Trinitarian life at work. The whole Mass is a prayer to the Father through the Son and in the Spirit. The Eucharist is a sacrifice offered to the Father through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we leave this place, we are to live our lives in the Trinitarian formula. Having received the Father’s love, we offer it back to Him through the Son and in the Spirit.

May each one of us know the love of our Heavenly Father. May we live in His love…bask in His love…be soaked in His love. May we offer our love back to Him through the Son and in the Spirit.

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