A Cycle – Feast of the Holy Trinity 20
EX. 34: 4b-6, 8-9
One of the hardest dogma’s we attempt to explain is how three individual persons can be proclaimed as one God. In past homilies, I have detailed the many ways priest, deacons, theologians, and catechist have used images to help us grasp how three can be separate and yet one Triune Godhead. I have no great insights to help you grasp this so I will rely on a scripture to do something else entirely. The fact we have three persons who each have the capacity to love us into being is important to us. We accept the fact that God is love. We accept the fact love needs and seeks someone to love. Therefore, it makes sense to us that there had to be others with God for him to love.
In the Gloria, we proclaim as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Think about those words for a minute because in them we are stating a profound truth. We are saying God, Jesus and the Spirit always were and always shall be. God did not create Jesus or the Spirit, but they were always with God in a loving relationship of mutual love. If we look at the interaction of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit in the scriptures we will better understand ourselves because we were created to be loved and to love God in return.
The scriptures tell us all things were made in Jesus and through Jesus. We know from the scriptures the wind of God, (the Ruah of God, the Holy Spirit) hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation. We know from the scriptures that Jesus said he would send the Spirit to be with us always. We know from the scriptures God promised to send us Jesus as our redeemer, to cleanse us from the guilt of our sins. We know from scriptures God promised to send us the Holy Spirit so we would know Him and feel His love. Every action of Jesus and the Spirit is directed to bring us into an intimate relationship with God.
Each person of the Trinity is constantly trying to break through our defensive veneer of righteousness to enter our hearts and to open us up to be loved into wholeness. We do not dispute the three persons of Father, Son and Spirit but we do not allow who they are to show us God’s love. We were created in the image and likeness of God. That truth is easy to say but until and unless we begin to reflect on why that is critical for us to grasp, we will never understand ourselves. This means we need the community of faith, just as God needed the community of the Trinity.
We were never created to be in a relationship existing of God and me. We were created to be part of a community of love, just as the Father, the Son and the Spirit are a community of love. We are destined to be part of that unity, to fully experience all they have to offer us as sons and daughters.
The simple truth is we cannot be fully who God created us to be if we do not open ourselves to the desire of God to pour His love into our hearts. Once that happens, we are then able to extend that love to others. This is why opening ourselves up to the action of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to change us is critical for us to understand who we are and who God is. We are called to be a part of the family of God.
Once you allow yourself to love, you lean to give not take, you learn to yield not push, and you learn to love means to die to self. We begin to learn these lessons in marriage, in bringing children into the world and sacrificing for their benefit. The family unit was given to us by God because it is the image of the triune God. Each one giving to the other constantly for the good of the body.
Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. Jesus said, you see me you see the Father. Jesus said, the Spirit will glorify Him and will speak only what he hears from Jesus. When one person of the Trinity speaks, all know what is said. When one person of the Trinity listens, all persons hear. The Father, Son and Spirit are constantly at work within us to transform us, so we reflect the glory of God. Who do those closest to us see when they see us? Do we reflect God’s love, his mercy, his forgiveness, his patience or do we reflect the self-serving nature society proclaims we must have to truly live?
Jesus died to give us a new self, a redeemed self and his death and resurrection brought us into the family of God. The Spirit comes to us daily to open our eyes and hearts to experience deep within our very core the immense love God has for us and the wealth of his glorious heritage we share with the saints. The Spirit also comes to us to guide us to holiness, to open our minds to grasp the reality of the one thing God desires most for us to comprehend.
We so not have to understand the Trinity to understand what God desires for us. Paul the apostle put it into words much better than I or anyone could ever express when he wrote these words to the Church at Ephesus.
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. That he would grant you, according to His glory, to be strengthened with power through the Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breath and the length and the height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God (Eph. 3: 13 – 19).
We need a triune approach to our faith. We need to allow the Fathers arms to enfold us as it did the prodigal. We must allow Jesus to free us from our sins and show us the Father and we must allow the Spirit to have total access to our minds and hearts to change us. We need to invite the Spirit to open our eyes to the power of God’s grace. It is then and only then that we will be able to comprehend the marvels of being a son and daughter of God, a member of the Body of Christ.