Saturday, June 6, 2009

Holy Trinity Homily for June 7, 2009

Homily for Feast of the Holy Trinity

One is the loneliest number that you ever knew, two can be as bad as one its’ the loneliest number since the number one. This song is by Three Dog Night. So we’ve covered 1, 2 and 3. Of course this song is not really about lonely numbers, its’ all about relationships.

Let’s do some congregation participation: how many of us are in a relationship. Well, if you didn’t raise your hand, you may need to explain that to me. We’re all in relationships; husbands and wives, parents and children, aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors, coworkers, people of faith! And relationships are complicated.

Take the husband and wife who have been married many years. They truly love each other and have been through a lot. But recently they got into a fight. Soon, they realized it had been a few days since they spoke to each other. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence, the husband faced a dilemma. He needed to be up in the morning at 5 a.m. to catch an important flight for a business trip. But he does not want to be the first to talk. Oh the silly games we play. Then he thought, I’ll leave her a note by her pillow. It said, wake me up by 5 a.m. As morning dawned, he woke and noticed plenty of light. He was furious. It was 7:30 a.m. and way to late to make his flight. Now he was determined to speak to the Mrs. And there it was, just a few inches from his pillow: a note from his wife that said simply, its 5:00 a.m. you better get up or you’ll miss your flight. Like I said, relationships are complicated.

As people of faith how is our relationship with the Holy Trinity? Do you find it complicated? Do we rely on the Holy Trinity to help with all our relationships?

The Church gives us this great feast of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in this first week after Easter season. In our readings today, we hear of God the Father as the creator, the doer of mighty deeds. We understand that what God does, God is. We also hear of God the Son, whose identity we share, in his humanity and whose glory we can share if we dare to share in his mission and his suffering. And we hear too that we can share in this mission and be led to our glory by the Spirit of God. And through the Spirit, we become children of God.

God truly knows that relationships are complicated. Our most life-giving and joyful moments come from our relationships. And our most painful experiences in life come when relationships end or grow cold. How much of our time and energy is spent in developing and maintaining healthy relationships? How often do these efforts appear to fail? Yet all around us are examples of wonderful, loving, intimate relationships.

The greatest of these examples is the Most Holy Trinity; Father Son and Holy Spirit! Why? Because the Holy Trinity gives us the model of self-giving love! Ask yourself, how far, how deep, to what extent will God the Father go to reach out to us and love us and invite us into relationship. I can’t figure out a word to adequately describe how far or how deep or to what extent. How far will Jesus, the Son go to love us and save us and invite us into relationship? Look at the crucifix; that far! Adore the Eucharist and receive Him in Holy Communion; that far! No other words will do. How far does the Holy Spirit go to strengthen and sustain us and invite us into relationship? Reread last weeks Pentecost experience and know that we too can have the same experience of the upper room. That far!

Yet still we acknowledge that while the Holy Trinity is a very recognizable tenet of our Catholic faith, it is still the most misunderstood. We teach one God in three persons, we use a three leaf clover or a fleur-de-lis; all to help us relate. But we can recall the scene of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan and there it is in Scripture: Jesus coming from the water, the Spirit descending like a dove and the voice of the Father booming: you are my beloved Son in you I am well pleased. There it is: God in the Most Holy Trinity; in relationship.

So what do we do with our invitation to relationship with God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? Turn to today’s Gospel and follow Jesus’ command: go and make disciples of all nations. How can we do that? Start here at home, within our families and our parish family. Remember, it’s still all about relationships. Pray with the family, heal a relationship, volunteer for at least one parish ministry, return to confession, end your prayer time this week with the Glory Be to the Father and every time you make the sign of the cross; make the sign of the cross. Make it relationship.

Yes relationships are complicated. But we have the example of the one true God, in three persons, in relationship to show us the way. Let me ask again, who here is in a relationship? Now that’s better. One is the loneliest number that you ever knew? I don’t think so. When we focus on One God in Three Persons, it’s the only-est number.

Nothing complicated about it!!!

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