To listen to today’s homily, select the audio file below:
Last week we concluded the Easter season with the Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, an appropriate conclusion to the liturgical time when God reveals himself as Father who created the world, as Son born of Mary, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, died and rose again, and as Holy Spirit come to complete the work of God among us. In the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, we recall God’s revelation of himself–who he is– a “wondrous mystery” beyond our knowledge and expectation.
Remember where belief in the Trinity comes from. It’s not made up by human being like ourselves; it’s not something arrived at by human speculation or human reason. Belief in the Trinity comes from God, who reveals himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Our first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy recalls the beginning of that revelation in God’s revelation of himself to the Jews. God announces he is not only the Creator of all things, someone distant and unknowable. He draws near and wants to be known. He enters into human history to become intimately involved in the lives and destiny of his people. “I’m your provider, caregiver, father, mother, one who loves you as my own children,” God says. “I walk with you in your life and your trials, I argue with you when you question me, I forgive you when you sin, I promise you a kingdom.”
Read the psalms. You can hear the tender, intimate voice of God speaking to his people and revealing himself to them.
In the next step of revelation, God reveals himself in Jesus Christ. “This is my beloved Son,” God says at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. “My Father and I are one,” Jesus says in the gospels. In Jesus God takes a human face, a human mind, a human heart, a human history. He speaks to us in human words and actions, in cries and tears and sufferings and death and a profound love. In Jesus’ resurrection God shows us the path to life. We have the promise of eternal life in him.
The final revelation God makes is when he sends us the Holy Spirit. Jesus says the Spirit will teach us all truth. He will abide with us and gather all peoples from the ends of the earth to form one family of God. The Spirit will recreate the earth.
Sometimes you hear people say that belief in the Trinity is not important. The Moslem world, for instance, holds that God is One, only One. Others say that this belief is too much to understand.
Our belief in the Trinity is important. Why? Because God reveals himself to us this way. We may not understand it fully, but that’s because minds are limited and God is beyond what we can know.
This belief is not something we thought up; it’s God telling us who he is.
Yes, God is unknowable, but he calls us to know him. Yes, are words are inadequate, and yet we can put our belief in simple words and gestures. We can listen to God revealing himself in the scriptures and are blessed by God through this belief.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”