Here is my homily for Trinity Sunday. God bless you!
May 29/30, 2021
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20
Trinity Sunday is often one of those Sundays some priests and deacons dread; by that I mean, dread to preach. It is a real challenge to speak on the tremendous mystery of the Holy Trinity: One God, yet three Divine Persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No matter what you say, it is never complete, nor does justice to the reality of the Triune God. It is a lot easier to preach on just the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit, individually rather than as the Triune God.
Great battles were fought among bishops in the first few centuries of the Church trying to understand the Trinity. Great Ecumenical Councils were called to resolve those disputes. In the end, it always came back to this: we don’t fully understand the mystery, but God has revealed to us throughout salvation history, that He is one God, has one divine nature, yet is three distinct Persons.
I… I can only reassert what I believe and the Church teaches: One God, three Persons having one divine nature, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Allow me to speak about another aspect of Trinity. This is also something we have a hard time understanding, yet is a very central Christian belief, and it is this: that we who are baptized are now actually living in the Trinity in a certain sense. I am sure you may be wondering what that means. Sounds rather heady, does it not? How does it apply to our lives in a practical way? How can we humans, we mere creatures, we who are so imperfect, live even now in the very life of the Triune God in heaven?
Saint Paul, Saint John, and even Jesus himself have clearly said that when the Son of God became man and died on the Cross as a man, when he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God, Jesus took us with him. He didn’t get rid of his humanity. It was not just the human Jesus who died, rose, ascended, and sits in glory, but we humans share in his death, resurrection, ascension and his glory. All of us who are baptized are in Jesus Christ. There is only one Body of Christ and we are members of that Body, because we are in Jesus, and Jesus is now with the Father, so we too are with the Father in and with Jesus. Those of you who are mothers may be able to understand this better than we men. I often have heard from women that the children they bore in their wombs really never leave them. There is a sense in the mother that her offspring are one body with her and like her, even though they are distinct persons. Where the mother is, there is her child who resembles her. Now, this is really not a good analogy but maybe it helps us understand a little bit. We even now in a certain sense are with God and are like Him. What do you suppose are the implications of this? The first is you are holy! God lives in you and you live in God. Can you imagine the dignity that is yours because of this? Is it any wonder why the Church so fiercely defends the dignity of every human life, born and unborn, young and old? Is it any wonder why the Church warns us about sin, warns us not to reject this gift of God, why she teaches us to stay away from things that would stain that dignity? We are like God, and share in his life. We are caught up in the Trinity.
Most of us go through life basically thinking we are very much separated from God, separated from heaven and holiness, and very much imperfect. Yes, it is true we sin. Too often we reject God. It is true that God is God and we are not. It is equally true that if we believe in the name of Jesus, that God became man, then we become like God in Jesus. This is why the Church declares that you are holy! That is why the Church proclaims to the world that every human life has incalculable dignity. This part of the Christian message is often neglected.
In our second reading today, Saint Paul reminds us that we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we now call God “Abba, Father” and that we are heirs of God in Christ, and we are glorified with Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that transforms us into the image of God, and brings us into the love of God. It is the Holy Spirit that lives within us and because of that, we can certainly say that the Holy Trinity lives within us for there is only one God, not three. The Holy Spirit and the Father, and the Son are one.
Remember, if you are baptized, you live in the Trinity, and the Trinity lives in you. You have a dignity that is so profound it cannot be measured. Your life is to be honored. It is a pure gift from God when He became man in Christ Jesus and sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within you. He remains in you because the Holy Spirit has been given to you. May we not reject this gift. God bless you!