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Fr. Tim’s Homily for Sunday, May 27, 2018

 

Sunday, May 27, 2018 

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY-B

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Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40

Romans 8: 14-17

Matthew 28: 16-20

 

There is a classic story about Saint Augustine who was strolling along the seashore, struggling to comprehend the mystery of the Trinity.  He encountered a youngster with a little pail.  The boy trekked back and forth, emptying bucket after bucket of ocean water into a hole in the sand.

When Augustine asked him what he was doing, the lad replied that he was putting the ocean into that hole. When Augustine told him that this was impossible, the boy responded that he would sooner empty the entire ocean into that hole than Augustine would completely understand the Trinity.

Bishop Fulton Sheen, years ago, delivered a lecture on the Trinity.  Afterwards a woman in the audience told him that she now totally understood the Trinity.  Bishop Sheen replied, “Madam if you think that you fully understand the doctrine of the Trinity now because of my talk, you didn’t understand a word I said this evening!”

Today throughout the world the Church celebrates Trinity Sunday – one God in three divine persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the Trinity is “the central mystery of our Christian faith and life” [#234].  We profess our belief in the Trinity when we make the Sign of the Cross.

From all eternity, without beginning or end, God the Father looks upon God the Son and loves Him.  God the Son looks upon God the Father and loves Him.  And their love is so intense, so dynamic, so personal that their love is Himself a person – God the Holy Spirit.

How do we know about this mystery of the Trinity? Only because Jesus revealed it to us. His last words to us before He ascended into heaven are found in today’s Gospel:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” [Matthew 28: 16-20].

We Christians are Trinitarians.  We were made in the image and likeness of God.  And so we are going to find evidence of the Trinity around us.  One place is in Christian marriage.

Christian marriage – the lifelong union of a man and a woman – is God’s idea and God’s gift to the human race.  Marriage is not simply a civil or political invention that can be re-designed or re-defined.

Christian marriage mirrors the life of the Trinity: a husband and a wife – two distinct human beings – love each other so intensely and so personally in the oneness of their marriage that their love itself may become a person – another distinct human being – in the conception of their child.  And all of this, of course, in cooperation with God.

God has chosen us, adopted us, to be His beloved sons and daughters.  “Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own,” [Psalm 33] was our Responsorial Psalm today after the first reading.

And as Saint Paul told us in today’s second reading:  “Brothers and sisters:  You received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”  [Romans 8: 14-17].

Why did the Lord choose us when there are so many other people He might have chosen?  Why did He choose the twelve apostles?  They all had their weaknesses, but He chose them.  For His own reasons, the Lord has chosen us to be His disciples.

I came across these thoughts about people that we read about in the Scriptures and maybe this reflection will be helpful to you:

There are many reasons why God shouldn’t choose you or me, but don’t worry:

Because Moses stuttered, and David’s armor didn’t fit.

John Mark was rejected by Paul, and Hosea’s wife – she was a prostitute.   And God chose them.

The prophet Amos’ only training was in the school of fig tree pruning. Solomon was too rich, Abraham was too old, David was too young.  Timothy had ulcers.

Peter was afraid of death, and Lazarus WAS dead.

John was self-righteous.  Naomi was a widow.  Paul was a murderer, and so was Moses.  And God chose them.

Jonah ran from God, and Miriam was a gossip.

Gideon and Thomas both doubted.   Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

Elijah was burned out, John the Baptist was a loudmouth, Martha was a worrywart, and Mary was lazy.  Samson had long hair.  And God chose them.

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?  So did Peter and Paul and a host of others.

God doesn’t require a job interview.  God doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses.  Because with God, He is more our Dad than He is our boss.

With all of our weaknesses, God the Father has chosen us.  We must know our weaknesses, and we must know our strengths.  It is important that we put them both in the hands of Jesus Christ and rely upon the grace of the Holy Spirit.

“Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own,” [Psalm 33].

“Brothers and sisters:  You received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”  [Romans 8: 14-17].

We profess our belief in the Trinity, “the central mystery of our Christian faith and life,” every time we make the Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.