MOST HOLY TRINITY – B Dt 4:32-34; 39-40; Psalm 33; Rom 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20 HOMILY – May 30, 2021 Rev. Father Gianni Passarella
The Most Holy Trinity is probably the most difficult topic to preach on. Sometimes priests try to give an accurate demonstration of the concept of the Trinity, often ending up with a super boring homily. In fact, we cannot explain a mystery. I mean, Trinity Sunday is not a celebration of an abstract theological construct or an opportunity for the preacher to invite the congregation to consider his or her doctoral thesis LOL I think Trinity Sunday is, fundamentally, about inviting all of us into the life of love of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. According to Saint Augustine, God is a Trinity of love and that means that God is the lover, the beloved and love itself at the same time. You see, it is all about relationship—an eternal relationship of love. This is the deep nature of God that we are called to contemplate today. My spiritual director used to tell that God is like a party of love, and the good news is that we are all invited into the party! Jesus—God the Son has opened the door, God the Father stands ready to embrace everyone, and God the Spirit is there to guide us, you and me. In the last of his inspiring reflections for the weekly Deep Dive (and you can always find them and read in our newsletter) Father Jim says that the Most Holy Trinity tells us that God is dynamic—in movement; that God is relational—in a relationship of love; that God is a mystery—and I’m quoting Father Jim here: “We don’t have the Trinity figured out because we can describe it. This is like confusing the meal and the menu. God is a mystery known through love. United in love, we encounter God, as we mirror the love of the Trinity. That is why God is found in the life of faith, the journey with others.”
Talking about the life of faith and our journey with others, let us remember that today’s Gospel passage reminds us Jesus’ command about “making disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching.” My question is: What does teach mean? When Jesus taught, he taught about the kingdom—where goodness prevails; where people treat one another with respect; where love defeats selfishness; where the hurt, needy, and neglected find comfort, care, and community; where brokenness gets restored; where God is honored; and ultimately, one day, where all things that are wrong with the world will be made right. But Jesus didn’t just talk about the kingdom; he began to show people what the kingdom looks like. Healing the sick, sharing love with everyone, giving sight to the blind—these were not just tricks to get people to listen to him; rather, they were early evidence that the kingdom of God was present and coming. Jesus’ way of teaching was both proclaiming and demonstrating what he was proclaiming. We find in Scripture that there were a lot of people who did not have much interest in Jesus’ teaching, and they were not persuaded by the things Jesus said. But these people were drawn to the beautiful things that he was doing, they knew that he was addressing real human need. In Jesus, they saw someone who deeply cared for their problems. In Jesus, they saw someone who was willing and able to help. I think in our day of skepticism—in a time when a lot of people talk a lot about a lot of things—it is more important than ever that we let our actions speak louder than our words. For example, when we do good, we are committed to share skills, responsibilities, time and every kind of support for our church, then we worship with faith in the Holy Spirit and we live united all together with love, we can really show people more about the kingdom of heaven and Holy Angels’ vision and mission than our words could ever say. Now let us be clear about this: we want everyone to hear and embrace the message of Jesus. We want people everywhere to hear the truth about their need for forgiveness and God’s offer of grace. But what we cannot do is demand a hearing. Jesus’ bold community grows when the parishioners find ways to serve to be an active part of the church and do good in the lives of the people around them. Just as people don’t need to know things about the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity (“the menu”, using Fr. Jim’s words) but to live inside the relationship of love that is called God (tasting “the real meal”), so people do not need teachers but real disciples who teach through their own simple, active life of faith. That kind of life of faith that I saw in your eyes, hugs and smiles last week during your Pentecost Mass when Holy Angels met for our first in person Mass in 16 months. That is why I asked Mike to broadcast some of the pictures of that moment right after my homily. You were showing not just your friendship, your commitment to our church, your faith and love. Together, you were showing Most Holy Trinity of God and the great party we are invited to enter. I believe that the kind of love you showed toward each other last week is what God is calling Holy Angels to show to, and share with, the rest of the world. Because that, my brothers and sister, is what “Trinity” is all about. And this, my brothers and sisters, is the Gospel of the Lord.