Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - homily
“Did anything so great ever happen before?” This question from our first reading (Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 4) prompted another question for me last week: what are the greatest events in the history of the world? I challenge you to think of the five greatest events that have ever happened. I think we’d all agree as Catholic Christians that three of the major events of God would be in the top five: creation of the world, redemption of the world (life, death, and resurrection of Christ), and revelation of God which I’ll get to in a minute. Other events on our list might be major discoveries or inventions, major events in government, politics or movements where good won over evil, the birth of Joe Gibbs…! (or maybe just Super Bowl XVII when the Redskins beat the Dolphins). I challenge you to think about this and maybe even post your list of the five greatest events in the history of the world on our parish blog site this week.
The author of the Book of Deuteronomy rejoices in the revelation of God as being a great event. If we know the story, people waited hundreds if not thousands of years to know who God is. He then revealed himself: “I am the Lord, your God…and you will be my people”. He revealed himself to them as their God who will protect and guide them and keep them safe. It is a slow but gradual revelation in the Old Testament. One of the things that surprises people when they study the Old Testament is how loving and merciful God is. Time and again, God offers another chance to his people even though they continually sin against him. He reveals himself and his love and mercy; this revelation finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
We’ve all heard of stories of people who were separated from their parents at birth (e.g., adoption). When they grow up and learn that they were separated from their biological parents, they want to know who their parents are. When they find the truth, it is a great event. It may not be the happiest event because there might be bad feelings involving abandonment, but the truth brings them peace and healing. It is the same way with all of us. When we learn who God is, it is one of the greatest events in our lives! God is our Father and we are his children. The difference with us is that when we learn that God is a Father who never abandons us, it is all good.
If any of us or anyone we know doubts that God is loving and merciful, all we have to do is look at a Crucifix. God sends his Son into the world not only to reveal himself to us through words – that God is Father, Son, and Spirit – but also through action. He loves us so much that he is willing to die for our sins to be forgiven. The Father sends the Son into the world to reveal himself, and then sends the Spirit to bring us into relationship with himself. It is through the Spirit that we enter into relationship with the Holy Trinity and that God is revealed to us in love and mercy. There are some who are yearning for God to reveal himself to them. They have received the public revelation of God through Scripture and Tradition. But, they desire a personal revelation of his presence, love, and mercy. It is my great hope that the Spirit will grant their prayer and that they may experience a deep revelation of the presence of God in their lives.
Finally, we enter into relationship with the Holy Trinity through the sacraments, starting with Baptism. Christ makes this clear in today’s Gospel (Mt 28:16-20). He tells the Apostles to go out to all the nations and invite people into relationship with the Trinity by baptizing them “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. Every time I baptize a child or an adult, the Father, Son, and Spirit come to dwell in that person. The relationship begins there at Baptism and is nourished by the Eucharist. What a gift we have every time we come to Mass! We not only receive the revelation of who God is through the Word, but we also see God in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. Where there’s the Son, there’s the Father and Spirit. We will see God on this altar in a few minutes, and then receive Him We will come in union with Divine Love: truly it is Holy Communion. As a family, we come in union with the Holy Family of Love – a Communion of Love. It is the greatest event of our day, no matter what other great events happen today. It is the greatest event of our week. It is the greatest event of our lives.