Sunday, June 7, 2009

Holy Trinity One God

1. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. About 20 years ago, someone loaned me a book containing letters which Mozart the musician wrote. It was interesting to me, because the letters were written in the same style as his music. They revealed the personality of the famous music Composer just like his music even though they were not poetic or musical in any way. In fact, they revealed Mozart in a new way which I was not used to experiencing. As Catholics we believe that God reveals Himself through His creation. Everything which we learn about the universe can tell us something about God, if we pay attention. For example, we can know that God exists through the use of our natural powers of intellect. A person generally does not have to be taught that God exists. The other day I heard that there are about 30 arguments for the existence of God (for example, things do not just pop into existence and there certainly seems to be some order to the universe). But there is only one argument for the non-existence of God (that is the problem of why evil exists).
2. Although the existence of God and certain aspects of the moral life are things which we can figure out on our own with our God given brains, other facets of our Christian faith must be revealed to us. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is an example. Another example is the Holy Trinity. We believe that there is one God, in Three Persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is revealed to us, we did not arrive at it using basic human intelligence.
3. The Holy Trinity is explicitly mentioned in the Bible in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus said 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 (Matthew 28:19). But how do we explain it? It is one thing to know that God is Trinity, and another matter to understand it. To be truthful, it is a mysterious fact. In the seminary we took a class for a whole semester studying the Trinity, and at the end, it was still mysterious. But there are various ways of explaining it. For example, Saint Augustine wrote that since God is love, one could say that God the Father is the Lover, and God the Son is the Beloved, and God the Holy Spirit is the Love which exists between them. After all, the Perfect Lover must have someone to love (otherwise it is just self-love, which is not perfect). And love must be reciprocal in order to truly exist (if love is not shared and returned, it is also imperfect). Perfect love between two persons becomes so powerful it is another person. Look at human love, imperfect as it is. When shared completely and returned completely, it can result in another human being.
4. Even if this explanation is unconvincing or lacks something, God is still a Trinity Persons in a Unity of Divinity. Pope John Paul II has said that in His essence, God is a community. And that communion which is interior to God is part of the image and likeness which we as humans were made to be. We are connected to others even though we may not feel like it. We are not islands or solitary beings. We are called to relate to others in the human race. In fact it is a command of Jesus Christ. He said Love one another as I have loved you... Live on in my love.
5. Although God is perfect for all ages upon ages, in His love He created us. Part of God’s plan is to make us His children- that is to unite each of us with Himself so profoundly that we begin to share His divine nature. It does not mean that we each will become the supreme being. It means that we are destined for life without end in the Home of our Father in heaven.
6. A professor told us that our homilies should include something that each listener should do. Maybe what we ought to do then is strive to live this week as if we were part of the Holy Trinity- to love others with the Love that exists between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Or maybe we can recall frequently that God the Father has chosen us to be His beloved children. That recollection may go a long way to strengthening us against envy or jealousy or an inordinate attachment to the things of the world. After all, we will be in the home of the Father for a lot longer than we will be here.

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