“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Last week I ended the Pentecost homily asking you two very straightforward questions:
1) How is your spiritual life?
2) How much time do you spend in prayer?
I pray that you reflected on these questions because as we seek to deepen our relationship with God on this Trinity Sunday, we have to get to know who God is. God is constantly seeking us out. In the first reading, Moses asks the Israelites, “What God has spoken to us or taken a people to himself?” His love for us transcends time and space as he intervenes in our history so that we might know how much he loves us. We are his chosen people, but we are chosen for something deeper: to enter into the mystery of God’s life which is the life of the Holy Trinity, a community of divine love. I’m going to let Pope Benedict XVI help me out the rest of the way as I share with you the words that he preached 6 years ago on the Trinity: (His words are in italics. My words are not.)
[The Trinity is] three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is wholly and only love, the purest, infinite and eternal love.
We know this from the scriptures particularly 1 John 4:8. The Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father. The communication or the relation of that love is the Holy Spirit which is poured out upon us.
He does not live in splendid solitude but rather is an inexhaustible source of life that is ceaselessly given and communicated.
Since God is love and love is not love unless it is given, this statement of the Holy Father makes perfect sense. This Divine Being of Love is constantly in a state of giving. First he gives us life in creation, then he gives us the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ, then he gives us the life-giving Spirit which is his presence with us always as we hear Jesus say at the end of today’s gospel. This love is constantly communicated to us in different ways as Jesus continues to give himself to us in the Eucharist. Now, Pope Benedict starts to get a little scientific to bring the point home:
To a certain extent we can perceive this by observing both the macro-universe: our earth, the planets, the stars, the galaxies; and the micro-universe: cells, atoms, elementary particles. The "name" of the Blessed Trinity is, in a certain sense, imprinted upon all things because all that exists, down to the last particle, is in relation; in this way we catch a glimpse of God as relationship and ultimately, Creator Love. All things derive from love, aspire to love and move impelled by love
God is a relationship. He is Creator Love. From the tiniest molecule to the biggest of stars, all bear the imprint of the loving hand of God. And then when he creates human beings, he creates us to love as he loves, to be drawn by love, to be affected by love, and to share this love with others.
The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: love alone makes us happy because we live in a relationship, and we live to love and to be loved. Borrowing an analogy from biology, we could say that imprinted upon his "genome", the human being bears a profound mark of the Trinity, of God as Love." (Angelus, June 7, 2009)
Whether we like it or not, whether we love Him or not, or whether we admit it or not, we do live in a relationship with God. Even if we reject him through sin or by choice, we are still relating to God because we, for whatever foolish reason, have rejected the love of Love Itself. Yet for those who accept this love and share this love, we nod our heads when we hear the Holy Father say that love alone makes us happy. This love comes from God. Even if it comes from another human being, that love is simply a reflection of God’s love for us. In married life, it is the love of God poured out into the hearts of husband and wife as they share this life sacramentally. We were created to love and we do indeed “live to love and to be loved.” That is why God does not live in solitude. He lives in a constant state of love: three Persons giving love, one God. And this love has been imprinted on our very souls as we are called to one day live in this relationship, this community of love. But as we wait here on earth to enter fully into this mystery of love that is the Holy Trinity, we as Catholics have unique and exclusive access to enter deeper into the life of the Trinity…
and I will what that is in next week’s homily…