YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
HOMILY THEME: GOD IS TRINITY; GOD IS LOVE, GOD IS FAMILY.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
What comes to your mind immediately you hear the word “God”? For most people, their image of God is that which we all formed as little kids; an image of a white old man with long white beards who does nothing other than sitting on a golden throne with Angels surrounding him. If you are one of such persons with this one- sided image of God, then today’s liturgy is for you.
Dear friends, to think of God as an old man with long white bears is to completely misunderstand God. In fact, God is not simply one person (an old man), God is three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To think of God as an old man is to assume that Jesus Christ is somewhat less than God whereas both God the Father and God the Son are one and the same. Again, to think of God as an old man is to assume God is far away in heaven when in fact, God is right here, right now as Holy Spirit.
As much as we cannot completely dismiss our childhood images of God, our liturgy today brings to fore the fact that God is much more than what we can imagine or comprehend. God is in heaven but at the same time, he is not confined to any one place at any time. Speaking to the Israelites, Moses in today’s first reading says: “Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire? … Know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth beneath; there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:33-39.
God is both in heaven and on earth at the same time. The same one God created the world and all that is in it as Father and at the same time, came to be born as a man; Jesus Christ, and at the same time, descended from heaven upon the disciples gathered in worship on Pentecost Day. God is a mover, He moved at creation as Father, He moved on earth to save mankind as Son and He continues to move amongst us today as Spirit yet God is not separated but totally united and indivisible.
Wherever God is, the three persons are present and when any of the three acts, the other two are part of the action. Hence, at creation, God said: “Let us make man…” Genesis 1:26, indicating the presence of the Son and the Spirit at creation. In all that Jesus, God the Son, did in his work of saving the world, right from his incarnation to his ascension, we see the active participation of God the Father and God the Spirit. In God, there is no quarrel, no competition; no division.
Matthew ends his Gospel with the scene of Jesus’ apparition to his disciples after his resurrection when he told them: “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. From one angle, it looks as if Jesus was teaching them how to do baptism but what is really happening here is that Jesus is basically teaching us about God.
In one statement, Jesus sums up everything we need to know about God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By saying that the three of them would be invoked for baptism, Jesus was indirectly telling us of their perfect equality. None of the three persons is greater or more important than the other.
Finally, Jesus says “I am with you always to the close of the age.” Does this mean if we travel to Jerusalem, we can see Jesus Christ in flesh and blood? No, it means that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is here with us right now and is always with us and this presence is what we celebrated last Sunday as the coming of the Holy Spirit.
At this point, I sincerely hope that I have not simply succeeded in confusing you. Forgive me if that is the case. So, to avoid having to go home empty, let us draw out some lessons to learn from today’s entire celebration:
1. The existence of three persons in one God teaches us that God is not alone and having been made in his image, we are not designed to be lone rangers. We need communion with others for our full potentials and gifts to be materialized. We must, therefore, avoid selfishness, self- centeredness, individualism (me-myself- and-I syndrome).
2. The perfect unity that exists in the Trinity is a great lesson in love. What keeps the three persons together is love. We are called to learn such perfect love and unity from God. Since we cannot survive as loners, since we must live with others, we cannot afford not to give love. Love is the magic that makes living with others possible. Take love away and every one becomes an enemy, without love, the world would cease to exist in a matter of minutes. When we say God is Love, we mean God is three persons living in one perfect union of Love.
3. Thirdly, God is Family. This is where our second reading today comes in. To say God is Father, Son and Spirit at the same time is to say God understands perfectly what it means to be a Father to us, his children. We are not slaves of God, we are children of God; we are not orphans. Yes, we have a Father who is in charge of the universe and we are heirs with Christ. We may suffer now for our faith but GLORY awaits us when we get back home (heaven).
Let us pray: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teach me to love, to live and act according to your will and promptings. Amen.
Happy Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Solemnity of Holy Trinity. Year B. Bible Study: Deuteronomy 4:32-40, Romans 8:14-17 and Matthew 28:16-20).