YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY.
HOMILY THEME: The Trinity and the model of our Christian life.
BY: Fr. C.C. Aladi.
HOMILY: GOSPEL: JOHN 16:12-15
” Our being created in the image and likeness of God-communion calls us to understand ourselves as beings-in-relation, and to live interpersonal relationships in solidarity and reciprocal love”.
– Pope Francis
The living God is not a solitary God. The living God is not an isolated God. From all eternity the living God has lived in relationship, indeed, ha as lived as relationship. At the centre of the a universe is relationship. From all eternity the living Ga od has been community. From all eternity the living God has been infinitely pleased as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In a world robbed of communitarian life by the cankerworm of individualism, the Trinity Sunday reminds us that collaboration, communion, submission, obedience and cooperation are the ideals of a peaceful family and societal life.
My dearest children of God, we are here to celebrate to the very foundation of our Christian faith- the Trinity and the model of our Christian life. We are here to celebrate GOD Himself; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ( the Truine God). God is three persons in one; One in one, one in each, each in one, one in essence and existence. God is one and God is love. The Three-in-one, dwells in complete harmony, distinct as persons ( distinct personal attributes) but yet one in essence.
This knowledge of the One-in-Three has been revealed to man through the Holy Scriptures by the Godhead itself and has been affirmed by the church over the centuries.
The late church fathers described this mutual indwelling and interpenetration of the Trinity in the term ‘Pericoresis’.
This may sound strange, but it’s exactly what the Gospel of John says: ” Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works” (John 14:10).
Each Person of the Trinity has a distinct role. The Father is the Creator, the Son is the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier. What God redeemed, He also sanctified. There is never a time the Father is separated from the Son or the Son from the Father or the Holy spirit from the Father and the Son.
Their mission does not create any dichotomy or subordinationism in the Godhead. God revealed Himself to us as a community of persons. Therefore we must imitate God by living in community with others. Individualism or isolationism is not of God.
The communitarian nature of God reminds us Christians that we must work in collaboration with others in the avancement of the kingdom of God or to actualize a common objective . Each of the three persons in one has a unique function but all geared towards the same purpose -the salvation of mankind.
~There is division of labour in the Godhead, that is to say each person of the Blessed Trinity has an area of specialization or a special role in the salvation history their mystery however involves the participation of all in the acts of one . For example in the creative work of the Father, the other persons are fully and actively involved. When the Son is principally celebrated, the other persons are also celebrated because we cannot talk about any in isolation of others since they are not only one and equal in all respects but also interwoven in being . In our various responsibilities in life, it is salutary that each person concentrate on his or her assigned duties and be mindful of the limitations in the exercise of that given responsibility.We must work together in harmony with others for the common good. When people exercise their responsibility beyond the boundaries of their job description it often leads to confusion, misunderstanding and strife be it at work, in the family and society at large. We may have personal interests which we bring to our assigned duties but we must not allow our personal interests override the common good or collective goal. Prudence demands knowing our limits, so while we concentrate on our area of speciality, each person must work objectively in promoting the overall goal- the common good.
~No responsibility discharged for the good of others is insignificant; we must all cherish and be contented with what we do. From the Security man to the CEO or from the Pope to the Deacon or even the junior seminarian any one negligent of his/her responsibility is working against the progress of the entire institution or organisation. The impact of the negligence may vary in its severity, but the effect must surely be felt. Let us therefore work together in peace and harmony after the example of the Trinity.
~ The there is no confusion in the Godhead, but an ordered community. The son obeys the will of Father: ” For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me ” ( cf John 6:38). Without obedience there will be anarchy in the society. In the family, children must obey their parents, in the church and wherever we work with others, we ought to obey the directives of our superiors. In the society at large we all have to obey the laws, the rules and regulations that promote for our common good and peaceful coexistence. Without obedience there cannot be order but anarchy and doom.
~There is mutual trust in the Godhead. Why most relationships fail and people cannot work together is because there is mutual suspicion among us. In the Godhead, each of the three persons understands themselves and advances the work of the other. Jesus came to fulfil the will of His father for the redemption of man, the Holy spirit came and completed the work of Jesus. He did not come to bring a new teaching or inaugurate an entirely different mission, He never condemn or even blamed Jesus but continued and fulfilled the works of Christ. Mutual suspicion breeds mutual misunderstanding among us especially among those in leadership positions that is why each condemns and blames his or her predecessor and promises a new beginning without continuity. Let there be continuity is what is good and noble, if your predecessor did badly correct his or her mistakes, finish what he could not finish, restructure what he structured badly, ensure continuity in what has begun already and bring it to completion. If the Holy spirit continues the work of Christ let’s imitate Him and ensure mutual trust and continuity in our different positions in life.
~There is love in the Trinity . God saved the world out of His love. The mission of human redemption was borne out of love for man/woman. Man/woman is a product of God love. Any act done with love and out of love, enriches and transforms. Let us work for love and with love to remain united and in communion with one another, like the Trinity. Let us Eschew all forms of greediness, selfishness and unhealthy competition among us. We all have a common goal- to Serve God, to love each other and to make heaven; wordly recognition and accolades shall all pass away so don’t be desperate to earn them.
The readings of today does not make explicit reference to the Trinity and neither could the word ‘Trinity’ be found in the Bible, this for me is part of the the mystery we celebrate. The first reading reminds us that God is wisdom and existed before the foundations of the world and in the Gospel Jesus makes reference to the Holy Spirit and concludes by saying that all the father has is His. So while the word Trinity cannot be found in the explicitly in the Bible, references to the Trinitarian God abound from the O.T to the N.T. We cannot argue but firmly I believe and truly….
~ The the Trinity is at the centre and the core of our Christian life. It’s is a mystery that cannot only be grasped by the finite human intellect but by the light of faith, that is why the Apostle Paul reminds us in the second reading taking from the letter to the Romans that we are justified by faith. May your faith be made strong in the Trinity. Let us imitate the Trinitarian communion in our relationships and form a more cohesive family and societal life.
Prayer : In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. C.C. Aladi.