Homily - Trinity Sunday

Proverbs 8:22–31
Romans 5:1–5
John 16:12–15

Trinity Sunday is about mystery, the mystery of our God, the God of us Christians. At the core of this mysterious God is a community, a community of persons. The community of persons that is our God is what we are remembering and celebrating today. We may use the word “Trinity” and understand by it the number three, a genuinely mysterious number. But today is not a feast of numbers, three and one. We are not about numbers, we are about persons. We acknowledge today that our God is a community but not isolated unto itself. The story of the Trinity is a story of love. And like all love that means that our Trinity is a God who goes beyond himself, who reaches out and includes us in the wonderful love that ever flows between Father, Son and Spirit. To profess belief in the Trinity, in God as a community of persons, is also to profess ourselves has having been drawn into that communion, into that love.

We heard Wisdom speaking in the Book of Proverbs this morning. In our Christian tradition we have come to know that Wisdom is the Word made flesh. It was the story of how she accompanied God through all of creation as though wisdom itself was the architect. Wisdom drew up the plan and God made it happen and so creation is orderly, beautiful and filled with wonder from the stars in the night sky to the smallest flower in all its color down to the mystery of the atom. Wisdom says that in making all this happen, I delighted God. What God has made is delightful; it makes him happy. God is happy to create, to make; it is a joy for him. And then wisdom says God delights in the human race, God takes delight in the children of men. God delights in us humans. God is happy to have made us. Seeing us is to bring joy, perhaps laughter to God.

Remember when you and I were happy to be with someone; delighted to have made another person happy, to have brought a smile to their face or to have restored hope in their lives. Just to see an old friend, just to share a meal with someone you know brings delight. We know what it is to be delighted to be with someone; we know what it is to be able to make someone happy, to draw out beauty and joy in them, yes to make them dance and shout for joy, as the psalmist sings so often.

That is our Creator God, that is our Father. God does not run away from us because of faults, failures and weakness. That is not the position of our God. He wants rather to find every reason to delight in us, to be happy that we are his children. We know how much he delights and wants to be with us because we believe that he sent his Son. This Son of the Father comes really for only one purpose: He comes to share love, to share the love and joy the father and Son have; their delight and happiness in one another, they want to share with the children on earth. The Son comes from the Father’s side and heart, the places of love and delight, to share that with us. For Jesus it meant sharing in our suffering and sorrow; it meant a journey of love that embraces us in our worst moments. It was a journey into the darkness of our world, into its violence and intrigue, into its hatred and divisions. But Jesus did that to make us delightful in God’s eyes. Yes it is our faith that the Father’s Son was delighted to be with us humans even when we had lost the ability to delight in being treasured by the Father of all.

St. Paul told us this morning that we stand in grace; we stand in God’s favor. We are no longer bowed down by what oppresses us. We believe Christ walked with us on our journey, walked through its end of sorrow and death. He was loved by the Father for doing that for us the Father’s children. For those of us who have been graced to believe that Jesus is the face of the Father’s commitment to us, we can stand up and stand firm. Someone delights in us and we are revived by grace.

The sign of our faith is that our sufferings no longer overwhelm us. In the mystery of our Triune God, our sufferings can form us in character. Christ has filled our trials and sorrows, our pain of body and heart, with hope. Our human story can be the story of hope in the midst of incredible desolation and aloneness. We who now cling to Christ have hope. And the hope we have no one can take from us.

The hope we have in Christ, says Paul, comes about because God’s love has now been poured into our hearts. God’s love is not a drip, drip affair, like a leaky faucet or our stinginess in pouring. It is love poured out to the fullest. The heart of God who delights, the heart of God who shares love with his Son, this heart has been extended in the Spirit to include us and our hearts. This is the mystery of God’s love. It is not exclusive, it is inclusive; it embraces and holds. It might be we forget that. Have no fear, Jesus sends the Spirit to remind us of that truth. Each time we look beyond ourselves, our small world and reach out to be with another, to share with another, to lift up another; each time we do that, it is the Spirit awakening within us that love poured into our hearts. Each time we touch the love poured into our hearts, we know our God as a community of persons sharing what they have with us who are human but delightful to be with.

Prior Joel Macul, OSB