Pastor’s Homily: Most Holy Trinity Sunday

30 MAY 2021: The Most Holy Trinity: Deut 4:32-34, 39-40; Rom 8:14-17; MT 28:16-20.

The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the central dogmas of Christianity, and it took over three centuries to finalize, which tells you something right there.  But you won’t find the word Trinity in the Bible, and you can start getting very abstract and complicated when you try to start talking about what three persons in one God means.

I grew up in Holy Trinity Church in Perth Amboy, and I don’t remember a special homily or a special work of art or really anything from that parish that helped me understand the Trinity at a theoretical level, although I learned a lot about God there.

If our faith is just in our heads, then God is beyond all knowledge and comprehension, of course.  We use images of God as Father, Son, Spirit, but God is much more than this.  As Thomas Merton is often quoted, “Our idea of God is much more about us than about God.” So, when we try to express God all-together as Trinity, we really run out of gas in language and imagery to describe this God.

But, we don’t despair. In fact, it’s no big deal that we can’t say much about the Trinity. God is ultimately mystery, and today we celebrate the God who is beyond us.  Maybe, if we really had to use an image, God is more like the wilderness darkness at the top of Mt. Sinai, where Moses and Israel received revelation, a presence more to be experienced than described, and this presence is what we are celebrating today.

In our readings today, we are again reminded about some basic qualities of God. God is a merciful God, gracious, abounding in kindness and fidelity.  This is how the Israelites remembered and loved God. Jesus personified mercy and grace. Kindness and compassion in our lives and relationships and within the community of believers helps keep these qualities important.

As St. Augustine once said, you see the Trinity when you act lovingly. It is a relationship to be experienced.

The feast of the Trinity also reminds us that our faith journey is a continual discovery.  A discovery of who God is, especially through Jesus, and what God offers to us in how we can live our lives.

At this transition point in the pandemic, when there are a lot of new openings happening this time, instead of closings and lockdowns, a lot of changes from the past 15 months, where fear is giving way to joy, we can experience God in a new way at the point when we connect deeply with the unknown, and welcome God’s presence within it.

 

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