Christ the King Catholic Church
Father Todd Riebe
In the weeks following Pentecost, the Church invites us to celebrate two great feasts. In fact, they are such great feasts that the Church gives the name 'solemnity' to them. A 'solemnity' is a feast of the highest order. And so, this is a good time for us to resume our public celebration of the Mass. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Next weekend, we will celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi - the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Often times we can take the most important things in life for granted. Family, friends, health, peace are all great gifts that help make our lives in earth what they are. For most of us, all of these things have come into sharper focus during our days of self-quarantining. Grandparents who have ached to hug their grandchildren and grandchildren who have missed their grandparents' hugs, have come to a deeper appreciation of family. Those who have been infected by the virus and those who have lost loved ones to the virus have a deeper appreciation of health. As our city streets in Indianapolis and around the country have erupted in violence following the terrible death of George Floyd, we have all come to appreciate the gift of peace. We take so many things for granted.
Faith and the sense of direction that faith give us is also a gift we can so easily take for granted. We believe in God and we believe in a God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The first prayer that many of us learned was the Sign of the Cross in which we sign ourselves in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We begin and end our prayers, including the great prayer of the Mass, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps as we entered church this afternoon/morning, we instinctively reached for the Holy Water font to make the sign of the cross. And, even though there is no Holy Water in the font, we can still do that.
The Church gives us today's feast of the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity to help us reflect of something that we can, and we do, take for granted. The God we worship is a community of divine persons, united as one in perfect love. Not three Gods, but three distinct persons sharing fully in the one nature of God. God the
Father is God. God the Son is God, and God the Holy Spirit is God. While math would tell us that that equals three Gods, our faith tells us that there is but one God.
How do we know this - that in the inner life of God there are three divine persons? We know it because God has told us. God has stepped out of his mystery and revealed his inner life to us. This self-revelation that God has made to us is an act of friendship. Some things we can know about a person by observing the person. But somethings we can only know about another person if the person chooses to reveal those things to us.
We observe Deacon Michael and we can tell that he is a very kind person. We can tell that he has a lot of energy. We can tell that he has a very good metabolism because no matter how much rice and curry he eats, he never gains a pound.
But other things we can only know if he chooses to reveal those things to us. What are the things that makes Deacon Michael's heart sing? What are his great hopes and his great fears? Those are things that we can only know if he chooses to reveal them.
We come to know many things about God by observing God. In the act of creation, we discover somethings of God's beauty and order and majesty. In the act of redemption, we discover something of God's love for us. In the act of sanctification, we discover something of the power of God to make all things new.
But there are things about God, about God's inner life, that we can only know if God chooses to reveal them. And that is exactly what God has done. In a great act of friendship, the eternal God has stepped out of his mystery and revealed his inner life to us. And he has revealed that life as the life of three divine persons, so united in love, that the three are one. The very nature of God is love. Our own wounded experience as human beings created in the image and likeness of God teaches us that love draws us together. This is especially true in the great Sacrament of Matrimony in which a man and woman are drawn together by the power of the Holy Spirit, so completely, that the 'two become one'. In God the reality prefigured in marriage is complete because the love of the three divine persons is a perfect love. And so, the three divine persons, united in perfect love, are truly one.
Jesus has told us that the Father and he are one and that they have sent their Holy Spirit into the world to draw all things into God. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples to go into the whole world and baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. By those words, God took the initiative and invited us to share in a life of love with the One who is love itself.
The Holy Spirit has been sent into the world to draw us together as one in that very love.
What will heaven be like? It isn't so much a place, but a relationship - a relationship of perfect love, the very love for which we all long. Saint Augustine said it well when he told us that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. We were created in love and we were created for love. Only in God, who is love itself, will we be completely at rest. And that is heaven!
We do, in fact, take a lot of things for granted. We sometimes take for granted that everything, and I do mean everything, begins and ends, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."