The root of all our problems right now – whether it’s about racism, police brutality, riots, looting, lawlessness – even government ordered shutdowns and “stay at home” orders that seem to go on and on with no accountability, clarity or reasoning – in some part, all of it can be tied to the fact that the vast majority of people don’t believe in God anymore. On the surface people might argue that polls and statistics show that still a sizable majority of people claim to believe in God… but if you dig down deep in the tabs of those polls – what exactly that “majority” believes can be very, very different. Lumped into that group are those who say that they believe in the idea of a higher power or perhaps as a “spiritual force.” But to be frank, we don’t need a polling firm to do a study, do we?
Hi everyone here’s my homily for THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY – JUNE 7, 2020. During this time of public Masses being suspended, I invite you to pray with us as we pray for you on our FACEBOOK PAGE cick here Thanks so much for stopping by to read this and even more for sharing it on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and everywhere else people share social media posts and your feedback and comments! For the audio version you can get them at SOUNDCLOUD click HERE or from ITUNES as a podcast HERE. Thanks again… I hope you and yours experience all of God’s blessings today and always! In Christ – Father Jim
We have all sorts of examples that don’t demonstrate a population that has a relationship with or believes in the God we profess. The division among ourselves where different groups of people have justifiable outrages that affected members of their “groups” and we’ve allowed those things to generalize, characterize “the whole” of others… The lack of trust between human beings. The lack of respect for one another whether it’s in the extremes of violent, criminal actions or just the nasty, judgmental comments issued in press releases where people cherry pick something to fit their own narrative, their own agenda. Even this desperation you can see and hear the last few months with all this news about the virus. I’m not saying people shouldn’t listen to scientific analysis – (which respectfully, is far from perfect and changing as more information is gained and researched) Yes we have to be responsible, and take precautions, try to be thoughtful and attentive about how to deal with something we’ve never seen before. But when you see video of people at a supermarket shrieking and literally chasing a woman out of the store for not wearing a face mask, almost with this mob rising up to stone the poor woman – you could see a desperation, a fear that was striking. That comes from believing this physical life we have is all that we have. No, none of these things demonstrate a majority of the world that has supernatural faith – that is in relationship with or believes in the God we profess.
Which is why the most important thing about today isn’t for us to have a theological lecture on the nature of God. This feast of the Holy Trinity is meant for us to ask Who is God? What does He mean to me? And how that affects everything going on outside, within our Church, within ourselves…
This Gospel begins to answer those questions. Jesus reveals the inner heart of God who’s love is so pure, so perfect that He is a unity a trinity of One God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These beautiful words from this Gospel is His answer to all of our deepest questions, confusions, fears… We need to listen again and believe what these words tell us about the Heart of God:
For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.
What had motivated Jesus to share those words was a question by Nicodemus, a Jewish pharisee who wanted to know what it meant to be a follower of His… He wondered what was it that made Jesus so different that people were only beginning to experience His glory through His Words, through His presence, through His miracles.
And thousands of years later, Jesus’ response to Nicodemus needs to convict our hearts and cause us to do some reflection. Because it’s easy for us to dismiss the problems of the world, the problems of the Church as too big for any of us as individuals. We can tell ourselves that “someone has to do something” or that a committee or leader needs to emerge. But the reality is there is no program or committee.
These problems, these issues have in a sense always been around. There were failures in government there were hatreds among groups of people in society during Jesus time that would make our current situations look pretty tame. There were people being used, abused and devalued as human beings in just as, if not more, atrocious ways then as there are today.
But here’s the thing, what captivated the minds and hearts of people to begin to address those wrongs to effect real change was when they connected to God, when they heard this revelation by Christ of who God is and lived their lives as if He was the only thing that ultimately mattered.
Just think about it, because of Jesus Christ, the sick, who when he walked on earth were seen as sinful and people to be avoided and discarded (left on the sides of the road) now mattered because “God so loved the world” – and so the Catholic Church was the first institution to develop “universal” health care – where rich and poor were cared for, were healed in the name of Father Son and Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus Christ who spoke of the value, the dignity of every human life, the Catholic Church recognized how important that message needed to be communicated to every corner of the world, so that every human being could learn that they mattered and were apart of the world that God so loved… and so the Church developed the first wide-spread, universal educational system that still teaches millions around the world to this very day.
Those are just two of the many things that were started by Catholics, motivated by that core belief and understanding. What are we doing now? For us, the challenge is to re-evaluate what it is we do:
If we’re not coming to Mass because we believe that God so loved the world
If we’re not sending our children to Religious Education because we believe that God so loved the world
If we’re not gathering in our groups, societies and organizations that all do good things – whether it’s here at the Newman Center or local parishes because we believe that God so loved the world…
Then why are we? What have we made those things? If it’s not motivated out of a belief that God has this love for you and everyone of His creation, then He is not being glorified by these things and they will die.
On Trinity Sunday, it is easy for us to get lost in the mystery of trying to understand One God in three persons. To let our highly analytical minds try to figure that out, like it’s a puzzle or a question to be answered. Jesus reminds us God is not a thing, but a Person – three Persons but one God. And offers us the opportunity to go beyond figuring Him out, but to actually relate to Him – and participate in His very life.
If we would but let His love resonate in our hearts – A love which created, redeemed and sanctifies us to this very day, then the love of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit can be shared with a world that seems to forgotten how much they matter to Him as well.