Homily, 31 May 2015, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
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Homily, 31 May 2015The Solemnity of the Most Holy TrinityDeuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40; Psalms 33:4-5,6,9,18-19,20,22; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20—————May has been kind a tough month around here. It began with an Amber Alert and news of the double murder in the Marinero family. Just two weeks later officer Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed. It wasn’t just that people had died. The situations were all so sad. An infant left in a dumpster, a little boy thrown into a rain swollen river, a new mother, killed on her last day of work before beginning maternity leave. But not all the heartache and suffering made the news. On Wednesday a coworker received a frantic phone call: her little granddaughter died unexpectedly and tragically at daycare. So much sadness, so many lives plunged into such darkness. —————All month long, as the season of Easter moved toward it’s climax at Pentecost, we have been listening to the First Letter of John. What is the message we have been hearing during this saddest of times: “God is love, and whoever remains in loveremains in God and God in him.” But when people’s lives are plunged into darkness, and evil seems to have carried the day, those words can seem so hollow. Where is love, when those we love have died? Listen carefully to what John said, for he was no stranger to sadness and to tragedy: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.”—————I don’t understand why God permits evil. Why must providence include human suffering? All I know is that suffering is a mystery of the human condition. It is not a ‘problem’ we will ever solve. It something we have to deal with, and the way to deal with suffering is through communion, so that no one must suffer alone in despair.————— “… if God so loved us, we also must love one another.”I don’t know if you remember hearing that message this month. I thought about it so often: listening to quiet conversations at work, at home, at church. It came to mind as I read about the people who gathered to celebrate what would have been the fifth birthday of little Josue. I thought about it in the outpouring of community support for officer Orozco. I thought about it last Wednesday when I saw the sad tear streaked face of the person who brought me the sorrowful news about our coworker’s granddaughter.—————Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. I can’t imagine a better way to end this month: a month that has been filled with reflections on love and yet so punctuated with moments of pain and tragedy. God is love. It is hard to imagine love existing in isolation, alone, cut-off from others. In the Trinity love is given and received, returned and shared. If God is love it just seems impossible that God could be anything but a Trinity of Persons, equal in dignity and power, yet one in being.Consider us, beginning with family life … we who are made in the image of God.Husbands love their wives. Wives love their husbands. Mothers and Fathers love their children and rejoice when their children love one another. They want their children to love their spouses and their spouses to love their children. Love is given, returned, and shared. When family life is healthy, its very nature is Trinitarian. Consider friendship. Good friends also love. They desire what is good for one another. Camaraderie and fellowship, care and concern, these embody the communion that comes with deep and loving friendships. It must be so, because we are made in the image of God.—————God came into the world through the Son. He came to suffer for us and with us, and to make expiation for our sins. In sharing our human condition, God gave us an example to follow: an example of communion in the encounter with suffering and with evil. When the Son returned to the Father, they sent into our hearts the Holy Spirit, so that we would have deep within us some share in the perfect love of the Trinity.—————The love of the Trinity is boundless. It spills over into creation and most importantly into our lives. And in turn it must spill out from us -- out into the world around us. When we are faced with the mystery of suffering as we have been in these last few weeks, we must respond with loving communion, sharing in the suffering and despair of others. What we learn of love in our families and among our friends we must expand in ever widening circles: to neighbors and to strangers both near and far. It is the only way to live as children of the Trinity.—————This week reflect on our Christian belief that God is a Trinity, and the eternal source of love. Pray with me now, and throughout this week, our prayer to the Trinity: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.