Below is my homily from this morning's Mass for Trinity Sunday.
I hope you find it helpful in your own circumstances.
Comments, observations and perspective on my homily or on today's readings are very invited and welcome! See the "Comment Box" below the homily.
Peace be with you all!!!
There are some weekends that deacons very often preach, like the weeknds after Christmas and Easter.
The pastor, or course, preaches on those great holy days.
So, the following weekend the deacon often provides some relief.
But then, there is this weekend, the one right after Pentecost, on which the church celebrates “Trinity Sunday”.
While studying to be a deacon I was jokingly warned about THIS weekend in particular
Be prepared, I was told.
It goes something like this…
“The Trinity, that inscrutable mystery?...well, give THAT bone to the deacon to chew on. Let’s hear what HE has to say.”
So here we are. ..with the bone…”The Trinity”.
Three distinct persons. Yet one God. Father and Son “consubstantial”.
Spirit proceeding from both.
All evoking dense theology and philosophy defining “persons, substances and hypostasis”.
It’s kind of a lot to explain
...and especially in the midst of a pandemic with a charged social crisis gripping our nation
...and might seem an abstraction distraction.
Also, the young people of our community who were scheduled to have been confirmed at the Cathedral yesterday
...have been urged to tune in so we can recognize and remember them in a special way this morning.
...and I can’t put them to sleep.
Luckily over the years this Trinity thing has become much simpler for me
...in a way that might be helpful just now.
It goes like this...
...God the Father reminds us that all of creation, even our very existence, God called into being out of love…
...but you and I, we can wander away, forget this love...
...so God the Son, Jesus Christ, came in the flesh to reclaim us for this God who is love, teaching us by word and example how to love one another, all in and to the end,
...and to help us
...God the Holy Spirit is with us still, drawing us to and empowering us for this love.
So, in the Trinity, this Father, Son and Spirit, they are all different realities, yet they are all the same God, and they are all about love.
It’s kind of the original unity in diversity.
So it is with us.
Every living soul on this planet, each one of us different, obviously…
yet each one of us the same, was raised to life out of God’s love, to love God and one another in return.
Here, love isn’t primarily an emotion or a feeling, though it involves plenty of these for sure.
Love, in the end, is a decision...to live and act for the good of another...for their sake and not ours, even if it costs us.
It’s what Christians believe we owe others...all others.
The current pandemic and social unrest show us much about such love, and the lack of it.
In battling the virus there are the doctors, nurses, hospital workers, EMT’s, police, fire, truck drivers, store workers...and on and on who risked themselves for others...so our lives could retain some semblance of normal
...and all those people who stayed home as they are asked
...and “mask up” as they are asked.
All of this shows this love and concern for others...whether it “feels” like it at the time, or not.
We’re all different, yet we’re all the same, and we need to be about loving one another
...it’s what we owe each other.
Then we have the sad-beyond-words case of Mr. George Floyd, whose death has unleashed so much in our nation over the past week.
There he was, face in the pavement, handcuffed
...with a with the knee of a grown man sworn to protect and serve the community, on his neck with enough force for long enough to asphyxiate him,
...as if he were strangled
...despite his pleading that he couldn’t breathe
...calling out for his mother...he went unresponsive and later died.
All while several other human beings stood by and watched
...some even recorded it on a cell phone.
...and good that someone did.
Seeing it vividly reminds us of the type of humiliation and abuse some children of God, our African American brothers and sisters in particular, have witnessed as a recurring fact of life for way, way too long.
So, if we are all different, yet all the same, and we say the love of others animates us
... just what do we owe the man with the knee on his neck, struggling to breathe?
At the very least, we owe him the knee off his neck, letting him breathe, letting him live, and making sure that the knee of such abuse and humiliation never returns.
We would demand that, in a nanosecond, if it were our son, brother, husband, father, with that knee on his neck unable to breathe.
So why on earth would we tolerate it for anyone else?
We are all different, yet we are all the same, and we are all called to love, for the good of others, even at cost to ourselves.
It’s in the Holy Spirit of that love, that we were once confirmed, and into which our young people are now seeking confirmation
...the sacrament of strengthening that spirit within us.
Maybe we and they will remember 2020, this spring and summer, as a time when we were shown clearly just how important it is for us to see
that though we are all different,
...each one of us the same as well
...and each one of us was raised to life out of God’s love called to love one another in return…
and to live this out....like we really believe it.