Homily for Trinity Sunday, 2008

Father Tom’s Homily
Trinity Sunday
May 18, 2008

Today’s Feast of the Holy Trinity is a celebration of the mystery of three Persons in one God.
In naming God as three Persons living in perfect harmony, we are expressing something most important about God.
We are saying that God is not a Deity living in splendid isolation, but that God is a Community of Three Persons in the deepest intimacy of love with each other.
Their relationship is lively and dynamic, bursting with life.

In the 4th century, St. Gregory Nazianzus, an important theologian in the Church’s history, gave us a Greek word to describe the dynamic relationship within the Trinity.
The word he used was perichoresis, a word that means moving around or dancing.

God’s love is so full that it can’t stay still. In it’s dance it breaks forth in creation. Creation is God’s active love looking for more things to love. God created us out of this dance of love.
This dancing God is reflected in the story of Jesus’ first miracle at the marriage feast at Cana.
Jesus supplied wine, the finest. And being among relatives and friends, he naturally did what every one present at a Jewish wedding did, he joined in the dancing and singing at the wedding banquet.

This occasioned the beginning of Jesus’ work to teach us about God.
By toasting the bride and groom with the finest wine, and by dancing and singing, Jesus introduced us to life in the Trinity.
The household of the Sacred Three Persons is a place of dancing and singing.

The mystery of the Trinity is not a doctrine that we believe in, but a deep truth that we are invited to experience.
The Trinity is a Community of the deepest love. We are invited into this Community. They dance, we are to be part of their dance.

If we try to figure out this amazing invitation into the life of the Trinity, we may get caught up in a sort of mental puzzle.
Why? How? – we may ask. This is not what this mystery is asking us to do – to figure it out.
The thing to do is to allow the mystery of God’s amazing love to wash over us, like a baptism – to be amazed by it. It has the power to transform us.

At the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples and he says now to us:
“If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him…
“…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you…
“…Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
These words of great intimacy are the message of the Three Sacred Persons whom we honor on this feast of the Trinity.

Thomas Merton wrote: “Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present to you, lives in you, calls you and offers you consolation and light.”

We begin our consideration of the Trinity using the word “they.” As if they are far removed from us.
But we should end up using the word “we,” allowing the mystery to take hold of us.

The Three Persons in God are kinfolk who yearn to have us at the eternal Feast where we join their dance and know their intimate love.