Homily for Trinity Sunday

Image: TheGardenHelper

Opening Prayer for Trinity Sunday
God, we praise you:
Father all-powerful,
Christ Lord and Savior,
Spirit of Love.
You reveal yourself in the depths of our being,
drawing us to share in your life and your love.
One God, three Persons,
be near to the people formed in your image,
close to the world your love brings to life.
We ask you this, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, true and living, forever and ever.

Homily for Trinity Sunday 2009

To be noticed, as one special among all the others...
to be recognized, for who you are...
to be known, by your own name...
to be accepted, with open arms...
to be forgiven, fully and freely...
to be embraced, warmly...
to be loved, unconditionally...*

Who among us does not desire all of this?
In different ways, sometimes obvious and often more subtle,
in ways hidden and disguised,
we all desire all these things, thirst for them drink them in,
trust and treasure them -- sometimes deny and discard them
-- yet seek them, again and again,
searching for the time, the place, the person,
the one whose arms will hold us always and never let go...

But even the strongest embrace
of a faithful friend or the longed-for lover
knows moments of weakness, forgetfulness
-- even letting go --
except for the embrace of the One
whose strength never tires, whose love knows no end,
who forgets us not, though we so easily forget his love,
more perfect than any we might dream or desire...

Every healing embrace of our aching hearts
is but a shadow of the love we seek again and again
until we fall into arms to hold us forever
in the deepest of all embraces...
God’s embrace of our hearts and lives.
As St. Augustine put it:
Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in you...

It’s Trinity Sunday,
a day to celebrate the way we believe in God:
three persons (Father, Son and Spirit) in one God.
Because we can’t fully understand who God is
we sometimes conclude that God is therefore beyond our reach
and so we leave God in the margins of our awareness,
calling on the divine at holiday times or when we need something.

But God is not distant, lost in the margins.
God is here and not just vaguely all around us,
rather God is within us, living deep within our humanity.
In fact, you might say that we are hard-wired, you and I,
hard-wired for God for relationship with God.
Everything about us as human beings
(our souls, minds, intellects, imaginations, urges, desires, drives,
appetites, longings, needs, joys and sorrows)
everything about us as human beings is ours, is given to us
precisely to draw us more deeply into the mystery of God
in whose image and likeness we have been created, fashioned,
each of us, as a unique mirror of the divine.
I have a mind
so that I might come to know and understand
the God who loves my soul.
I have an imagination
that I might see more than my eyes can behold,
that like God I might see what-is-not-yet but what-will-be.
All my desires and appetites serve to remind me
that I thirst and hunger always for a life and for love
deeper, greater and more faithful
than any love I might now have or even hope to have.
All of my physical and emotional yearning to be with someone,
to be one with another, indeed my desire to make love --
these are my body and soul showing me from the inside out
that I am made for love, for union,
for sharing all I have with a beloved
-- and ultimately, with God --
who desires to be with me, to be one with me,
to draw me into the depths of his own heart.

So much in our world, our culture, our politics and our art
would have us believe that human experience is an end in itself
and is thus its own authority.
That is, literally, godlessness. And there’s a lot of that around.
Truth and goodness are found in a world, culture, politics and arts
whenever and wherever God is recognized
not only as the source of all human experience
but also as its sustenance and its ultimate fulfillment.

At the 11:30 Mass this morning, we will bless our graduating seniors.
My hope and prayer for them is that over the next few years,
they will not be seduced into believing that God is in the margins,
or to think that human experience has any lasting meaning apart
from faith in a higher power,
the power we Christians name as our God,
revealed to us as a Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit.
Our hope and prayer is that in deepening their faith in God,
our young people will begin to discover the depths and beauty
of everything that is truly human.

Our hearts are restless until they rest in God
and the whole of our lives is the story of our restless searching for:
love that does not leave us,
peace that does not perish,
and faithfulness that does not fail.

All our human restlessness stirs us to seek and find God
not in the margins of our humanity, but at its core.

It’s so important, then, for us to name God often:
weekly, together, and daily, on our own, in prayer,
to name God as the source of all we have,
the fulfillment of all our hopes.

It’s so important to keep the company of others
who believe with us that we are made in God’s image
and that ultimately only God will deeply and fully satisfy our desire
to be recognized, known, accepted, forgiven, embraced and loved.

Trinity Sunday reminds us that even within God
there is a communion of persons and a unity in love,
a love once given for us on the Cross,
a love now offered to us in the sacrament of this altar,
nourishing the deepest hungers of our human hearts.

Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in you...

*Regular readers will note that the opening lines of my homily are very close to the text of a post from a few days ago. Curiously, the earlier post was not at all part of my homily preparation for this Sunday. But when I set about the task of writing my homily, those words came right to mind as the place to begin...



  1. perfect homily-

    really hits home.

  2. Your homily today was one of the best arguments for why I should be a believer that my mind and heart have heard in a long long time. Thank you.

  3. "Anonymous" -

    A comment like yours makes it all worth while. I'm grateful for your words and even more grateful to God for what the Spirit can do through my words.

  4. Unfortunately, I was unable to get to hear this first-hard this weekend. Luckily our internet age at least let's me read it today.

    Thank you.


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