Mystery: the Lover, the Beloved, the Love

Image by Trinity Fellowship Church

I'll be posting my homily for Trinity Sunday later this afternoon but for now, here's my homily for this feast from 2008.

Homily for Trinity Sunday - 2008

Trinity Sunday:
three persons in one God:
not three Gods, just one,
but all three persons (Father, Son and Spirit)
equally the one God.

How does that work?
What does it mean?

I don’t know!

So on Trinity Sunday I can’t explain the Trinity for you.
And that may be a good thing…

One of the beautiful realities of our humanity
is our capacity to live in mystery,
to live with mystery:
to trust what we don’t understand, what we cannot see,
what is yet to be.

The Trinity is a mystery – and that’s not to beg the question:
that’s simply to say something that is true.

Can we, will we consider the mystery of the Trinity?
Our culture and the knowledge explosion in which we live
tug us way from such a consideration.
We tend to want to analyze everything
and it’s possible that our desire to have everything explained
may drain the wonder and mystery out of our lives.
Technology, of its nature, is suspect of mystery,
understanding it as a puzzle to be figured out,
a problem to be solved, a proposition to be defined.

But there is something about the human heart and experience
that resists and defies solution,
and that something -- mystery -- is honest, real, true and beautiful.

Anyone who has ever loved, has ever been in loved,
or wanted to be in love, knows this is true.
Some of the most satisfying experiences in life are mysterious
and it is precisely their mystery that we treasure.

Would faith in another human being be faith
if everything to be known about the other was known?
Faith in others, faith in God, includes the mystery of believing
not only in what is known but also in what is not know.

Last week’s scripture reminded us that we do not hope for what we see,
but rather we hope for what we do not yet see,
we hope in the mystery of what is promised, what is yet to come.

Would love be love if it could be reduced to some logic?
Is it not the mystery of how lover and beloved
meet, become one, grow and sustain each other
that makes love the ultimate experience that it is?
Yes, I deepen my intimacy with my beloved
by growing in my understanding
but even more so by surrendering, losing myself to the mystery
of what I do not know in the other or in our relationship.

If we embrace mystery
we have access to the divine;

embrace mystery
and the possibility of union with the beloved is ours;

embrace mystery
and faith becomes substance,
hope becomes reality,
and trust becomes a way of life.

Take mystery away - and we are little more than robots.

Mystery is the romance of human experience;
it is the hoped for joy that lifts us out of our grief;
it is the longed for healing that helps us survive our pain;
it is the desired reconciliation that leads us to forgive
the one who offends us.

Mystery is the heart of friendship and the soul of marriage;
it is the path to the divine and the doorway to eternity.

Mystery is God, our triune God, alive:
in our bodies, our arms’ embrace, our desires, our minds,
our hearts, our imagination and our relationships.

If we discount mystery in our lives,
accepting only what quantifiable knowledge explains for us,
we reject the heart of what it means to be human.
And if we reject what is truly human in us and in our experience,
we reject God in whose divine image we are created.

On Trinity Sunday, rather than try to solve the Three-In-One puzzle,
we might simply ask how open we are to mystery:
the mystery of who God is;
the mystery of why God created us to begin with;
the mystery of God loving us, desiring to be part of our lives,
to live in our hearts; to be one with us;
the mystery of God inviting us to share in the life
of the Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit;
the mystery of a God who cares for us like a loving parent,
who lays down his life for us like a best friend,
who fills our hearts like a lover who will not be refused.

We are about to approach the table of mystery
where the three persons in our one God invite us to sup with them.
Here we offer praise and thanks to the Father,
in the power of the Holy Spirit
through Christ, the Lord.
Here the very life of God becomes our food,
the bread and cup of God’s presence among us.

I cannot explain the mystery of the Eucharist
any more than I can explain the mystery of the Trinity.
I can only invite you to welcome the mystery, to lose yourselves in it,
and allow the mystery to envelop and embrace you.


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