homily – May 18

John 3:16-18

Today we celebrate the basic mystery of our Christian faith, the mystery of the Trinity. Every time we make the sign of the cross we express our belief in the Blessed Trinity. After the Our Father and the Hail Mary our most common prayer is “glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever.” We begin every Mass with the greeting Paul used in his letter to the Corinthians, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.” These are all expressions of our faith in this great mystery. In dealing with any of the mysteries of our faith we have to remember that a mystery is not something of which can know nothing, a mystery is something of which we cannot know everything. Even when we see God face to face we will still not be able to comprehend God. The lesser cannot contain the greater.

In the teachings of Jesus we come to know that the inner life of God is a life of relationships. The Father loves the Son and the love that binds them together is the Holy Spirit.

In our first reading God told Moses how he wanted to be known, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. God proved that steadfast love when God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn us but to embrace us and bring us to everlasting life. Last week we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit upon us all, a Spirit who would teach us the truths of God and keep us faithful to God.

All our lives we are involved in relationships. We are made in the image and likeness of God in that we are able to enter into loving and life giving relationship. In the beginning God said ‘it is not good for you to be alone’. As St. Paul reminds us, “the life and death of each of us has its influence on others.” We cannot go through life untouched or untouching. We are conceived in a relationship of love, we enjoy an intimate nine month relationship with our mother, we are born into a family, we grow up making and losing friends, we have neighbours and co-workers; we chose a life long friend and companion in the sacrament of marriage.

We are in relationship with all those who share our Christian Catholic faith. As we pray at Mass, “May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.”

As we all know relationships can be tricky things. There are loving and life giving relationships and there are manipulative and abusive relationships. There are relationships that help us grow and mature and relationships that can make us submissive and dependent.

The quality and health of our relationship with others determines the quality and health of our relationship with God. Love one another as I have loved you… by this all will know that you are mine, if you have love one for the other. As often as you did these things to one of these the least of my brothers and sisters you did it to me.

In recent times we come to have a deeper appreciation of the relationship we have with the rest of God’s good creation. We are a strand in the web of life that makes up the life systems of our home the Earth. We did not weave this web we are a strand in it and what we do to the web we do to ourselves. Slowly we are beginning to realize that we are family with the rest of life on earth, slowly we are beginning to realize the negative impact we are having on the life systems of the planet, and slowly we are beginning to realize the need we have to heal that relationship.

God made us to be relational as God is relational. As we celebrate this mystery of the Trinity we can pray for ourselves and for each other that we blessed to appreciate the mystery and the possibilities of our own relationships, with God, with the family of the church, with friends and strangers and with the family of life that vitalizes planet Earth. We pray that in all these relationships we will be sources of life, love, growth and healing.