Homily – June 11, 2017

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. This is a mystery basic of our faith as Christians – this is the mystery that separates us from the great faiths of Judaism and Islam. They too believe in the one God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we believe that the “ God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loved the world, loved us, so much He sent His Son to the world – not to condemn the world – but in order that the world might be saved thru him. We believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sent the Holy Spirit to us at Pentecost to complete the work of Christ on earth and bring us to the fullness of grace.

. As you know a mystery is not something of which we can know nothing, a mystery is something of which we cannot know everything. Even when we see God face to face and know God as God is, we will still be dealing with mystery. Our limited intelligence cannot comprehend the immensity of God.

What this feast celebrates and teaches us is that the inner life of God is a life of relationships. The Father speaks the Word and the Holy Spirit binds Father and Son together in a relationship of love. One author put it this way, ’There is otherness in God’s oneness. God is the beholder and the beheld, the lover and beloved.’

Through the insights of science and thinkers we’ve come to know, if not appreciate, that all creation, the galaxies, the solar systems and Earth reflect the reality of the inner life of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Father, Son and Spirit are not expressions of God, each has their own identity, and they are different one from the other yet live in community, one with the other.

Slowly we’ve come to see our own reality in this way. Last week we celebrate the feast of Pentecost – the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church. The Spirit reminds us of our individual dignity ‘do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you ‘and Spirit reminds us of our oneness with all who share our faith and our common humanity. The Spirit binds us together in a life of love and service. But the reality of our own individuality and our oneness with all others goes beyond our human relationships.

Fr. Thomas Berry, a member of our Passionist Community expressed it this way;’ in reality, there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other than human. In this community every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its own inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice. Every being declares itself to the entire universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings.’ We are one with, we are family with everything, living and non-living that make up the planet Earth, this life pulsating planet we call home.

We try to recapture that sense of wonder St. Francis of Assisi had when, in his canticles he would sing of Brother Sun and Sister Moon, when he would sing of Brother Wolf and Sister Loon. In his heart he knew he was kin, family to all life on earth. Unfortunately we’ve lost that sense of oneness with the rest of God’s good creation. Through the centuries we’ve made great strides in science and technology and unfortunately we’ve come to see ourselves as masters of creation and see the bounty of Earth’s resources as commodities to exploit and waste. We have come to see Earth and all it contains as a collection of objects, resources to be developed and exploited, not as a community, a family of subjects. We forgot that everything on Earth, from the smallest sub particle to the greatest of whales has its own uniqueness; it is different from every other being yet is a vital part of the community of Earth. We are seldom impressed by the wonder and beauty of creation – we take it for granted. Pope Francis has reminded the world of this reality of oneness in his letter to the world titled ‘Laudato Si’. He gave a copy of this letter to President Trump recently. The President said he’d read it but it is probably being used as a door stop at the White House. The President’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord trashes the message of Pope Francis. Issues such as climate change, the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that feeds us, national issues about the safety of oil pipe lines, oil spills that pollute the oceans, tar sands developments and fracking, are issues we should be concerned about because they have an impact on the quality of our relationship with the rest of God’s good creation. The health and wellbeing of our environment are moral issues because we are dealing with our wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet.

The human family and our relationship with Earth are matters of our faith in God, creator of heaven and earth. Remember the truth, the earth does not belong to us we belong to the earth and what we do to the earth we do to ourselves. We did not weave the web of life; we are strands in the web and what we do to the web we do to ourselves. What goes around comes around.

On this feast of the Holy Trinity made we be bless to know and to live out the reality that as God’s inner life is a life of loving relationships and so too is our life here on earth, when it is lived in a loving, life giving relationship not just with family and friends but with the total Earth community human and otherwise. May we all be blessed to know and live life in this reality.