Purpose of Our Existence

(Homily for Trinity Sunday, Year B)

Bottom line: Mary can help us realize the purpose of our existence: to enter an eternal relationship with God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Recently I had the privilege of praying for a dear friend in the final hours of her life. Words do not come easy at that moment. Fortunately the Church gives us wonderful words. The traditional Prayer of Commendation for a dying person has great beauty and power. I would like to quote it this Sunday, not only to honor my friend, Esperanza, but for what it says about our relationship to the Blessed Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here are the opening lines of the Prayer of Commendation:

Go forth, Christian soul, from this world,
in the name of God, the Father Almighty,
who created you;
in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
who suffered for you;
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you,
go forth, faithful Christian.

When you and I go forth from this world, how beautiful to do so in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit! The goal, the purpose of our lives is to have an eternal relationship with Blessed Trinity - the beginning and end of our existence. We see it in today's Gospel. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed us to make disciples of all nations, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

To help understand our relationship to the Trinity, I would like to recommend a new book. Written by Catholic lay evangelist, Mark Shea, it is titled "Mary, Mother of the Son." Don't let the title mislead you. It is much more than a devotional book on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mark has a unique ability to situate devotion to Mary in the context of the entire Christian life. His book is like opening a side door called "Mary" and finding oneself in an enormous banquet hall. The tables are set with an astonishing variety of food. As you look around you see familiar faces, but also others you have heard about, but do not know well. A gracious lady takes your hand and begins to show you around. Above all she wants you to know her Son, his Father and the One who overshadowed her.

In Mary Mother of the Son, Mark Shea introduces (or re-introduces) us to Mary. And through her we understand the reason for the Bible and the Church: to guide us to a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - the One God who is all in all. The book comes as a trilogy: three volumes. Each volume is a manageable length (from 150 to 195 pages). Once you start reading, Mark's logic and apt comparisons will carry you forward. These books are not inexpensive, but they are worth the investment. If you have any hesitation, just purchase volume one. You will agree, I know, that Mark's explanation of the Trinity is worth the entire price.

Mark Shea is with us this Sunday. At the end of the Mass, he will say a few words about Mary Mother of the Son. He will be available after Mass to sign your copy.

Jesus has given us Mary, his mother as our mother. In baptism we not only become children of God, but children of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She can help us realize the purpose of our existence: to enter an eternal relationship with God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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Intercessions for Trinity Sunday (from Priests for Life)

Spanish Version

From Archives:

Trinity Sunday Homily 2011: Origin and Goal
2010: I Have Much More to Tell You
2009: Purpose of Our Existence
2008: Family as Origin and Goal
2007: Hope Does Not Disappoint
2006: Back to the Basics
2005: Alone Again
2004: I Was There
2003: The Name
2002: An Excellent Question
2001: The Image Within
2000: Out of the Midst of Fire
1999: A Capacity for God
1998: Foundation of the Universe

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Bulletin (Mark Shea Visit, Final Latin Mass, Fr. Bryon Dickey - First Mass, Hateful Murders of Pvt. William Long and Dr. George Tiller)

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