Bottom line: We deeply desire peace or rest; only by a relationship with the Trinity will that hope be fulfilled.
You may have heard about animal heaven. St. Martin de Porres takes care of it. I think God chose him for that job because, like St. Francis, he had such a great love for animals. Once a cat died and when it got to animal heaven, St. Martin asked what he most wanted. The cat said, "All my life I slept on hard surfaces. I want a nice fluffy blanket."
After the cat came a group of mice. St. Martin asked them what they wanted. The head mouse replied immediately. "We had tough lives on earth," he said, "everyone was always chasing us. We want roller skates." So St. Martin outfitted them with tiny skates.
A few weeks passed and St. Martin checked up on the cat. The cat was the picture of happiness. "My blanket is so comfortable I never want to leave it," he said. Then he added, "By the way, thanks for the Meals on Wheels!"
Well, the point of this story is that we might have misconceptions about heaven. Like those poor mice we can have a false idea about what will make us happy. We may imagine all sorts of things: nice food, comfortable surroundings, good friends, beautiful music. Those things are great and in some way they might be part of heaven, but this Sunday we learn what will actually make us happy. When all is said and done, the only thing that can satisfy us is the Blessed Trinity.
In the Trinity we become sons and daughters of God. Just like an eagle is made for soaring, you and I are made us for sonship. A son feels joy when he can admire his father and learn from him. C.S. Lewis said it this way: "We are not made for equality, but for obedience and worship." Jesus was so united with his Father that he always obeyed him. To our great sadness, you and I have not obeyed God. Still, if we join ourselves with Jesus - by the power of the Holy Spirit - we can become adopted sons and daughters. That is pretty good. Most of us would like to be adopted children of Bill Gates. How much greater to be an adopted child of God!
What does it mean to become a son or daughter of God? This Sunday we get a glimpse. In the first reading the "Wisdom of God" speaks. Wisdom was with God when he fashioned the world. Creation was so wonderful that Wisdom played and danced on the surface of the earth. In the final verse we see what caused the greatest joy. Wisdom says, "I found delight in the human race."
The Psalm also speaks about the uniqueness of mankind: "You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor." We have an exalted status. Why? Not because we are so great in ourselves. Far from it. Our greatness comes from God's condescencion. He humbled himself to our level so he could raise us up. Jesus is God in human flesh. Today he tells us, "Everything that the Father has is mine." Jesus is God from God, Light from Light, Begotten not Made, One in Being with the Father. He wants to pour upon us the Spirit of Truth who will guide us to all truth. Truth means a lot more than correct opinions or beliefs. Beliefs matter, but something else matters much. "You will know the truth," says Jesus, "And the truth will make you free." A person can have correct beliefs and still be a slave. Truth, freedom means becoming a disciple, a child of the Father in Jesus - by the Holy Spirit.
Only in heaven will we realize what it means to be a son or daughter of God. That day we will have the peace which St. Paul describes in his Letter to the Romans.
We often speak about the afterlife as peace or rest. For our loved ones we pray: "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord." When I was young, eternal rest sounded boring. It looks better at this stage of life. How beautiful it would be to let go of all cares and fall back into those eternal arms! It is something all of us desire. Is this just a pipe dream? I don't think so. St. Paul tells us, "hope does not disappoint." That peace will come upon us when we open our hearts to the Spirit of Truth - the one who transforms us into sons and daughters of God - in his Son Jesus Christ.
From Archives (Trinity Sunday - Year C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
Parish Picture Album
My bulletin column (May 30, 2010)
St. Mary of the Valley Album
Bulletin (Baccalaureate, Randy Terlicker, sad news - John Casio)
Prayer/Protest at NARAL Fundraising Breakfast (Sheraton Hotel, Seattle)
Warning: Graphic Pictures
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru