Message: Someday our greatest joy will be to praise the Trinity. In the Trinity we will be able to look into the depths.
Today is Trinity Sunday - the celebration of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: not three gods but one God in three divine persons. We see the Trinity in St. Paul's greeting: "the grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God (the Father) and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." St. Paul did not invent the Trinity. He received the teaching from the Apostles who heard Jesus say things like, "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." Jesus revealed himself as one with the Father, or as we say in the Creed, "consubstantial with the Father."
We get a glimpse of the mystery of God in the Old Testament. Our Psalm today praises God saying, "Blessed are you who look into the depths" You and I see the surface, but only God sees the depths. For example, we know a lot about animals. We interact with them in a variety of ways, but when all is said and done, we do not know what they are.
Let me make this personal. I have been in Peru for two weeks. I am embarrassed to admit that the person I miss most is my dog! For 12 years Samwise has been my main conversation piece and source of humor. He has accompanied me more than any human being. But sometimes I will look at him and ask: What are you? I do not get an answer. Sam just looks at me with his sad, quizzical eyes. I see the surface, but only God looks into the depths.
While you and I cannot look into the depths as God does, we can know this: at the depths we find not so much individual units as relationships. Our physicists study the nature of matter and they tell us about mysterious relationships like the Higgs Boson.*
Something similar has happened in our understanding of God. Aristotle understood God as the Unmoved Mover - the basic Fact of the all being, the universe. With the Jews - and above all, with Jesus - we get a deeper insight: That God is not an isolated Being, but a relationship of persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
By baptism and by faith you and I are called to take part in that relationship. In the Trinity we will be able to look into the depths.** It seems hard to imagine today but someday our greatest joy will be to praise the Trinity. In the words of today's Psalm:
Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Amen.
*Here is the Wikipedia summary:
"In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a boson with no spin, electric charge, or color charge. It is also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately. It is a quantum excitation of one of the four components of the Higgs field. The latter constitutes a scalar field, with two neutral and two electrically charged components, and forms a complex doublet of the weak isospin SU(2) symmetry. The field has a "Mexican hat" shaped potential with nonzero strength everywhere (including otherwise empty space) which in its vacuum state breaks the weak isospin symmetry of the electroweak interaction. When this happens, three components of the Higgs field are "absorbed" by the SU(2) and U(1) gauge bosons (the "Higgs mechanism") to become the longitudinal components of the now-massive W and Z bosons of the weak force. The remaining electrically neutral component separately couples to other particles known as fermions (via Yukawa couplings), causing these to acquire mass as well."I hardly understand this, but I read words like "unstable, decaying into other particles...exitation of four components...forms a complex doublet...three components of the Higgs field are 'absorbed'..." and I realize we are not talking about the tidy picture of electrons, protons and neutron that I learned about in high school. Too simplistic to imagine matter in terms of tiny units that interact, but rather complex mysterious relationships.
**And have answers to questions, maybe finally know what Samwise is. :)
From the Archives (Trinity Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies
Podcasts of homilies (website of my niece, Sara)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
(Visit to Peru - return June 11, 2014)
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru