Disciple Makers Week 9: The Final Goal

(Homily for Trinity Sunday Year B)

Message: The Trinity is our origin and goal. Every prayer we make includes the three persons of the Trinity.

With today's celebration of Trinity Sunday we arrive at the final homily in our series on becoming disciples and disciple makers. We hear Jesus, "Make disciples of all nations." To become a disciple - as we have learned - means to one's role in the Christian story.

Two weeks ago - Feast of Ascension - we saw that the Christian story climaxes with the triumph of Jesus, ruling at the right hand of the Father. Then last Sunday we saw how the story begins - Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit: the birthday of the Church. Now, on today's feast we zoom out from the earth and see the story in a cosmic dimension.

The cosmos did not get here on its own. The big question is: why is there something and not nothing at all? There must be some Fact on which all facts depend - a dynamism, an energy that makes everything possible.

From the Bible we get a hint of what that dynamism is. The Bible speaks about a "Father" who eternally begets the Son. The Son (Jesus) gives himself totally to the Father. The relation between the two is Love - a third Person, the Holy Spirit.

I find it intriguing that the more scientists study the nature of matter, what they discover is not so much tiny particles as relationships.*

However it happens, the Bible indicates that the cosmos emerged from an eternal relationship. The Trinity is hardly static. The Greeks use an expression that signifies dance - the rhythmic movement of persons one in relation to the other.

There is a joyful dynamism within the Trinity and from that dynamism comes everything. The Trinity is the origin. It is also the goal. If you and I can grasp that, it will help us enormously. Let me illustrate:

It's about Florence Chadwick a world-class swimmer, the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. In 1952 named Florence attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. After about 15 hours a thick fog set in. Exhausted she kept swimming, but finally she told her mother who was in a boat next to her that she couldn't go any further. When they brought her aboard she realized she was just one mile from her destination. Two months later she tried again. The same fog set in but this time she kept an image of the shoreline in her mind. Although equally exhausted she kept going and to great cheering she reached her goal.

What a difference it makes if we have an image of our destination in mind! You and I sometimes get weary and want to stop. The future seems cloudy and bleak. But right beyond the fog is the shore, in this case, the Trinity. The Trinity is not completely invisible. It includes the man Jesus in his full glorified humanity. He is the Second Person of the Trinity. And when we pray "in the unity of the Holy Spirit" that includes the saints and angels. So a physical as well as spiritual reality awaits us - and is cheering us on. Not too much further now. You can do it.

The Trinity is our origin and goal. Every prayer we make includes the three persons of the Trinity. We pray to God the Father, through his Son Jesus in the Holy Spirit.

With this homily I bring to a close the Disciple Makers series. In the coming weeks I will be addressing a related theme: What it means to go to the Father through Jesus.

This new homily series titled "through Him" will be a little more relaxing. In the Disciple Makers Index survey 41% of you responded that the most important relation in your life is your relationship with Jesus. An additional 40% had a response somewhat similar. I know you are with me, but hope to help all to understand more what that relationship means. It will be a darn good summer.** So I invite you to join me in going to the Father, through his Son Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. Amen.


*I am no scientist. The only formula I remember are H20 and E=MC2. Now I learn that it means Energy equals Milk times Caffeine Squared. :) Still, when I do try to understand what physicists are saying, I hear words like: process, field, relativity. They describe not so much self-contained entities, but a complex of relationships.

**Along the way I will share other finds from our DMI survey. They will both encourage and challenge us.

Spanish Version

From the Archives (Trinity Sunday):

2014: Who Look Into the Depths
2013: The Desire to be Known
2012: Ultimate Freedom
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

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