HOMILY TRINITY SUNDAY 11th June 2017 Fr H Kingsley Etoh
Today is Trinity Sunday. It is a day we reflect on God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is not a day we try to unravel the mystery of the Trinity, or try to work out how Father, Son and Holy Spirit could possibly be three persons but only one God. We shall never fully understand that in this life. Today, and in fact every day, we are simply called to stand in awe and amazement at God who made us, daily looks after us, provides for us and protects us.
The reality of the Holy Trinity is of course a mystery. But mysteries can be talked about. They can be described. Mysteries have clues that our minds can grasp. But a mystery remains a mystery unless and until we grasp it in its totality. But when it comes to God we simply cannot comprehend the total reality of God.
Mysteries make up a good portion of our lives. Science has its mysteries, as does philosophy, as does psychology, as do other intellectual disciplines. They all have much in them to challenge our minds. All of them contain unknowns within them that move us to seek out their answers.
As a matter of fact, human beings need mysteries. We need to be aware of that which is mysterious in life. We need to see that many times mysteries are to be lived; they are not problems to be solved.
What does the mystery of the Trinity teach us? It teaches us that for all our efforts to find individuality and uniqueness as distinct persons, we still have an overwhelming need to belong. God made us to belong. The inner nature of God, in whose image and likeness we are made, is Persons who, however distinct they are, totally belong to each other.
We humans are made to belong in a special kind of belonging. We belong as persons who freely choose to live in inter-dependency.
The only thing that poses a problem in this effort to belong is sin. Sin tears apart the fabric of our living together. Sin attacks living in inter-dependency; sin destroys our belonging to others in genuine love.
When we look at the concept of the Holy Trinity, we will see that it provides us with enough clues that will help us get a good glimpse into what kind of God God is.
It reveals to us that God is love. When we live in love we live in God, and God lives in us. Living in love, however, does not mean we must be the same. There’s a great deal of confusion about this in the world today.
For instance, some advocate that “civil unions” should be the same as marriages. Others advocate that boys and girls should dress the same way.
Certainly, this has made living our faith difficult. Because if we hold to values that differ from others we are often told that we are hate-mongers who are intolerant.
Persons, however, cannot be the same. The Father is a distinct Person; the Son is a distinct Person; and the Holy Spirit is a distinct Person. Distinct though they are, however, they exist in One Being of infinite love.
While all that remains a mystery to us, it is not so mysterious that we cannot live with each other in a reality of life that reflects and shares in the reality of God’s life.
To live a God-like life we must forgive rather than condemn. We must build-up and affirm rather than tear down. We must see the best, not the worst. We must be self-sacrificial and not self-centred. We must be giving rather than grasping. We must offer hope, not despair. We must heal rather than wound.
All of this is best affirmed and nurtured in what we know of as a family. There is nothing in life that more closely reflects the reality of the Holy Trinity than genuine family life. For it is in living in a family that we not only belong to each other but also where we discover, nurture, and affirm our own unique and individual personalities.
It is a family that makes us individuals, and it is we as individuals who constitute our family. It is the “family” of the Holy Trinity that constitutes God. It is in living the reality of being truly a family that we have a glimpse into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
So, while we do not know God in and of Himself, we know a lot about God the Holy Trinity when we live in love.