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The Most Holy Trinity - 31 May 2015 - Fr John's Homilies

The Most Holy Trinity - 31 May 2015
  1. We live in a time of great changes, or as some say, in a change of epoch. According to Pope Francis “humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its history.”

 

  1. He reminds us that also in the Church the topic of crisis also dominates: the crisis of vocation, the crisis of perseverance, the crisis of Christian faithfulness and religion, the crisis of the institution and the crisis of morals.

 

  1. Many people today openly mock all faith in God. The very lifestyle we follow often tends to promote a kind of ‘atheism’ in us all. Especially in our cities, surrounded by technological gadgetry and all the signs of human inventiveness, we can be at a distance from the things of nature.

 

  1. Within this Spirit, even the rural-based of our population are bound to feel in some degree God’s apparent remoteness from our situation, God’s silence, remaining hidden to the end of our earthly days.

 

  1. In this current situation, of what relevance can the biblical revelation of the Most Holy Trinity, be in our lives. Can this mystery that “God exists as three interactive, loving Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while yet remaining one divine reality, one God, be of any practical use to us here today.
  1. The mystery of the Trinity can seem baffling, lofty and remote. It concerns the revelation of the nature of God as being, as essence and as progression; the dynamic movement from one to another.

 

  1. It is relevant because we are made in the image and likeness of God sharing in that Being, Essence and Progression. Our journey to re-discover our connectedness to our source is the very act redemption; the restoration of inner existing worth.

                               

  1. This is relevant because we have a crisis of the person. Modern and post-modern culture have developed a strong sensibility towards self-reliance, liberty, the subjectivity of the individual in which the person wishes to be independent, free and maker of his own story and his own choices.

 

  1. It establishes a continual stress and conflict between the institution and the individual. There is an enclosing of the individual in their way of thinking and living that radically centres on the self. It is a celebration of absurd individualism as the key standards of life.

 

  1. Modern humanity has become captive to thoughts of separateness. This leads us to mistake the maps in our minds for the reality of the road on the journey.

 

  1. This is in direct opposition to the Trinitarian progression of connectedness always towards ‘an-other’. The great disconnect between ourselves, creation and God is our greatest poverty that translates itself in a form of isolation, of individualism that leads to the lack charity.

 

  1. In our faith communities we often experience little mutual care and attention to the lives of our brothers and sisters in their personal work, in loving and cordial interest (not curiosity or gossip), that makes the fraternity a true family.

 

  1. Contemplation on the Most Holy Trinity can be the journey that leads us back out of isolation towards a unitive consciousness. What are the practical steps towards this experience of unitive consciousness?

 

  1. In his book, The Soul's Journey into God, St Bonaventure says we must "begin at the bottom, presenting ourselves to the material world, seeing it as a mirror through which we may pass through to God, the Supreme Craftsman." He teaches that to really see things, we must "recognize in all material things their origin, their process, and their end." Everything comes from God, exemplifies God, and then returns to God. [1]

 

  1. The beautiful living things of nature, and the marvellous elements of the universe can speak to us of God in a powerful way. Many of the great saints, like St John of the Cross, regularly withdrew to the countryside to encounter God.

 

  1. For most of us, it is in times of sorrow, pain or anguish that we find ourselves instinctively turning to the God who cares about us, who has a bond of kinship with us, since he has identified with the suffering of mankind in the person of Jesus Christ, who bore his Cross for us.

 

  1. Being at one with creation, my eyes begin to see all things as a fingerprint or footprint of God, which awakens within us a foundational respect and docility that makes me teachable.

 

  1. St Francis realized that God humbly bends low in love and hides in simple, ordinary, fragile beings. So too we must realize that God is in our midst. Only when we can recognize creatures for what they are as expressions of God's overflowing love, can we recognize the source of our own lives as well.

 

  1. The next step is to let go of my secret terrors, my illusions and my captivity to the creations of my mind. I look closely at my thoughts, trace them to their origin, acknowledge their existence in this movement and then allow them to disintegrate and to die. Now I can see that they are my creations subject to a beginning and an end; separate from the reality of the eternal Spirit that is within me.

 

  1. Now begins the journey of honest self-knowledge, awareness of how you are processing your reality moment by moment. This is necessary to keep your own eyes of the soul clean and open, and is the work of your entire lifetime.

 

  1. Then we move to the grace of contemplation, which allow us to see things in their essence and in their core being and meaning. Only then can you receive the transmitted image of God onto our soul. "Deep calls unto deep" as the Psalmist says (42:8), and all outer images can then mirror and evoke your own inner divine image.

 

  1. Without self-knowledge, there can be no real knowledge of creation as our home and as the womb of our birth. Without the human person to give voice to creation, to celebrate its giftedness and sacredness, creation becomes mute and vulnerable, subject to our exploitation and manipulation.

 

  1. Through the book of creation we must come to know ourselves as creatures of God and as creatures of creation. The key to creation's holiness, therefore, is in human identity, who we are in our Creator, the Trinity of divine love. This identity is revealed to us in Jesus Christ, the Word in whom we are made flesh.

 

  1. If God is alive in us, then we are alive to the world of God's good creation. We literally see that the part contains the whole or replicates the whole, and yet each part still has a wholeness within itself. However, if God is dead in us, then we are dead to the deeper meaning of creation as well.

 

  1. Each of us replicates the Whole and yet has a certain wholeness within ourselves; but we are never entirely whole apart from connection with the larger Whole. Such wholeness is true physically, biologically, and spiritually, is the basis for understanding mystical union and our journey towards a unitive consciousness.

 

  1. There is an "inherent resonance" between God and all created things. All things, every human, creature, and even human-made objects, are manifestations of formlessness. In this view, we don't need to grade or classify "things" as good or bad, valuable or worthless. God can use everything to teach, delight, help, and challenge us.

 

  1. This is the mystery of our connectedness; our participation, for understanding how holiness transmits and how God's life is an utterly shared phenomenon. If you try to be "holy" alone, you are not holy at all.

 

  1. Redemption is not a divine transaction that takes place because you are morally perfect or worthy, but much more is an organic unfolding, of seeing and becoming who you already are, an inborn resonance with, and capacity for, the very One who created you.

 

  1. Each being is both a part that is like the Whole and yet also contributes to the Whole, just as Paul teaches in his analogy of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-30). This is the basis for the inherent dignity of everything and the foundation for all non-violence. This is the relevance and beauty of our contemplating the Most Holy trinity in the world in which we live today. A contemplation that leads us out of our isolation towards a wonderful wholeness, and therefore into a life of holiness and non-violence.