June 11, 2017: The Most Holy Trinity A
Click to hear Audio Homily
This grandmother’s experience helps us reflect on how precious we are to God and how much God loves us. St. John’s Gospel reminds us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believe in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” At times we forget that we are made in the image and likeness of God -- that we are truly God’s beloved daughters and sons. At times we look at ourselves in the mirror or look deep within and are overcome with sadness with what we perceive to be disfigurement, ultimately saying to ourselves that we are not loveable. So it seems to us too incredible that God’s eternal plan is to include us in the unfathomable love between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet this plan was accomplished by the Father when he sent his Son and the Holy Spirit into the world to redeem us. From the very beginning of our Christian life, we entered into the eternal relationship with the Trinity when the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” were pronounced as life saving water was poured over our head. And the Holy Spirit dwells within us to guide and direct us to true happiness and eternal life with the Father.
Do we understand the difference between the love that the Father gives us and the love that we seek in the world? Heavenly Father created each of us and placed in us all that we need to live in this pure love. Yet at times the love of things, pleasures, and self distract us from reaching that true happiness that we can only know through God. Pope Benedict XVI said, "The strongest proof that we are made in the image and likeness of the Trinity is this: only love can make us happy, because we live in relation to others, we live to love and to be loved.” We are called to live not without each other, over or against the other, but with one another, and in one another.
The infant born with birth defects reminds us that our perfection lies not in the way we look, not where we were born, or not in the physical gifts we were endowed. Those who do not know this beautiful child, may likely pity her for being born that way. However, the child’s perfection is precisely demonstrated in how she allows others to love her; and by allowing others to love her, her mission from God is being fulfilled. Likewise, our perfection lies in how we love others and how we allow others to love us.
The heart of the mystery is that God dwells within each of us. God is not just out there somewhere, God is alive within us. Jesus promised us that He would never leave us alone, and we are not alone. He is with us always, not just outside of us but within us. Every aspect about us--every breath we take and every minute detail of our lives--are being held in his loving gaze, just as that grandma held her granddaughter in her arms to sing lullabies. So let us remember to be grateful to God always, not only in the moments that we come to him for worship but also in the moments when life doesn’t seem easy. As the Psalmist said, “even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”