Homily for June 15, 2015: The Most Holy Trinity: Fr. Scott Bullock

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

June 15, 2014

Reading 1 Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9

Responsorial Psalm

R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!

Reading II 2 Cor 13:11-13

Gospel  Jn 3:16-18

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The last time I had to renew my driver’s license, the very efficient woman at the bureau had me answer the usual questions, and then, since I’m getting older, she had to check my eyesight. She pointed out the infamous vision testing machine and said mechanically, “Take off your glasses, put your chin on the pad, look into the eyepieces, and begin to read line one,” or something like that. Knowing that my 50-year-old eyes would be useless, I protested about the futility of trying to see without them. The woman was ready for such protests:  “I need you to take off your glasses and look into the machine,” she said a bit testily. My response, “Really, I know my eyes—they need these glasses to work these days.” All pleasantries gone, she simply said, “take ‘em off and look in the machine!”  The standoff was on! Feeling a bit mischievous, I took the glasses off, feigned a moment of groping with my hands, and said, “what machine?” She paused for a moment, a wry smile appeared on her face, and she said, “Put ‘em on!” I wonder how many difficult folks like me she must tolerate each day? Of course, I could see the machine, but what was in the machine would be blurry to the point where any symbols would have been indiscernible.  The lenses in my glasses were the only way I could see the eye test clearly.

Holding the image of the glasses that permit us to see more clearly around us, may I suggest that, on this great Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, Jesus is the lens alone through which we can see God more clearly—or perhaps more accurately, he is the microscope lens through which we can see into the heart of God.

We see this truth vividly displayed in the scripture readings we are given today. In the Old Testament reading, we see Moses going up Mt. Sinai, where he receives the Ten Commandments, and sees God, but only blurrily in a cloud. It is only in the gospel, through the eyes of Jesus, and through his words, that we can see deep into the heart of God, see clearly who God is—that God is a community of persons, Father, Son, and Holy, Spirit, and that God is, in his essence, LOVE. Jesus, the lens of God, helps us see that God is LOVE.

SO . . .the good news of today, not so much Father’s Day, as the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, is that we have been given a clear and powerful vision of who our God is: a divine family, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:  LOVE.

Why must God be Father—Son—Holy Spirit? Because, love necessarily requires a family, for to love requires another—so-called “self-love” is only a pale image of true love—giving oneself in love to another and receiving that love back. Our Catholic tradition has famously said:  God is love, the Father loving the Son, the Son loving the father, the love that is the mutual gift of themselves to the other is the Holy Spirit, which then is poured out as love on us, God’s most precious creatures.

Why is it important that Jesus has shown us into the depths of God, who is love?  When our confidence in being loved has been obscured by human histories that are flawed and filled with imperfection, human failings and misunderstandings, today we proclaim the most vital message of our lives: No matter who our human relatives might have been, no matter how imperfect was their abilities to show us love and our goodness, our heavenly Family is completely love.  And thus WE ARE LOVED. This is the truth about us:  no matter what others may have said or done, WE ARE LOVED because the family that gave us life, God, IS LOVE! We see this love most clearly in the third member of the family of God, Jesus, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

On this Father’s Day, we naturally think about our fathers and our families, how, for better or for worse, they have made us who we are. Inasmuch as our fathers generously gave us life and cared for us, we thank them. But, in this place, we rejoice in the good news that, no matter how imperfectly the world might love us, we are completely and totally loved by the family of God, Father, Son and HS, because that family, God, IS LOVE.

Look—the family of God sends its love to us again—in the Eucharistic Lord we will soon receive. Jesus, you alone permit us to see into the very depths of God, a mystery indeed blurry without your help. There, in the heart of God, we can now see:  God, you are love.  In coming to us, teach us and overwhelm us with convincing proof, your True Presence in the Eucharist, that You are LOVE and, therefore, coming to us we are loved.  In You, we can discover what is most true about us—we ARE the beloved of our heavenly Family, God, Father, Son and HS. This is who we are—in Jesus we can see clearly—we are Beloved.