Monday, June 1, 2015

Wow.

Readings for Sunday, May 31/ Trinity Sunday:
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-49
Psalm 33
Romans8:14-17
Matthew 28:16-20

At the seminary we had an entire course on the Most Blessed Trinity and the manner in which we learned our information was quite often by way of critiquing various writings on the topic throughout the centuries. Toward the end of the semester our professor split us into groups and gave each group a separate paper to critique and respond to. So our group went to work. Wanting to flex our theological muscles, we tore the paper to pieces. We highlighted all sorts of things that were just poorly worded, needed extra explanation, or seemed downright heretical about the Blessed Trinity. When it came time to present our responses, we got up and talked about what a rough paper it was and that the grade we figured it deserved was a C if not a D. When we were done our professor calmly looked at us and said, “I wrote that paper.”

This weekend we celebrate Trinity Sunday, when homilists throughout the world are called to the often-difficult task of preaching about the Blessed Trinity. The problem is that the Trinity is revealed to us as One God, yet three Persons. We could spend years reading, reflecting, and praying on this mystery but it will never fully make sense to us. That’s why the temptation arises to simply shrug our shoulders, say ‘it’s a mystery!’ and move one to a topic that suits us better. But this is exactly the opposite of what God desires of us. The Scriptures we just heard proclaimed speak powerfully of the fact that God has revealed Himself to us, inviting us to come to know and love Him here in this life and to be joined eternally to Him in the next.

In Deuteronomy, Moses asks the people to think back throughout the ages and see if there ever was a God so close to a people as the Lord God had become with them, whether they had known anyone who spoke with God and lived, whether God had walked with a particular people, and even revealed to them His Most Holy Name. God had begun to walk with them in order to restore what was lost by Adam and Eve, namely, union with God. It’s not enough to simply walk with God. As we hear in the Letter to the Romans, we are to become children of God and heirs with Christ Jesus to the kingdom of Heaven! God wants to bring us into Himself and it begins here and now. But how? By talking to Him – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The other day I came into the Church to prepare for this homily and I brought with me a journal with my reflections, three books of commentaries on the various scripture passages, three textbooks on Trinitarian Theology, and a notepad to write on. After sitting for a good 40 minutes in front the Blessed Sacrament, which I had exposed for Adoration, I looked up and just said, ‘Lord, what am I supposed to say?’ In the silence I felt a response saying, ‘I love you.’ I closed the book, sat there before my God, and began to talk to Him.

There are so many wonderful things in the world around us that are designed to lead us to know God and to interact with Him, but unfortunately we sometimes remain focused on the thing rather than the Lord who used it as a way of catching our attention and drawing it to Him. Concretely, I want everyone to pay attention to one particular word this week: WOW. On my way from the rectory to the church to hear confessions I saw a huge black cloud back behind the cemetery and just then a huge lightning bolt struck and lit up the sky. It stopped me in my tracks and I said, “WOW!” in response. The ‘wow’ happen in the course of our days and I believe it to be a way in which the Lord uses something extraordinary to catch our attention and highligh something in particular. What I invite you to do is when you say ‘wow’ this week, stop and talk about it with the Lord. Ask why it struck you. Talk to Him about other events like it. Talk to the Father as a child telling stories from their day at school. As a sibling to the Lord Jesus who walked and experienced many of the same moments. And to the Holy Spirit who permits us to not only see the moments but to understand them in union with our Creator. As we do this we can enter deeper and deeper into the loving Heart of our God, knowing Him not by memorized formulas but by a relationship of love.