Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday word, 03 Jun 2007

Trinity Sunday (03 Jun 2007) Prv 8. 22-31; Ps 8; Rm 5. 1-5; Jn 16. 12-15
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Surging Superabundance

Although the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is not ancient, it certainly is not new. This solemnity gives the Latin-rite church around the world the opportunity to celebrate this foundational doctrine of our Triune God.

Humans enjoy celebrating; we need it, in fact. The absence of celebration and worship suffocates human life and work./1/ Christians sought ways to celebrate the Trinity. By the 5th Century a few places honored the Trinity on the Sunday following Pentecost.

More people wanted to honor the Divine Persons with a universal celebration. When appealed for a special feast, the 11th Century Pope Alexander II refused because such a feast was not customary in the Roman Church, pointing out that it daily honored the Holy Trinity with many prayers in and outside of Mass. As a testimony to human need for celebration, Alexander did not forbid this celebration where it already existed. The 14th Century Pope John XXII ordered the feast for the entire Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Humans need to celebrate, and we Christians need to celebrate the mysteries of faith in order to live them better day by day.

Today we celebrate the reality of God in our lives, our triune God in whose divine names we were baptized and united to the Trinity. Images make the Trinity attractive as well believable.

Lady Wisdom sustains everything God created. She echoed the Creator’s words in Genesis in her voice: “I play[ed] on the surface of [God’s] earth; and I found delight in the human race.

This delight is our poor word trying to communicate the deep desires of God creating us; sending Jesus to restore our original dignity; and abiding with us as Creator and Redeemer by their Holy Spirit.

This same divine delight sees beyond our dust, our fallible, fallen selves, and sees what we do not easily see: we are images of God; we are little less than angels because we share the divine likeness. To pray to see as the Trinity sees allows us graced vision, which changes how we see ourselves, others and our world.

Seeing isn’t all. St. Paul reminded us that our Messiah Jesus has given us access to the Trinity of Persons who are our one God. Access translates a bible-word used about worshiping and making offering to God. Jesus is the offering, once and for all, who gave himself for us out of selfless love.

His selfless love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. No trickle or delicate pouring this gift of Jesus’ Spirit. St. Paul meant a gushing, liberal bestowing of the very agent, the very personality of the selfless love the Divine Persons have for each other. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. In their selfless love we stand. Looking through their selfless love changes our vision of everything and gives us new hope and renews our vigor to change the world.

Our world needs this kind of change. Indeed, this interior kind of change gives us the freedom of the children of God. Divine freedom, spiritual freedom, is our beginning to love more selflessly, more like our Messiah, whom we worship. To celebrate Jesus in word and sacrament, to celebrate the mystery of his selfless loving frees us to live it better day by day.

Renew your worship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit for 15 minutes daily this week. Grow aware of being in their presence. Speak to the Persons as Holy Spirit moves you; or, say nothing. Feel their presence creating you at each moment. Ask Mary to present you to her Son. Ask Jesus to present you to his Father so that you may sense more clearly your share in their Spirit, calling you to "renew the face of the earth." Close by slowing saying the Glory Be. Savor each word, each person who takes great delight in you gives you a share in Jesus' work.
/1/“Homo faber (Man the Maker) suffocates himself and suffocates the world if he is not in the first place homo celebrans (Man the Worshipper).” Olivier L. ClĂ©ment, “The Glory of God Hidden in His Creatures.” The Roots of Christian Mysticism. Translated by Thedore [stet] Berkeley O.C.S.O. New City, 1993, first English publication.
Wiki-image of 13th Century Borromean Rings is in the public domain. Wiki-image of Rosetti's Holy Trinity is used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license.

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