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Dt 4, 32-34, 39-40; Rom 8:14-17, 28; Matthew 28:16-20

Turning Over Stones

Here are some stones I have overturned to see what ideas lay underneath. I hope you can grab hold of something, pull -- and discover that it has some homiletic roots for you.

Here is a good Trinity refresher from the Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible with a wonderful closing sentence which sets the tone for my homily thoughts this week (mystery): Trinity -- The Holy The mystery of the Trinity consists in this, that God being numerically and individually one, exists in three Persons, or, in other words, that the divine essence, which is one and the same in the strictest and most absolute sense, exists in three Persons really distinct from each other, and yet each really identical with the same divine essence. The Father is unbegotten, the Son begotten, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from one principle. Each Person is really distinct from the other, each is the true, eternal God, and yet there is only one God. We can understand how three individual men are distinct from each other and yet possess humanity in common. The unity of the three divine Persons is altogether different. When we speak of them as one God, we mean not only that each is God, but that each is one and the same God. This is the mystery of the Trinity, incomprehensible to any created intelligence.

This week I have been enjoying the mystery of the Trinity. That statement should not sound too peculiar. Afterall, there are a lot of people in the world who enjoy mysteries in movies, novels, short stories -- and in real life. However, there is something different about the mystery of the Trinity. The full comprehension of it will always be over our heads whereas the the last five minutes of a movie or the last few pages of a novel or short story will always surrender the answer for which the viewer or reader has been waiting.

Real life mysteries or unsolved mysteries instituted by human beings may never be solved outside of its architects or witnesses; however one does not usually ask HOW, but rather WHY, WHEN or WHERE? For example, when considering the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart we do not ask HOW. Her plane crashed into the ocean. Instead, we ask WHY, WHEN and WHERE? When considering the mysterious, elusive cure of a disease such as AIDS or Cancer, it is understood that the the cure is only more time and more research away. It is not a matter of IF a disease will be cured, but rather WHEN.

When we consider the Trinity with the above definition provided by the Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible we are informed point blank that we are not going make any significant inroads into the HOW of it all.

Still, it is our human nature to try. Mr. Desrosier, my 4th grade catechism teacher took three lit wicks and held them separately in on one hand displaying three individual flames saying -- Here are the three persons of the Trinity. Then he put all three flames together saying -- Here is the one, true God made of exactly the same stuff of which the three flames are made. Another teacher (who was Irish of course) spoke of a 3 leaf clover being like the Trinity.

In college I read about St. Augustine likening the Trinity to the Lover (God), the beloved (Jesus) and the love (the Holy Spirit) which binds them together -- three persons all who ARE love, all PARTICIPATING IN love. Three persons in relationship with each other; but who are all of the same love. Another Church Father took a piece of cloth and folded in in thirds and said that this is like the Trinity: All of the same cloth but folded in three distinct sections.

A friend of mine who is a scripture scholar says that whenever he comes across 3 in 1 oil in the hardware store, he thinks of the Trinity. One rectangular can of oil, fulfilling three different purposes.

And, who could forget the trinity as an oreo cookie: The Father, being one half, the Son being the other half, and the Holy Spirit binding them together in the middle?

It is difficult to talk of the trinity. We have loads of language problems and I have already committed heresy in my comments by in some examples reducing the persons of the trinity to their functions. Please do not start gathering wood and a strong pole.

This year I think the punch of my homily will speak of the delight of the Triune God who creates us out of love. Some may think that God created the world and mankind because He was lonely or wanted to be in relationship with something or someone. Some may think that God did not have a choice to create because God needed to share His love with something or someone. God who is love had no choice but to create in order to give His love to another being. The mystery of the Trinity assures us that before creation God was in relationship, was being loved, was loving, was giving, was receiving, was in love. He did not need to create mankind. It was not a necessity. It was His choice. It was his delight. That should make us feel pretty darn good. Blessed preaching.

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