Sermons

May 22: Trinity Sunday

“I have much more to tell you…when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” John 16:12-15. 

Trinity2

On Trinity Sunday, we have come full circle, and we now touch the liturgical re-set button of feast days, and summer holidays. The Trinity is about our intimacy with God, as Father, Son and Spirit.

How often we address God as one, then sing hymns such as “Come, Holy Ghost” when we ask for God’s wisdom? Other most familiar hymns like “Holy God, We Praise thy Name,” wherein the verse identifies the Godhead in three persons as “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, three in one.”

With this liturgical re-set button, we look ahead to all those Sundays of Ordinary Time to November 27th, and the First Sunday of Advent.

When I was a youngster the old fashioned missal that I held in my hands at First Holy Communion explained the Latin Mass to me, and my Second Grade class. This little missal contained only one Sunday Mass as its model; it was this, the Mass for the Most Holy Trinity.

As I look at this book now, which I still have as one of my tiny treasures, I’ve wondered why the publishers would selected this particular Sunday for children since of all theological mysteries, the Trinity is not the easiest to explain.

Then again, most of religion is not easy to explain, and maybe children possess the ability to be totally at one resting in the mystery of how certain people have loved us into being, and that relationship is precisely who we honor on this day.

How God loved us, becomes one of us, and inspires us to continue this creative act of love, faith, hope and care for one another, is the Trinity.

So we begin and end in this cloud of mystery, that is the Trinity, and we play a part of this intimate connection.

Thomas Merton, the great American spiritual writer picks up on this theme, when he writes: “Wisdom knows God in ourselves, and ourselves in God.”

John’s gospel brings us once again to Jesus’s farewell discourse at the Last Supper. He says: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide to you to all truth.”

Please note, the gospel writer says “he will guide you to all truth.” This line is not meant to say “the truth” as if we have the market on one kind of truth.

Rather we live in a creative force where there are many more roads to wisdom — in music, the arts, in science and astronomy, and yes, even professional sports.

For example, the planets and constellations appear to align for Steph Curry, when he hits a 3-pointer. Now there’s a life force for you!

Our first reading from the Book of Proverbs, speaks of wisdom before an awesome God whose vast creation with its planets, stars and sky we continue to marvel at. And know now more than ever, we play a vital role know how we must take responsibility for this gift.

With the diverse spiritual and religious perspectives, come important insights about the divine, and worthy of our respect. Something like no snowflake is the same, but a marvel to behold.

Deepak Chopra, the psychologist and spiritual guide, says: “Walk with those seeking truth, and run from people who think they have found it.”

Our political candidates, in this year’s seemingly relentless presidential election should take this advice.

The point here is that truth comes in deep layers. The kind of knowledge we had as a youngster attempting to comprehend this life force of love calling us into being from parents, friends teachers and coaches takes growth, time to take root and mature.

This requires discernment about our own spirituality before a Godhead whose direction provides the grace to make our witness to family and friends even more apparent to a world that need us, and our service to those in need.

We know too that life can also break our hearts. I have seen this when a son or daughter in military service is severely injured or does not come home from deployment overseas.

Or while siting in a hospital waiting room with parents whose infant is in surgery at a children’s intensive care unit.

Yes, life can break our hearts.

Saint Paul makes this bold statement: “Not only do we boast in the glory of God, we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that these tests of faith produce endurance, proven character, and a hope that does not disappoint.”

He’s talking about Jesus’s love even to death that marks us at Baptism. Jesus, the very human face of God, speaks to us at these moments, and provides a hope that does not disappoint, even in our darkest personal crisis.

Pope Francis in his exhortation “Laudato Si,” ends with “A Prayer in Union with Creation,” calling upon Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“Father, we praise you with all your creatures…

Son of God, Jesus through you all things were made…

Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world. 

Lord, seize us with your power and light,

Help us to protect all life,

to prepare for a better future,

for the coming of your Kingdom

of justice, peace, love and beauty.

Praise be to you!

Amen.”

Afterword:

James M. Barrie the playwright and author of “Peter Pan” bequeathed the copyright and its huge fortune for his most famous literary creation to the London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Barrie had become a foster uncle to four young boys whose parents had died leaving them in great sorrow and personal bereavement.

How do you explain to young people about such sorrow and sadness becomes the subject of a film “Finding Neverland,” (2004) with Johnny Depp, and the current Broadway musical adaptation, which starred Matthew Morrison.

In the song “When Your Feet Don’t Touch the Ground,” Morrison playing James Barrie, sings along side Aiden Gemme as Peter. Together they deal with this grief, asking us to consider a higher realm, an “invisible kingdom of the heart” where the “lost boys” might fly, and  make this inner life possible. The British singer and composer Gary Barlow wrote this amazing song.

 

 

2 thoughts on “May 22: Trinity Sunday

    • Hi Ed — It’s a wonderful score by the British singer and composer, Gary Barlow. The song is a Peter Pan version of “Climb Every Mountain.” We’ll talk soon, I have some questions about Google Slides. And yes, Mahershala was terrific on Saturday! I had to leave the Friday reception to get back here. Mike R 

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