Solemnity of the Most Holy
A Homily - Cycle C - 2012-2013
by Rev. Luke Dundon
First Reading - Proverbs 8:22-31
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading - Romans 5:1-5
Gospel - John 16:12-15
John wrote to show that Christ was
the Messiah, the Divine Son of God.
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 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."
One day, a soldier, a sailor, a Marine and an airman were arguing about whose is the best service. They decide to turn the matter over to the Almighty. In time, an angel comes down and hands them a letter, sealed in gold and all official-looking. They open it up, and the letter reads, “Dear children, all branches of the United States Armed Forces are honorable and noble. Each serve America with distinction. Being in the United States military represents a special calling, which warrants respect and tribute. So be proud of that!” Blessings to you all, God Almighty, United States Navy (and yes, you can change the ending!).
“Why are THEY here?” (Not you guys!) That was the question that we midshipmen often heard on board the USS Los Angeles, an attack submarine out of Pearl. We were stationed there for a couple of months for summer training. Stationed on board a submarine that had been through a stressful past few months, a boat that had gone through stressful drills and maneuvers, hundreds of feet in the depths of the sea. And so these seasoned and salty submariners would look at us and ask, “Why are THEY here?” I personally was excited to meet this group of men who had given up the comforts of civilian life for the sake of defending their homeland, their families, their freedom. They had come together to endure the grueling adventure of shipboard life, living in cramped quarters, getting little sleep, and leading fairly high-stress daily schedules. Amazingly, FROM this crucible, these individuals had obviously coalesced into what is best termed, a FAMILY. A FAMILY that relied on each other, who were there for each other. And so, naturally, they see us bright-eyed, bushy-tailed youngsters come out of nowhere, and they have to ask, ‘Why are THEY here?”
We were THERE to learn. We were there to learn how to drive a ship and run drills and stand watch at 2 in the morning, sure, but more fundamentally, we were there to learn the IDENTITY of belonging to the FAMILY of our crew. We also shared the cramped bunks. We also stood watch in the sonar room at 2 in the morning. And so, by the end of our relatively little stint, many of the sailors DID treat us as part of the family. It took some time, it took hard work, it took a lot of patience and even more humility, but we were gradually brought into this identity of BELONGING to the family of the USS Los Angeles. It was cool!
Our Lord has also gradually revealed the deepest identity he could ever share with us, His very own identity, the identity of God Almighty, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not an isolated individual God all by himself. But a trinity of persons. Not a lonely God on top of a mountain. But a community, FAMILY, who know each other and LOVE each other with infinite love. Today, on Trinity Sunday, we celebrate this Divine Family which is God Himself, who has revealed Himself gradually and patiently over time, so that we could receive the mystery, so that we could appreciate the mystery, so that we could LIVE the mystery. And we can do it, for the Holy Spirit will guide us. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit love each other so much, that this love overflows freely to His creation. And we have living proof of it.
Each person here, every person to live, and every person who WILL live, is a unique manifestation of the Love happening within the Trinity. We know that our Mom and Dad helped, sure, but think about that for a second – you have been LOVED into existence, you have been uniquely loved into existence by God. And he has shown forth so many profound dimensions of His love, through each person He has created . . . And WE are called to share that with each other. I was recently invited to be godfather or one of our young parishioners here, and the godmother’s child came up to me right before the baptism and said, “You know, once you become a godparent, that makes you part of our family! You’ll be one of US!” So free, so gratuitous, THAT”S love which spills over freely to each other! The Divine Family has allowed US to love each other so freely, so that we could manifest our Trinitarian God to the world. We best prove to the world that God exists, NOT by ourselves alone, but by our loving relationships with each other. For that is what God Himself is. So, the question comes full circle to us – Why are WE here? . .. WE are here, thank you Lord, because we have been loved into existence (our soul is stamped with a “Made by the Trinity” logo). WE are here to love others with the same complete and self-giving love. And when we do, brothers and sisters in Christ, then others will finally see Who God really is, they will finally realize why THEY are here as well.