This was my homily for Trinity Sunday.
St Augustine (+430AD) is arguably the greatest mind of the Church’s 2000 year history and indeed one of the great mind of the western world too.
It is reputed that one day he was walking along a beach pondering some aspect of God or the Trinity without any great success. He saw nearby a boy who had dug a hole in the sand. The boy was going down to the water’s edge with a bucket and drawing water to pour into the hole. He asked the boy what he intended to do. The boy answered that he wanted to empty the ocean into the hole. Augustine saw it immediately as a sign from God that his effort to work out the Trinity was going to have the same limited success as the little boy’s endeavours!
God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and everything else that exists will always be an absolute, inexhaustible and incomprehensible mystery. If we are humble enough however, our first response will not be to try and solve the mystery like a crossword puzzle but to kneel down and give adoration, praise and glory to such a great Creator.
When in the Rosary we conclude each decade with the GLORY BE, we usually say it at a mile a minute and never absorb the richness of what it says: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.” It is good to slow down at times and really ponder the meaning of what we are saying.
One aid to a heart-felt appreciation of God’s greatness is to contemplate the beauty and wonder of Creation, his handy-work. A good example is to go out on a cloudless night and look up into the heavens at the moon and stars. This is the starting point of today’s psalm: “When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him.”
The hymn HOW GREAT THOU ART is one excellent expression of this (see YouTube link below).
How should we respond to God’s truth (as we read in the first reading), his beauty and his goodness? We should praise God the source of it all. The response to today’s psalm said: “How great is your name O Lord our God, through all the earth.”
One of the primary things we do at Mass – from the very start to the finish – is to give praise and glory to God. In the GLORIA we say: “Glory to God in the highest… We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory.” These are worthy of our deepest reflection. After the OFFERTORY we join the angels and the saints in the eternal praise that they offer before the throne of God: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.”
The ultimate expression of God’s goodness was to make us his children, in his image and likeness. We are intended to share in his life both here and in eternity. St Paul in the second reading reminds us of how we reach our last end with God. We are judged right with God by believing in Jesus. In this way we receive the infinite merits of the Sacrifice of Calvary and our sins are atoned for.
You will know that I belong to a religious order called the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). In our spirituality we see Mother Mary as a key guide to a faster, fuller relationship with each of the persons of the Blessed Trinity. This comes from Mary’s unique and special relationship with each of them.
Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. The hand of blessing, the Cross and Dove are the signs of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit respectively.
Firstly, Mary is the first daughter of the Father. At the Annunciation she was the first to say YES to God’s plan of redemption: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to your word.” By inviting Mary into our life, she will assist us too to be the Lord’s humble servants who live in obedience to the divine will.
Secondly, Mary is the mother of Jesus, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. As mother she knows him better than anybody else who has ever lived. When we place ourselves in her hands, she will reveal Jesus and his mysteries to us better than any other source available. In this way we will become the Lord’s true disciples.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation and formed Jesus within her. Through Mary’s intercession, the Holy Spirit will also form Jesus spiritually with us. The powerful words of St Paul will be accomplished in our lives: “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”
All this begs a question: How do we invite Mary into our life to help us with this great endeavour? It is VERY simple: we commit ourselves to praying the Rosary every day.
To sum up I’d like to make 3 points. Firstly God the Creator of Heaven, earth and all that exists will always remain an inexhaustible mystery but Jesus has given us the revelation of God as a single family / community of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Secondly, our first obligation as creatures is to give adoration, praise and glory to the Creator. Thirdly, Mother Mary is an invaluable helper to reach our final home with God.
This is the link to HOW GREAT THOU ART