HOMILY FOR HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY YEAR A.
THEME: Holy Trinity, Model of Unity and Compassion.
BY: Fr. Luke Ijezie
Resp. Psalm: Daniel 3:52-56
We often forget the fact that we are called to be like God. We are called to be holy as God is holy, to be compassionate as God is compassionate, to forgive as God forgives, to love as God loves. In the face of these demands and imperatives, today’s Solemnity becomes very relevant.
The Solemn feast of the Holy Trinity, which we celebrate today, urges us to marvel at the mystery of God as much as we can. The teaching that God exists as three persons is a matter of Christian faith and remains beyond our ordinary human imagination. The Church, however, helps us from time to time and in various occasions to understand what is involved or implied in that belief. Ordinarily, the unity of God in three persons is presented as a model of Christian unity. Jesus prayed to the Father for his followers to be united just the Godhead is one. He himself presented the unity in God as the model of Christian unity – “so that they may one just ad we are” (John 17:11,21). That means unity with a common purpose, unity in solidarity and mutual love. One aspect of the divine unity that comes out prominently in today’s readings is the attribute of love which expresses itself in compassion.
1. The first reading from Exod 34:4b-6,8-9 highlights the attribute of compassion, among others, as central to the nature of God. This text is one of the central biblical texts that Pope Francis used to introduce the Extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy in 2015, specifically in the Bull of Indiction given on 11th April, 2015. According to the Pope, God gave His name to Moses in Exod 34:6 as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” The Pope presents compassion/mercy as the real meaning of God’s name, and this is abundantly revealed in the person of Jesus Christ who is presented as the face of the Father’s mercy, which he calls the _Misericordiae Vultus_(the face of mercy). Here mercy is used interchangeably with compassion, and it expresses God’s mode of acting with human beings. In Exod 6, God’s compassionate identity is qualified with such attributes as merciful, gracious, long-suffering (slow to anger), kindhearted, dependable (faithful).
2. The compassionate nature of God is brought out preeminently in the Gospel text of today from John 3:16-18 which is at the very centre of the theology of John’s Gospel. Here John expresses the central truth: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (3:16). The love of God is such that, as long as we believe in Him, He does not allow us to be condemned even when we are guilty. Jesus saved us while we were yet sinners. This is how God’s love and compassion work. He does everything to rescue us, even to offering His own Son. This is the model of loving and compassion. Only such form of love can keep people together.
3. The second reading from 2Cor 13:11-13 stresses this love and compassion as the only way to enhance unity and peace in the community. Paul tells the Corinthian Christians: “Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2Cor 13:11). For Paul, Christians can realise the presence of God better only when their hearts are united in mutual love, compassion and solidarity. The more we become like God the more we experience His presence. That presence is a Communion or fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
4. As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity, we are urged to model our human relationships on the unity of the Triune God. This involves mutual love, compassion, forgiving spirit, solidarity and mutual care. In this way, we can be a Community trully gathered in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
May the love that binds the Holy Trinity continue to bind us together for greater peace and happiness!
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