The Most Holy Trinity Sunday
Reading I Proverbs 8:22-31
Reading II Romans 5:1-5
Gospel John 16:12-15
You are stopped on the street and a reporter comes up to you and asks, “Are you Catholic?” You answer, “Well, yes I am.”
Then the reported says, “There is something that you Catholics believe in and it’s called the Blessed Trinity. I am a reporter for WGEM and would you tell me what the Blessed Trinity is?”
And you say, “Well, I’ll have to think about this. I know it means Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
The reporter comes back, “But the whole world knows that. What does it mean to you? How does it touch your life?”
You answer, “I am not sure. All I know is that it does.”
The difference is that when we are baptized, just as Nixon is going to be baptized in a few minutes, this Spirit of God comes into us — but there is so much that we do not understand. We do not understand why a child dies at birth and someone else dies at 101 years old. We don’t understand why there is a mixture of girls and boys being born — but they all love in a beautiful way. Why is it when a couple stands up here and gets married that someone doesn’t whisper into their ears or tell them ahead of time, “I just want you to know this now so you can plan ahead: You are going to have four children. All four are going to be born in the month of May, you are going to have two boys and two girls. One of your children will grow up to be successful, another will have special needs, another child will leave the church, and another one of you children will just be ordinary.”
How do you think the couple will accept that? They might look at each other and ask, “Do we really want to go on with this marriage?”
God says, “It’s not your decision. It’s my decision. And when you deal with my love you will never be in control, and you will never understand it fully.”
So when people ask us questions about our faith, yes, some things are easy if you memorized them from the Catechism or the Creed at Mass — but what does it really mean to experience God’s love? We have a hard time experiencing human love, and yet human love comes form God and it kind of throws our lives into a tizzy. God doesn’t say, “I’m going to pick out 50 people for you to love in your lifetime.” He just says to everybody, “I am going to be in charge of that. You are going to touch people that you don’t even know and your love will be everlasting. Some things will happen and it will change your life.”
A few months ago, there was an attack on Paris, France. People lost their lives. The beautiful city of Paris was all messed up because of this attack. There was one young man who was in the midst of that incident and he shared this story. “There was a guy, and he was standing very close to me. He was shot, killed, and the two of us fell over on the ground and he lay on top of me for ten minutes. Then I discovered — he died but he saved my life.” What a tremendous gift. That young man who died had no idea an hour ahead of time that he was going to be shot and killed. The other man who lived never knew the young man who was shot and killed, but they were both put into a situation and this helps us realize that God is in everyone and brings that fact alive sometimes in the strangest ways.
Then the man who lived was asked, “What did you take from that incident that occurred in your life?” And he said, “I’ve learned you simply have to live in the moment.”
What this means is: Don’t keep going back on things that went wrong, don’t worry about the things that you have no control of happening or even how to help. Just live so that God’s love, that comes from the Father and through his Son and into each of our hearts, is so mysterious. And so you shouldn’t have to apologize if the microphone is shoved in your face. The right answer should be — “If you don’t know about the Holy Trinity, you better find out for yourself what it is.”
Because every person, I don’t care what church he goes to or what continent he lives on, simply has to know that there is a God who has everlasting love for every single one of us. God doesn’t pick out just certain ones to love — we all have been picked. So this week, let’s think about the people who came into your life that you didn’t know but who made a difference in your life; or people that you know right now and how they may do something for you that will change your outlook about yourself, or the world in which you live.
God says, “If you can grasp that, you will never be lonely in this world or in this life —because God will always be there.”
Nixon has no idea how much he is loved, not only by his Mom and Dad, but also by his family and this parish. He doesn’t have a clue about what a difference he will make in their lives, and that there are people who will never know his name who will change his life. That is how powerful this love is that we are talking about. God doesn’t pick out special ones to love, he loves everyone and there is nothing cheap about it, you can’t buy it, and it is not obtained by using your brains or your money — it is just by the surrender of your own heart that you and I can feel and experience this powerful love.
The other day I had a phone call from a gentleman from a parish where I was a priest probably 35 years ago and he asked, “Do you remember my name?” And I answered, “I remember the name but I cannot put it all together.”
He said, “You gave me my first communion. You asked my dad to serve on the diocesan school board. We stayed in that parish until my dad was transferred. He now lives in another city. My dad became superintendent of the school district and is being honored. I am trying to find some information and you came onto my radar. I need you to tell me what year you asked my dad to serve on the school board.”
I said, “It has to be within this three-year period. But if you call the Diocesan office they can tell you in five minutes.”
I thought to myself, “Wow. Going back 35 years he calls out of the clear blue and says, ‘You gave me my first Holy Communion.’ ”
In God’s eyes it is not a big deal because we all do wonderful things, and the world is full of love. But when we stop and think about it: Who would we be today if we were not surrounded by love from our families, from workers and even from strangers who come into our lives.
And often we realize, “Yes. I do need to live in this moment.” We can’t go back and say, “God, I want to go back and relive last Sunday.” God would say, “You blew it already. Sunday has come and Sunday has gone and if you thought it was a miserable day it was because you were not in love with the world.” When you and I think only of ourselves we shrink from being a normal human being down to weighing a pound.
Jesus says, “Don’t get a big head about knowing me. Don’t think you are so special. I love the whole world, and I love you so much that you have no reason to ever be jealous or filled with fear or ever wonder how things are going to happen ten years from now. All you have to know is that you are loved, and you are loved always. So live this moment and understand that — this moment will never happen again.”
* * *
Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.
(TASCAM DR 40 file 0043)