We always learn and grow from those who genuinely love us - our intimate friends, our spouses, parents---and our children. From our children we learn to try to capture again that gift of wonder. You and I had that gift of wonder when we were very young-but as we grew older somehow it became lost as we got tied up in so many things.
But, dear friends, unless we are very careful life with all its beauty and goodness and mystery will pass us by. For life loses its meaning when it loses its mystery.
Wonder with me now at the greatest story ever told . . . . at a story that began more than billions of years ago. It is a love story of God bringing all of us and everyone and everything else into existence; a story in which a God of love - nurtures and nourishes us with a motherly-fatherly love----as through Jesus, his Son---he
draws us in the Holy Spirit into his own loving self.
John, the gospel writer summed up his gospel in a famous one-liner: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believed in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16) That powerful one liner: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believed in him may not
perish but may have eternal life" would be a great "Honey, do" note to paste on your bathroom mirrors or your refrigerator door.
God the Father is always in love with us and everyone else. He never takes back that love or he wouldn't be himself. He sent his Son that you and I might live through him. God's son, Jesus, was a flesh and blood Jew. He left us without his smile, laughter, and tears, but he left himself under what we call bread and wine, but is not
bread and wine. God's Son sent us his Holy Spirit to bring to our minds and hearts what Jesus has taught us.
On today's feast of the Holy Trinity we celebrate our God as "Three-in-One" - as a community of lovers-the Father loving the Son, the Son loving the Father, and both Father and Son breathing forth the Holy Spirit into our lives.
We are made in the image of God the Father. In all that we do to awaken and preserve and cherish new life, to develop our environment, in all our efforts at fathering and mothering, teaching, planting a few flowers or working on the car---all that we make be it composing a song on a guitar for one's own delight or writing an essay
for class, or patching a hole in a well-used pair of favorite jeans-- In all that we do and make we are somehow defining ourselves as people made in the image of God the Father.
We are made in the image of God the Son. In all our acts of compassion, healing, forgiveness, our reaching out to the needy, our working for justice, our looking out for someone else--- you and I define ourselves as people made in the image of God the Son.
We are made in the image of God the Holy Spirit. In every idea and inspiration we have - however delightful. however whimsical, in our every advance in science, in knowledge and wisdom, in every flash of imagination, and movement of the heart-you and I define ourselves as people made in the image of God the Holy Spirit.
We can joyfully praise our God who is forever in love with us. Only a few days ago I discovered a hymn: "How Wonderful the Three-in-One". Twenty years ago Brian Wren wrote the words of that hymn to praise the wonderful glory of our God. I became spellbound by this hymn of gratitude to God for creating us, redeeming us, and
sanctifying us. In sharing with you the words of this hymn I have inserted a few key words to guide us before each of the short verses.
"How Wonderful the Three-in-One" Brian Wren 1989
Think of God Three-in-One
"How wonderful the Three-in-one.
Whose energies of dancing light
Are undivided, pure and good.
Communing love in shared delight."
Think of God the Father
Before the flow of dawn and dark,
Creation's Lover dreamed of earth.
And with a caring deep and wise,
All things conceived and brought to birth.
Think of God the Son
The Lover's own Belov'd in time,
Between the cradle and a cross,
At home in flesh, gave love and life
To heal our brokenness and loss.
Think of God the Holy Spirit
Their equal Friend all life sustains
With greening pow'r and loving care,
And call us born again by grace,
In Love's communing life to share.
Think of God Three-in-One
How wonderful the Living God:
Divine Belov'd, Empow'ring Friend.
Eternal Lover, Three-in-One,
Our hope's beginning, way, and end."
Read other homilies by Father Paul