Homily Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Year B: Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo
· Deut 4:32-34, 39-40;
· Ps 33:4-9, 18-20, 22;
· Rom 8:14-17
· Matt 28:16-20
God's Mystery and Consequences of Living in His Spirit
In today’s responsorial Psalm we heard, “Blessed are those (or those people) whom the Lord has chosen as his own.” Or “Happy are the nations whose God is the Lord, the people chosen as his very own’” (NAB). Depending on your translation. Whatever translation you have, today’s responsorial Psalm, in a sense, captures the essence of what we celebrate today, namely, Israel in the presence of God; the Church, everywhere, every nations, our communities in the presence of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!.
As Moses and Paul would note in the 1st and 2nd readings, Deuteronomy 4 and Romans 8:14-17, we celebrate today, the consequences of faithfulness, of hope (Duet 4:32-34, 39-40). The Consequences of living in the presence of the Lord, hoping in him, relying on his love and kindness (Rom 8:14-1), include reception of the gifts of adoption, oneness with Jesus, God’s Son, enabling them to call God, Abba, Father (Matt 28:16-20).
This enabling mysterious working of the spirit of the Lord in each of us, who trust in him, surpasses our human understanding, questioning, rationalization and philosophizing. It takes those who live in the Spirit of the Lord to appreciate the fact and truth of the three persons in One God; the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity; a Triune God who loves and cares for us; the mystery of all that God has done for us in our lives, which has always been the subject of faith and reflection for many saints, including Augustine.
Scripturally, today’s readings highlight this mystery of our faith. An important one for that matter. In the 1st reading, Deuteronomy 4, Moses, Israel’s early and greatest prophet exhorts the community of the need to abide with the Lord, keep the faith, and stick with God. He rhetorically reminds them all that God has done for them- the mysteries of creation and wonders in the past including their difficult years in eh wilderness of life and the mystery of freedom and liberation God brought them. For those who live in the spirit of the Lord, God can do for them, what humanly seems impossible.
I am sure as you reflect on this text, you may have your personal testimonies. Recall God’s wonders including the miracle of the air or oxygen we breathe, the wars he defeated the enemies, the 10 plagues, the miracle of the red sea- all these should strengthen our faith and enable us believe more and more in God- keeping his statues and his basic commandments, namely love of neighbor and God!
He is a miracle working God who out of love journeyed in his son to save us- a son who left us with the Spirit at Pentecost. Each of us become adopted sons and daughters of God when we aloud this spirit of God to lead us. We want not only to read the fruit of this spirit but we want this spirit to lead us always, even as we bring others to catholic faith by our words and deeds.
Like Moses, Paul though originally addressing the Romans, in the 2nd reading, says, “brothers a sisters, those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (and daughters) of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you receive the spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, Abba, Father… ” (Rom 8:14-17). What Moses did for his community, exhorting and strengthening their faith and hope, Paul has done for his in Romans 8. For Paul, this Spirit of God which makes us adopted sons and daughters has eschatological consequence because as heirs and co-heirs (synklēromenoi) we can hope for an inheritance. It allows us to suffer with him (sympaschomen). It allows us to glorify with him (syndaxaschōmen) at the resurrection.
This is the mystery, the faith, the spirit, we celebrate today. It goes back even to the days and times of our baptism as noted in the Gospel. We were all baptized not only with water, but in the name of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:16-20).
As commissioned disciples in the Gospel, by the new Moses, Christ, our redeemer, we are not just only to live always according to the spirit of God, of peace, unity, faith, prayer, love, obedience and complete self-surrendering, but also we are to go forth, baptize and bring people to Christ and Christ to people.
This is also what Pope Francis has always stand for, since the beginning of his papacy. He notes in his Evangelii Gaudium that, each of us with the spirit in dwelt in us, we must be a church, a community of faith that is willing to reach out, even to the margins. Reason and personal human will should not only be sources of our holiness and reliability in God’s mysteries or trusting in him, but importantly faith, openness to God’s spirit that is also modeled by the gospel beatitudes (Matt 25, Gaudete et exsultate) must be on the top of the list of our spiritual agenda.
If there is anything we want to take home today on this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, it is faith not doubt, unity not division, hope not despair, openness to God’s Spirit, trust rather than distrust, and total acceptance of the will God, the consequences of living according to his spirit, especially in moments of temptations and lack of intelligible explanations to certain circumstances of our lives. “May your love and kindness be upon us, as we place all our hope in you’ (ps 33:22).
- 1. What have we learned from today’s solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity?
- 2. What does today’s scriptures say to us in light of the mystery we celebrate?
- 3. How does today's lessons impact or change the way we introduce our neighbors to Christ or Christ to our neighbors?