“Hooray for God!”
Father Hanly’s homily for The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year C, invites us to say “Hooray for God!”
Readings for The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year C
- First Reading: Acts 14:21-27
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13
- Second Reading: Revelation 21:1-5
- Gospel: John 13:31-33, 34-35
Today, as you know, we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity.
This is the one and only day — in all the Feast Days, in all the masses, everything — it’s the one day that we actually celebrate God.
It’s God’s day: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit – three persons, one God.
And so I suppose we should say, “Hooray for God!” because this is their day.
I will start with a little jingle. It’s a very old song which used to be sung in church and it’s a tribute to the Holy Trinity:
All hail, adored Trinity;
All hail, eternal Unity;
O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.
Today is all about God. But we have to be careful, and we begin with a bit of a warning, and the warning comes from St Paul. Before we start talking about God, he quotes: “God dwells in inaccessible light.”
There’s a story of a young man who climbs up a sacred mountain and finds at the summit the aged holy man in deep meditation. Probably he’s asleep. Anyhow, he wakes him up.
“What do you want?” the holy man says.
And the boy answers, “I want you to explain God to me so that I too may learn how to worship Him properly.”
And the old man smiles and he says to the boy, “A god that can be explained is not a god that anyone should worship.”
What do you think about that? A god that can be explained is not a god that should be worshipped.
The awesome God is beyond our grasp, beyond all telling, inexplicable, incomprehensible, inaccessible.
For He is divine and we are merely human beings.
But fortunately for us all, it is also written, “God so loves the world that He offers His only Son that everyone who puts their faith in Him may have eternal life.”
Of course, this is a very special, a very, very special gift.
And the one we are talking of is God’s only Son.
Where does he live?
First we ask where does God live?
God is the hidden treasure, the hidden treasure, and there is a story that goes with it.
A gypsy man stopped at the well in the town square for a drink of water and, after he drank, he continued gazing into the well very deeply and mumbling to himself as if he was looking down and talking to somebody.
And a little boy was there and he ran over. And he saw, though the man was big and brawny, he had a kindly face, so he approached him and he asked, “Who lives down there?”
“God does. God does,” answered the gypsy man.
“Can I see Him too?” asked the little boy.
“Of course, you can,” said the gypsy man picking him up in his arms and lifting the little boy so he could look down deep into the well.
But all the little boy could see was his own reflection in the water below.
Disappointed, he turned to the gypsy man. “All I can see is me,” he said.
And the gypsy man laughed and he smiled and he said, “Ah, now you know where God lives. God lives in you.”
Blessed be God, the God of power and might, God lives in you.
In a very kind of special vocabulary we say God, the indwelling God, is a triune God.
God is Father, God is Son, God is Holy Spirit.
A caring father who creates us, a caring brother who is born for us and dies for us and lives also when he rises again for us, now and forevermore. And, of course, the third person, a Holy Spirit who inspires us, comforts us and guides us safely home.
Blessed be the Trinity, a community of love.
Blessed be God, especially today, the God of power and might, the God who loves us, the God who lives in us, the God who dwells among us and is in our hearts.
To know God is to love God, and to love God is to serve God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And then we come to understand that it is not we who serve God, but indeed it is God who is serving us.
He is our creator, He is our Father.
God the Son who was born to us, lives with us now. He has died and risen and takes on a new life and always with us. As he himself has said to his disciples, “I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.”
And Jesus sends us God the Holy Spirit to teach us, to comfort us, to guard us and guide us safely home.
This is not a God to be admired at a distance.
And the only way to find that God is like the little boy. You must look into your own heart, and if you can’t find Him there, He doesn’t exist.
God is to be cherished and loved – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – cherished and followed all the days of our lives into eternity.
And as the saying goes, blessed is the Trinity, because the Trinity is a communion of love.
It’s all about love in the end.
And the final chapter takes place, of course, on Calvary’s Hill. On Calvary’s Hill the secret is out: God, “who dwells in inaccessible light,” wants to be, needs to be, yearns to be loved by us.
It is this vulnerability of God that we cherish most of all.
He “opens the heavens and comes down,” meeting us on our own terms, revealing Himself to us first, that we may come to know Him, and in the knowing of Him to love Him, and in the loving of Him, serve Him.
For thus it is that in the knowing and loving and serving of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we enter the ebb and flow of the very life of God.
And so, today, the only thing we can do is praise:
God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Once a year, we say, “Hooray! Hooray for God!”
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.