Sunday, May 26, 2013

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity - Yr C (Gospel: John 16:12-15) We mirror God through relationship

One of the most common themes for songs, poems, music and film is love and relationships.  Even a film that is not specifically a romance will nearly always have some relationship in it.  It is what we are all about.  The vast majority of us want to be in relationships of some kind or another.  Even when youngsters sometimes get involved in very violent gangs or religious cults, behind this is a need to belong, a need for community.  It is how we are made.

Do you ever wonder why even after a loving relationship has broken down and caused broken hearts and so much pain, before too long we want to go out and find someone else to love?  You would imagine that we would learn from the first time and then never go near anyone again.  But that is not usually what happens.  This is because we have been made in such a way that we want to be in relationship and meanwhile we turn to our friends or families: another kind of relationship.

It is easy to think of God as some kind of powerful Being or Spirit, who runs the universe all alone.  What is easy to overlook is the fact that God is not alone.  Within God there is a community, a relationship which is based on love.  So even if God never created the universe, God is not by himself wondering what to do.  The Holy Trinity is a community of persons in a beautiful relationship with each other.  They love each other perfectly, they agree perfectly.  They are perfectly content.  They don’t need anything else.

So then why did God create the universe and create us?  God created us for the simple reason that God wants others to share in that same happiness.  What is this happiness?  It is ultimately life in heaven, which means being in the presence of God.  And this means light, happiness, beauty, goodness, harmony, freedom, love and being with other people we love.  This is what it is to be in God’s presence.  God has created us in his image and one of the things that this means is that we also want to be in relationship.  Even if you are not married people are all the time in relationships of one kind or another.  And when we experience real love, or very pure love, that is a tiny glimpse of what God is like.  We are created in such a way that we need to be in relationships of some kind, or we will not grow.

The human family on earth is also meant to be a picture or reflection of God.  When a marriage works, you have two people who love each other and the fruit of their love can become a third person.  That is exactly what the Holy Trinity is: a community of persons based purely on love.  The love between the Father and the Son is another person: the Holy Spirit.  Although families don’t always work, there are many families that do work, even though none are perfect.  In a marriage well lived a man and a woman mirror the Trinity and are meant to be a reflection of God’s love for his creation.

God’s love for us is not just a passive love either, as if God created us and then just sat back to see what would happen.  God is intimately interested in us and in what we do, and that is also why God holds us accountable for what we do.  All of you parents know well that part of loving your children means holding them accountable, and confronting them when they do wrong.  This is doing them a favour.  God does the same with us.  That is why He asks us to go to confession and acknowledge what we have done wrong.  It is for our own good and it is because He loves us.  An indifferent God would not bother.

God has created us for happiness and God will bring us to that happiness as long as we remain open to him.

‘God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.’ 

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