St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

 

The Holy Trinity, the Divine Guests                                              -Homily June 15, 2014

 

Today we remember the central mystery of our faith: our God is only one, but it is not a lonely God. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three divine persons, but only one God. Three subjects, but one thing. Three in persons, but one in substance. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but not three gods, only one God. We love three persons, we have one God. It is difficult to understand, it is impossible to comprehend, but it is easy to believe. God cannot lie, and he taught us to say “In the name (only one name) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. It is as easy as to make the sign of the Cross: one God in three persons.

 

The mystery of God, his perfect wisdom and his eternal communion of love, could have never been imagined by human beings. We could have never arrived to know him as he is, we could have never arrived to see him, we could have never tasted his infinite goodness. Though our desire of happiness is infinite, we don’t have the power to attain the infinite blessedness we thirst for. That is why God came to the world to help us. God sent his Son into the world and sent the Holy Spirit so that we could know him and love him as he really is. He came so that we could taste and see how good the Lord is, how great, wonderful and beautiful. He wanted to share with us his own happiness, his own life, his own joy.

 

How? By making his temple in our hearts. The blessed Trinity dwells in our hearts. What do we mean by that? God is everywhere: what is the difference between the presence of the blessed Trinity in the whole world, and this particular presence in the hearts of Christians?

 

God is everywhere by his power, by his knowledge of everything, and by the fact that he sustains everything in existence. But he is not known everywhere, he is not loved everywhere. A tree cannot know God, a stone cannot love him. He can only be known and be loved in the hearts of angels and human beings. But there is more. We can know God with a natural knowledge, as the necessary cause of everything, and we can love him also with a natural love. But by this natural knowledge we actually only know that God must be there, somewhere, but he is beyond our horizon. God is infinite and our human powers are limited. By our own nature we cannot reach him, we cannot enjoy his presence, we cannot be his friends.

 

By grace, by the revelation of God and by the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, our situation has radically changed. The grace we have received in baptism transforms and perfects our human nature in such a way, that now we can know God as he truly is, and we can love him as our friend. And although grace does not allow us to have in this life a perfect knowledge of God, it will allow us in the other life to encounter God, to taste his goodness, to know him as he knows us, to enjoy his goodness and friendship for ever. “We will be like him,” says St. John, “because we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:2) We will enjoy, by the grace of God, his own divine happiness. We will rejoice with the joy of God.

 

Even now the grace of God makes us able to know God and enjoy his friendship. The Trinity dwells within our hearts as in a temple: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23); “The Father will give you another Advocate [the Holy Spirit], to be with you for ever” (John 14:16). The three divine Persons abide in us because they want our love. We should be mindful of this all the time, and pray unceasingly, as St. Paul says (1 Tes 5:17). God is with us, within us, but many times we are not with him. May be it is impossible to be always aware of his presence… But at least we should know that he is there always, always waiting for us. And perhaps, from time to time, we could say something to him: “Thank you, I love you, forgive me, help me.”

 

You know why we are not happy? Because we look for happiness in the wrong places. We go out of ourselves, and the secret of happiness is within our hearts. We look for riches in the world, and the treasure is within us. We look for pleasures outside, but the lasting joys are inside. We thirst for love, we look for friends, but we leave alone in our heart the best friends that we may ever imagine: God the Father, who wants you to be his child; God the Son, who died on the Cross to forgive you; God the Holy Spirit, who pours into your heart the love of God, who allows you to be his friend, who inserts you in the mystery of the Trinity as an adopted son or daughter.

 

Dear friends, the Holy Trinity is not necessarily something we have to understand, but a mystery we have to enjoy. May we learn to be with them. May the Holy Virgin Mary teach us to talk to them, to love them, to make friendship with them. There is no happiness on earth that can be compared with this, and if there is any anticipation of heaven in this world, it is our communion with the Mystery of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The first man, in the Garden of Eden, used to talk to God every evening. May we all spend some time with our Lord, who is within us all the time, every day, until the end of the world. –Fr. Andrew

 

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Pope Francis asks us to pray for peace….

 

As you know, this past May 25, during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Holy Father invited Presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas to join him in raising to heaven a fervent supplication to God for the gift of peace, and offered to welcome them to his place for a meeting of prayer.

 

The event cam about the afternoon of Sunday, June 8, the Solemnity of Pentecost. His Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, with whom the Holy Father had the joy of sharing his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, also participated in the event.

 

According to a last minute letter by the Apostolic Nuncio Luigi Bonazzi, “Pope Francis profoundly wished to involve all the faithful, so that the prayer to God be all the more intense and that the land of Jesus may finally enjoy the peace which the angels announced at his birth.” Even if the meeting is in the past, prayer for peace is still needed, and so we want to extend to our parishioners the invitation of the Pope.

 

“Pope Francis asks those in consecrated life and all the faithful to participate spiritually in this supplication. Moreover, all men and women of goodwill may participate in the secret of their heart. Thus the prayer for peace will rise from the tomb of Peter and extend to all the ends of the earth. We hope the promise of Our Lord will so be accomplished: “If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” (Mt 18.19)