To Love as the Trinity Loves
I enjoyed this homily from my pastor this past weekend and wanted to share it here for our readers. This homily is by Father Jay Kythe, Pastor of the Church of St. Pius X, White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Homily delivered on the Feast of the Holy Trinity, 2013
Many homilists will preach for this feast in two ways:
1.) a profound theological understanding of the Trinity; or
2.) it’s a mystery, so we really can’t say much of anything about it. Let’s talk about shamrocks instead.
The answer lies in the middle. Yes, it is a great mystery, and yes, we must accept on faith the understanding that God is three persons — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — and still one God. But we can indeed say something positive about God as Trinity, and it has to do with us.
First of all, God created us. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, God made us: “in the divine image He made him; male and female He made them.” All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and specifically in the image and likeness of God as Trinity.
Theologians throughout the century have tried to explain what this actually means.
Intellect, will, passions (this is the typical explanation).
Body, soul, spirit.
These are all marks of the Trinity within us, three elements about us, yet there is only one of us. But if God created us male and female, then somehow that is important in recognizing the mark of the Trinity within us too.
Second of all, the closest thing we have in a definition of God is in I John: God is love.
That reveals to us the very essence of who God is.
So the Trinity is a Trinity of persons engaged in a relationship of love:
Father loves Son, Son loves Father, their loves brings forth (spirates) the Holy Spirit. Their love cannot be self-contained so it spills out and into all creation, and especially touches the summit of His creation: the human person.
We are created to love like God loves. And especially when a man and woman can love like God loves, we can see the image of God most clearly in this couple, even more when their love cannot be self-contained and spills out into a new creation, another human person! Nine months later, they give him/her a name.
Therefore, the best image of God as Trinity is seen in marriage and in the human family.
Now, we live in a sinful world: Original sin has not destroyed this image of God but it has certainly weakened it. We do not love properly. Our loves are tainted with selfishness.
God, however, loves entirely selflessly. Self gift, self donation, completely giving of Himself to the other. The closer our loves gets to that kind of love, the more pure will the image of God be for us. Our task is to love like God loves, complete self-gift of one to another. For the couple, that self-gift becomes complete in the exchange of vows and in the life after. God has a plan. He made us male and female, giving us an environment of the human family in which to raise children.
The greatest vocation for a mom and a dad is to teach their children how to love. They do this by teaching them how to give themselves to another selflessly. Anything else falls short of this image of God as seen in the love between man and woman does not represent the Trinity.
Cohabitation does not represent the image of the Trinity within us, because it can never be a total, complete, committed gift of self.
Contraception does not represent the image of the Trinity within us because it is not a free and total-self gift of one to the other.
Does gay “marriage” represent the Trinity? I would argue it does not, because it is not part of God’s plan; it is our plan, not God’s.
Our goal is to love as God loves, in accordance with the image of the Trinity by which we were made. Christ shows us how to do that. We must grow in intimacy with the God of Love and with the Savior Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit so that we can restore the image of God within us. Then when people see us, as individuals or as married couples, they should be able to see God’s love for His people.
Let us become mirrors of that love in a broken world.
This article, To Love as the Trinity Loves is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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