By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp
Homily for Trinity Sunday - Based on the Epistle
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Life In the Trinity

Proverbs 8:22-31 Romans 5:1-5 John 16:12-15

The Easter season is over. It was concluded last Sunday with the Pentecost. Today we return to Sundays in Ordinary Time. If there is one theme that marks the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year, it is the theme of growth in Christian living. The liturgical colour green symbolizes life and growth, as we know from nature. Ordinary Time will take us to the end of the liturgical year. If the theme of the Ordinary Time is growth, why then does the church choose to come back to it with the solemnity of the Blessed Trinity? Growth is a practical, everyday concern but the Trinity seems to be high up there, a matter of theological and philosophical profundity.

The best explanation I can find why the church brings us back to the ordinary time of the year with the feast of the Holy Trinity is in the words of the French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” The church is presenting us with the big picture of the “endless immensity of the sea” we call God. When we are personally caught up in the mystery of the love of God, then we shall find the rationale and the motivation to work for our personal growth in Christian living.

Our second reading from Romans 5:1-5 links belief in the Trinity with the daily practice of Christian living. In this passage Paul speaks of the whole business of our justification and salvation as having peace with God. Being in right relationship with God our Father is the whole point of the Christian life. Paul is quick to add that the way to achieve this is through Christ.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

Our goal is to be at one with God. This is attained through Christ in whom we have access to the Father. Our hope is to share in God’s glory. This hope is nourished by our faith in Christ which justifies us.

Our hope to share in God’s glory in the future is not based on wishful thinking. It is based on the fact that even now God has already given us the surety or assurance of what is to come by pouring out the love of God into our hearts:

And hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Note that the love of God is poured into our heart through the Holy Spirit. Christian life is, therefore, not possible without a relationship with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and his Holy Spirit. This is one big difference between the Christian religion and other religions. Whereas other religions present salvation and godliness solely as a matter between the individual believer and God, the Christian religion agrees that it is indeed a matter between the individual and God and adds that we have two heavenly advocates on our side. First we have our Lord Jesus Christ who redeems us and reconciles us to the Father. And then we also have “another advocate” who carries on the work of our sanctification.

The business is not over the moment we believe in Christ and are justified before God. In fact the business of being a Christian has only begun. From then on, the rest of our lives should be devoted to the business of sanctification, the process of being holy as God is holy. This is where the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of whom we celebrated last Sunday, becomes the guiding principle of our lives. Through the Spirit God’s love is poured into our hearts, through the Spirit we learn to love God and our neighbour as Jesus teaches us. As we return to Ordinary Time and to the daily challenges of living the Christian life, let us know that we are not alone in the struggle. God the Father is on our side, Jesus Christ the Son of God is on our side, the Holy Spirit the Power of God Most High is on our side. Now this is hope, this is hope that never disappoints.

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