Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Bishop of Parramatta
Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Year B 2021 at St Luke’s Catholic Community, Marsden Park
Readings: Deut 4:32-40; Romans 8:14-17; Matt 28:16-20
31 May 2021
Living the relational model of the Trinity
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ear Brothers and Sisters,
Today is the feast of the Holy Trinity which is the core of our Christian faith. In and through Jesus, God reveals himself as a communion of persons. The Father/Creator God who created us in His image; who sustains us and draws us into the circle of life and love; the Incarnate Jesus who is the Emmanuel God-with-us; and finally the Spirit/Sanctifying God who infuses the whole of creation with His divine presence and energy.
In celebrating the Trinity, we are moved to become a community that reflects the God of love among all peoples and the God of relational unity with all that exists. Just as the Trinity is a dynamic power of transformation, we are called to walk the transformative journey of growing into the full stature of Christ.
The Word of God highlights the call to be a believing community whose identity and mission is intimately bound up with relational transformation, both within and without. This is so because the God we believe in is fundamentally the God of right relationships. Believers are to mirror the relational model of the Trinity that challenges the domination system with Jesus’ style of radical solidarity, service and love.
Thus, in the first reading, Moses reminds the Israelites of the purpose by which God has delivered them from their bondage in Egypt. God has accompanied them on a journey to freedom, “by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm and by fearsome terrors.” Now in the time of stability and prosperity, they must not be dulled by amnesia. Moses instructs the Israelites to get on with the task of building a post-exodus society, which would reflect the God of communion and love.
“Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today”. Later on, also in Deuteronomy, Moses would spell out those laws and commandments terms becoming a caring and inclusive society, which was the antithesis of what they had experienced in Egypt. The covenant community would be marked by concern for the God-given dignity of all and special attention to the most vulnerable, the widows, the orphans and the strangers.
Moses’ instruction to the Israelites finds resonance in the Gospel. The risen Christ commissions the Eleven to transform the world with the Good News. “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptise them… and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.” This is not so much about converting everyone into a Christian Catholic and making the whole world into a kind of Christendom.
Unfortunately in our history, there was a time when many Christians were driven by an imperial ambition to conquer and dominate. Rather, our mandate is to be a critical yeast and a leaven for the life of the world. Our job is not so much to convert others as to share with them the dynamic presence, the living power and energy of the Trinitarian God.
This week, Pope Francis has launched a “Laudato Si” action program throughout the Church on the 6th anniversary of this prophetic encyclical. Individuals and organisations are invited to achieve the practical goals of ecological living such as adopting renewable energy, reducing our carbon footprint, living a simple lifestyle, showing solidarity with indigenous peoples, defending all life et cetera. This is yet another way of reflecting the God of life for us believers. As Pope Francis says, creating the future of a more inclusive, fraternal, peaceful, and sustainable world is our mission. It is what faith in the Trinity means in action.
We are to be a society, which is counter-cultural or even antithetical to the dominant social system. We are called to practice an ethic of concern, care, support for one another and for the long-term wellbeing of God’s beautiful world. The Christian way of living cannot be other than the way shown in Jesus’ radical simplicity, solidarity and communion with God’s people and creation.
We are standing before the reality of a God who loves us so much that he communicates himself wholly to us. In Jesus who became one of us, who suffered and died for us, we see God so close, so self-giving that he held nothing back. He offered us everything in His Son. May the relational model of the Trinity be our strength and inspiration. May our lives and relationships reflect the communion of love of God the Father Son and Holy Spirit.