Because the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Proverbs 8:22-31, Psalm 8,
Romans 5:1-5, John 16:12-15

Because the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5)

One of the most difficult classes to take in the seminary is the class on the Holy Trinity; how to understand God, who is firmly one, and yet also three… Bishop Barron said in his homily this weekend it’s a preachers nightmare. It so happens that my first weekend preaching is Trinity Sunday. Well, no pressure… 😉 

Saint Augustine builds off of John the Apostle’s understanding that God is love (1 John 4:8). He explains that the Father is the Lover, the one who loves, the Son is the Beloved, the one is loved, and the Holy Spirit is the Love between the Father and the Son. This teaches us an important quality about God, that God is relational, in other words he desires both to love and to be loved. God desires to be in relationship with us.

Because the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5) 

In our first reading from proverbs we learn that creation flows forth from God. In other words creation is the work of the Holy Trinity. So the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit pours itself out to create the world and us. Each of us exists because God wanted us. Creation is the fruit of Trinitarian love.

The entire Old Testament reaffirms this beautiful truth that God created us and wants to be in relationship with us. The Old Testament is the story of an unfaithful people and an always faithful God. In response to our infidelity, God sends us His son Jesus. God emptied himself (Phil 2:7), he poured himself out to become man, so that we might know his great love for us. The reason we know this to be totally and completely true is Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. 

As if the salvation won for us by Jesus wasn’t enough, the Gospel today tells us that Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to guide us to all truth. The final aspect of God’s love poured forth is the promise of the Holy Spirit who is to be with us to strengthen us and guide us always.

Brief side note: this is the genius of placing the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity on the first Sunday after the Easter season. The Easter season is the great drama of how our salvation takes place. Salvation is something that Father, Son and Holy Spirit together have done for us. All of this to be in relationship with us; to love us and to be loved by us.

Because the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5)

Ok, so I’m sure I haven’t said much new. God is love. But, what does the love of God being poured out into our hearts demand of us? It challenges us to live the same. As we have received his love, now we are to love God and others totally.

In a religious Ed class that I was teaching, a little girl asked me, “Mr. Durkee, if the Eucharist is Jesus, why don’t we always stay with him, loving him, in the chapel?” Good question! Love demands a response! Our lives must be centered in prayer. The love and intimacy we have with Christ should move us to go out into the world and pour out love into the hearts of our sisters and brothers in Christ. 
A powerful example of this is Fr. Loc. Father loves the entire Holy Family community so much. The way he shows this most clearly is by his ministry of presence. Father wants holy family to be the center of community life in Caledonia where people come to learn of God’s great love for them. He is always present and available to the community. He pours himself out in love by his ministry of presence in this community. 

One way to measure the fruitfulness of a priest is by how he inspires and edifies his community. In particular how he inspires young men to become priests. No doubt Fr. Loc will be a source of encouragement for some here to be priests. 

A powerful example of love that pours itself out is Fr. Mark. I will never forget Father’s first words to me when I arrived on internship. He said to me, just “love the people.” This is Fr. Mark. He will do anything for all of you. He is one of the best priests at dropping everything for people when they are sick and in the hospital.  

One way to measure the fruitfulness of a priest is by how he inspires and edifies his community. In particular how he inspires young men to become priests. No doubt he will inspire and cultivate the vocations of future priests. But he needs to know that he is a major reason last year’s internship confirmed my vocation. I hope to be a priest like him. 

Another example of love that pours itself out is all of you, the Christian community. Many of you devote so much time and effort to make a variety of ministries succeed. If I were to ask any of you the reason for the ministry you are involved in, I am sure one of the main reasons would be that you love God, and want others to know they are loved by God.

One way, and certainly not the only way, to measure the fruitfulness of a Christian community is RCIA. This community has had people in its RCIA program consistently year after year. The love of God has worked through you to bring more into relationship with the Holy Trinity.

Because the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5)

Today, in a special way we are called to remember the amazing work of the Holy Trinity. Specifically how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created us, loves us, saves us, and is remains with us.  

We are also challenged to give of ourselves completely to God. Maybe there is a ministry that you have always wanted to be a part of, or maybe you simply just want to get more involved in this faith community. I urge all of us to consider how we can pour out God’s love into the hearts of others more by sharing our time and our gifts with one another. 

As we approach the Eucharist today, the greatest sign of God’s out pouring love, may we be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to pour out ourselves in God’s love for our sisters and brothers in Christ. 

Because the Love of God has been poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5)

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