Homily preached On Trinity Sunday by Br. Andrew 5th June 2012
Many Persons in one God
Today is Trinity Sunday and in the readings today Father Son and Spirit have been revealed to us, the Trinitarian blessing pronounced for the first time. God is three and God is one!
I have had difficulty in committing this homily to paper, not because the subject is necessarily impossible but too many pathways’ bring us to this point of Revelation of Trinity and just as many proceed from it.
I have chosen, wisely, I think not to delve into the quagmire of the dogma of the Trinity rather to speak of God and how it makes itself known to us..
God is not the name of our Creator; we worship God, with a capital “G” to differentiate our God from other gods which we consider false, none existent and their representations Idols. The Deity has revealed to us its name and in doing so has entered into Covenant with humanity. In ancient times to know someone’s name was to know the source of their secret strengths or life, to reveal your name to another was a huge step towards being in relationship with that person.
Our Creator, through a burning bush that would not burn revealed The Name on mount Horeb to Moses, a lonely shepherd, revealing something of Divine mystery: –
“ I Am that I Am” – Yahweh, Y’hw’h without its now unknown vowels the Hebrew consonant’s when spoken together Yoh- hey, vah, hey—almost sounds like we are breathing. The Name is the very breath we take to sustain life. Moses was alive because he breathed the breath of Yahweh.
I Am forever fully present I AM the One who makes all others things be.
In the reading from Deuteronomy Moses extolls the WORD, and reminds them that the LORD has created them; redeemed them from slavery in Egypt, breathed into them his breath of life and makes them whole and in return asks only that they love him. To be responsible!
Yahweh is forever fully Triune; yet at that point in time humanity’s capacity to believe, even in a single faceted deity, was impeded by recent history, the pollution of belief by their Slavers, with the forgetting of their religious roots and Practices.
Yahweh reveals only enough about the One who Is as the current paradigm will allow us to have the wisdom and courage to believe.
We could say of an Anthropomorphic God that in choosing to enter into a relationship with us Yahweh became vulnerable.
The Jews of old knew Yahweh as a Father (Ex.4:22), a Shepherd (Psalm 22/23:1), a Husband, (Is.54:5-8), Potter (Jer.18:6), and Vineyard owner, (Ps.80:8-13) they did not as yet know him as a brother; nor would they believe, in a hurry that their Father, would take a wife or sire a human child.
In his humanity Yahweh God was vulnerable because as soon as he entered into intimate relationship with us he knew that one day, when the time was right he, the Word would be born into the world to die for us; to save us from sin and death.
Moses said to the Israelites “Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything like it ever heard…” (Deut.4:32) When we remove the veil from our Eucharistic elements we say – In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. Through the Word all things were made. The Word was made flesh and lived among us. (John 1:1-4 NJB) This Majestic Word is Jesus, the second divine personality in Yahweh who became one of us.
While Jesus the Christ was with us he taught us more about Yahweh than was ever yet revealed because He is Yahweh, standing in the flesh beside the people of his time and yet seated in heaven taking care of the world.
There are too many verses to cite the love that Jesus has in his heart for us or to truly understand the terror of execution and the darkness of the grave.
St. Francis of Assisi places the following words on Christ’s lips in the time between the time in the grave and his assumption into heaven – curious that Francis uses the term Assumption as if Christ were being received back into heaven rather than leaving his disciples.
8. But I have slept, and I have arisen, and my Most Holy Father has taken me up to glory.
9. Holy Father, You have held me by the hand, you have willed to lead me out, and You have assumed me into glory.
10. For what have I in Heaven, and what have I on earth apart from You? (Psalm 6:8-10)
Before the most Holy Father assumed Jesus into heaven , Jesus said to his Apostles 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.' (Matt 28: 17b-20 NJB)
This Holy Spirit, the ruach-hakodesh is the third personality in Yahweh, like the Father and the Word it has always been there brooding over the earth during creation, given to the 72 elders,(Num.11 : 14-17,24-29 NJB) reserved for anointed kings, given to Prophets but not always permanently, the Holy Spirit left King Saul ( I Sam 16:14 NJB) who went mad. After sinning with Bathsheba king David prayed. “Do not thrust me away from your presence; do not take away from me your spirit of holiness. (Psalm 51:11 NJB)
In our time the Holy Spirit is given to all who believe in Jesus - after Pentecost when the disciples were thought to be drunk Peter says “On the contrary, (they are not drunk)this is what the prophet (Joel) was saying: “ In the last days -- the Lord declares -- I shall pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young people shall see visions, your old people dream dreams.” (Acts 2:16,17:cf Joel 3 NJB)
We alive because we breathe the Spirit of Yahweh
When the Holy Spirit comes upon us it melds with our own Spirit to testify that we are now sons and daughters of Yahweh, inheritors of all good things, brothers and sisters of Christ, one with Yahweh in a multiplicity of Personalities, thousands and thousands of Personalities but one God. Unity in multiplicity.
And the self-revelation of Yahweh to his people goes on!