Jesus Our Shepherd

Trinity Sunday
03 June 2007

Homily
Jean Scanlan

Today is a special feast day in which we attempt to pierce through the Divine Mystery. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the word Trinity but today’s readings illumine the source of that 4th C. doctrine. I would like to call this doctrine “The Trinity of Love” – A Trinity which encompasses all of creation. We find out that God is not a loner. The definition Jesus gives for God is simply: God is Love. Love is not a Patriarchal Old Man with a white beard. Love does not sit alone for God is a “Trinity of Love”.

Our first reading from Proverbs enlightens us somewhat. It begins with the words: “Thus says the Wisdom of God”. Now the word “Wisdom” interestingly is feminine in Hebrew, Greek and Latin so the pronouns used in reference to Wisdom should be “she” instead of “he”. Wisdom, or Sophia in Greek, reveals herself as the first of God’s works. She predates the beginning of the world – actually predates the beginning of the Cosmos itself. Wisdom evolved through the ages from “the feminine quality that reveals God’s gentle nurturing nature, to a person in whom the mind and heart and will of God are fully revealed in flesh and blood. Through the ages, in all its capacities and in both genders Wisdom is celebrated today as God’s abiding gift to all who seek to discover HIS will, HER love.

This God – in Proverbs – is described as having Wisdom at His side and being the very delight of God – playing on the surface of the earth. What an amazing image of God - playing and delighting not only in the beauty of the heavens and the earth but delighting in us – the human race.

Our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans (written only 25 years after Jesus’ death/resurrection) speaks of three separate persons of God. He says: “We have peace with God thru Jesus” thus referring to God and Jesus as separate. He goes on to say: “The love of God is poured into our hearts thru the Holy Spirit”. Now he has identified the third person of the “Trinity of Love”.

A look at the Hebrew and Aramaic word for Spirit reveals that the Holy Spirit was originally referred to as feminine (much as we saw with Wisdom in the first reading). This reality of spirit as She could shed new light in our Gospel reading as we would hear Jesus more accurately saying: “But when She comes, the Spirit of Truth, She will guide you to all truth. She will not speak on her own but she will speak what she hears… She will glorify me, because she will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” From the last verse of the Gospel we see a “Trinity of Love when Jesus says: “Everything that the FATHER has is MINE, for this reason I told you that SHE (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is MINE and declare it to you.”

In conclusion the more ancient and Scriptural name for the Trinity is Love. God is love. Love is not a solitary person (as I had pictured when I was a child) but a community of persons acting always together as one. We are born of the “Trinity of Love”. We consciously enter into this Trinity of Love through the waters of baptism. Today this community will celebrate that entrance as Myles is baptized and the waters are poured over him. Later in this celebration we will come to the table to be nourished within that great Trinity of Love. Having been fed and nourished we go forth into our world to bring that love.

Catherine of Siena experienced this Love-God and proclaimed boldly: “If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze.” Now that sounds very ambitious and an impossible task for most of us. But Mother Theresa put it this way, “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” Both of these saintly women are saying in their own way that when you become conscious of the “Trinity of Love” abiding in your life you will be transformed and an agent in the transformation of our precious world.