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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Homily - 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Feast of the Most Holy Trinity


First Reading – Proverbs 8:22-31 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 8:4-9 ©
Second Reading – Romans 5:1-5 ©
Gospel Acclamation – Revelation 1:8
The Gospel According to John 16:12-15 ©

(NJB)


The reading from Proverbs today speaks to the eternality of God’s wisdom, as well to the basic division of the God’s into more than one co-eternal being.

The author of Proverbs speaks of Wisdom as the personification of one God’s primary attributes, and as God’s constant companion and co-creator of the universe. In Greek Wisdom is Sophia and the name connotes a feminine nature within the Godhead. Wisdom is often associated with the Holy Spirit, God’s spirit, or the Spirit of Truth, a force for good which has been poured out on all creation.

However, in this reading the narrative concerning active nature of Wisdom as co-creator and co-builder of the universe is more directly connected to the Son of God, God’s Word the Logos, who is a representation of God’s reason in the world, and whose name connotes the masculine nature within the Godhead.

Wisdom and Reason are the anima and animus of the Godhead.

Sophia or Logos, Son or Spirit, the idea behind this is clear. The eternal God, creator of the universe, God is undivided and one, but for our sake we speak of God in regard to God’s attributes, attributes which god is never separated from: reason and wisdom, justice and mercy, and love.

Be mindful of how the reading for proverbs ends, it speaks of God’s delight in the company of the sons of men.

Be mindful of how, in God’s wisdom, God loves us, God loves us without qualification as to our righteousness, or our errant ways.

God loves us, is with us always, and delights in who we are.

God loves us a parent loves a child, God loves us as a friend.

Therefore when you pray, do not speak to God; the creator of the universe as if you were a courtier.

God is not Emperor, God is not King, God is not Lord. God is mother, father, sister, brother, friend and neighbor. God is the stranger in our midst.

God knows full well about the glory of creation, God neither requires nor desires our praise, but thanks in consideration of the cost in terms of pain and suffering that God bears on our behalf to maintain the created order for our sake.

Listen!

God knows what is actually in our heart when we boast of God in praise and song. God knows the depth of our belief, and our unbelief, God knows when we are true and when we are false.

God knows the measure of our faith and doubt. God loves us and forgives us just the same.

Be mindful of what the psalmist says. Reject the false characterization of who God is.

God has no enemies.

Be mindful.

When we say that we are judged as righteous and at peace with God by faith; we mean to say that our trust in God’s promise of peace and in the restoration of the whole world, a promise made plain to us through the life and teaching of Jesus, our faith in this promise allows us to lead lives that are righteous and in keeping with God’s will.

If we trust in God we will find peace, despite how we may suffer as we work for the restoration of the world; if we trust we will persevere in our quest to bring justice to the broken and downtrodden.

Let us not be boastful in this, but confident that the trust we have in God’s plan for the entire human race is itself faith in the vision of God’s glory, in the glory of mercy and the glory of love.

God is glorified in us, through right relationships, through the good we bring to each other.

When we are able to see the glory of God present in the lives of the other, when we can see it present in the lives of enemies and competitors, then the glory of God will be magnified in us, manifested in the love and care we show toward one another.

Be mindful of the supernatural when you encounter it in scripture. The meaning is always metaphorical, allegorical. It stands for something else.

Consider the nature of prophecy, it is never a prediction of the future, it is always a commentary on current events. In this case it is a commentary on justice and the nature of the good.

Saint John of Patmos claims a certain authority, it belongs to him insofar as he speaks the truth. the authority does not belong to him in his errors.

All of the saints, including the apostles and the disciples of Jesus, including those who walked with him and were closest to him, all of them erred, there is no denying it.

To error is a part of the human condition.

The central error of this passage from the Apocalypse is this: John pretends to have been given a revelation of things to come, but the future is not written, because God has made us, and the entire creation free.

We are from coercion and independent beings. Prophecy is not of the future, it is vanity and hubris to think that it is so.

This Gospel reading comes to us on a day the Christian calendar marks as the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.

What can be said about it.

For 1,700 years the Church has professed a belief in God, the creator of the universe that is “Trinitarian” in nature.

Christianity asserts on the one hand, that there is one God, one creator, one center of all reality; and on the other hand that God is three distinct persons.

Christians have always pointed to such passages as this in John to justify this claim, and yet there is no logic to it. The arguments for a Trinitarian God are absurd on their face.

The notion that there is a rationale for such a faith claim in this passage of John is also a claim without basis.

To the first part:

The Trinitarian God has three persons; the father, the son, and the spirit. They are all three, uncreated and co-eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. They are co-extensive in all of their attributes, where any part of the Godhead exists (God exists in all times and all places), the fullness of God exists without division.

This is to say that God is one, not three, but one.

Christian doctrine asserts faith in a Trinitarian God, but it will not admit that in the Godhead there is any division, distinction or differentiation. Christians have always acknowledged the logical fallacy of such a position, but have sidestepped the implication that this view is in error by asserting that it is a mystery, and that the believer must trust in the reality considered by the words.

This is unnecessary. God is no less God if we consider God in god’s oneness, rather than in light of the metaphorical trinity.

The Church did a disservice to all Christians when it formed a creed around its Trinitarian beliefs, which subsequently became a litmus test for all of those who wished to enter the church, or be in sacramental union with it.

It was a bold move of balderdash, requiring all Christian to confess their belief in a falsehood, a lie wrapped in a mystery which the Church could not explain and the people could not comprehend.

To the second part:

Far from pointing to the unity of three persons in the Godhead; the narrative in John speaks to the distinctions and differences in the figures of the father and the son, and in the spirit. It speaks of the son as an agent of the father, and the spirit of truth as a figure commissioned by the son to continue the education of the believing community.

It is all very arcane, and it does little to illuminate the central message of Jesus’ teaching, which is this; to love one another, as God loves us.

Our faith in God, in the loving God who created and sustains all that is, our faith in the son-ship of Jesus, in his mission, in the way, cannot be forced to be dependent on our acceptance of these Trinitarian absurdities.

God is one, God is one in Christ, as God is one in all of us.


First Reading – Proverbs 8:22-31 ©

Before the Earth Came into Being, Wisdom was Born

The Wisdom of God cries aloud:

The Lord created me when his purpose first unfolded, before the oldest of his works.

From everlasting I was firmly set, from the beginning, before earth came into being.

The deep was not, when I was born, there were no springs to gush with water.

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before he made the earth, the countryside, or the first grains of the world’s dust.

When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there, when he drew a ring on the surface of the deep, when he thickened the clouds above, when he fixed fast the springs of the deep, when he assigned the sea its boundaries – and the waters will not invade the shore – when he laid down the foundations of the earth, I was by his side, a master craftsman, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in his world, delighting to be with the sons of men.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 8:4-9 ©

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
  the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
  mortal man that you care for him?

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
  with glory and honour you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
  put all things under his feet.

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!

All of them, sheep and cattle,
  yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
  that make their way through the waters.

How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth!


Second Reading – Romans 5:1-5 ©

The Love of God Has Been Poured into Our Hearts

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. But that is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.


Gospel Acclamation – Revelation 1:8

Alleluia, alleluia!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
the God who is, who was, and who is to come.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to John 16:12-15 ©

The Spirit of Truth Will Lead You to the Complete Truth

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.

He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.

Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said:

All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’


10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) – The Most Holy Trinity

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