Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year A | June 14/15, 2014
PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily picks of themes from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
The summer before I entered the Oblates, my father wrote me a note. Now, my mom is the letter-writer in the family, often just signing my dad’s name to the bottom of cards. So I was a little taken aback by the full page my father had written.
As I began to read it, I couldn’t help but get a little misty-eyed as he recalled memories that we had shared. But it was his heartfelt final comments that really got me. He sent me forth with his blessing and this simple line. As you go forth to become a father to many, remember that you will always have your dad.
I recalled that moment as I reflected on our gospel for today.
For in many ways, God the Father reminds me of my dad. Someone who blesses his son and sends him out into the world to do his work. Knowing that the only way his Son will be able to change the world is by letting him go.
This could not have been easy.
For it is never easy to be apart from one we love.
I think sometimes we look at the Trinity as some abstract concept that theologians ponder over and CCD teachers struggle to explain.
But in reality, the Trinity comes down to something that we are all familiar with.
Relationships that involve both absence and presence.
Relationships of love, in which all sides choose to give of themselves for the sake of the other.
When we flip through the Gospels we see that Christ was often filled with the Holy Spirit and experienced his heavenly Father as infinitely close to him.
But Jesus did not escape the reality of a God who also seemed absent at times, especially in times of turmoil and suffering. Those moments in the garden. Those moments on the cross.
And in his human experience of God’s absence and presence, Jesus offers to all of us a model for our own experience of God.
For we too have those moments in which God seems so close.
Quiet moments in the morning when the sun is breaking through the clouds and our coffee mug warms our hands.
Holding a child as they giggle and try to escape.
Standing on the shore, watching the waves crash around our feet.
Looking down the table at friends and family eating and laughing as they celebrate with us.
The melody of our favorite hymn wafting over us as we receive communion.
But if we are honest, we also have those moments in which God seems so far away.
As we sit in a hospital room awaiting the outcome of some tests
When we feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life, questioning why no one seems to come to our aid.
When a loved one leaves us clutching to the fragments of a life they have left behind.
When no one seems to understand us and we find ourselves walking this journey alone.
Like Jesus’, our own relationship with God is constantly in motion, constantly changing. It is almost like joining in a dance.
There are times when God pulls us close. And there are times when we are across the room. But at no time does the dance stop.
Jesus did not come to end this dance. He did not come to fix this tension.
He came to become a partner in it.
He chose to live in a world in which he too would experience this tension between God’s presence and the feeling of God’s absence.
He chose to go forth into that same world bringing the Father’s healing, the Father’s reconciliation, the Father’s peace, the Father’s love to a world in need of those gifts.
He chose to invite others to do the same. To join him in his dance.
An invitation that is offered again this day to all of us.
Jesus does not offer us easy answers to all our questions. He does not promise that we will be spared the struggle of grappling with God’s seeming absence at times.
He offers us an invitation.
To enter the mystery. The mystery that is at the heart of every relationship. The mystery that is love. The mystery that is the Trinity.
Are we ready once again to join in the dance?
May God be Praised.
Image courtesy of http://www.cruzblanca.org/hermanoleon/