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What is it in our human nature that makes us different from all other creatures on earth? Is it beauty, or intelligence, or the capacity to rule over other things? Well, even the animals have these to some degree. Is it the capacity to have good feelings, to enjoy a good meal or other pleasures of life? Again even animals have these. The thing that makes us different is our capacity to love because we are made in the image of God and God is love. Now we know that love is true when it seeks not to take but to give. But if you look at the condition of the world today you can tell that we have lost the capacity to love. So God has come to reveal his love to us once again. And so we hear in the Gospel “God so loved the world he gave his only Son.” And the Son of God, Jesus, loved us so much that with his Father he gave us the Holy Spirit. That is what we celebrated at Pentecost last Sunday. Therefore, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Three Persons, One God – the Holy Trinity, and that is what we celebrate this Sunday.

We don’t believe in three Gods, but one God, who is Three Persons. How is this possible? Well, it is impossible to know through human reason alone. And so it has been revealed to us and we accept it by faith. Knowing that God as the Holy Trinity and believing this with our whole heart is what makes us Christians. It is difficult to understand but through grace we begin to actually experience the love of God in us and so grow in our understanding.

Do you experience God’s love? Have you given your heart to him or do you hold back in unbelief? Don’t be afraid of God. Jesus revealed to us that God is not a mean God who wants to condemn us or destroy us but is a loving God who wants to save us and give us a share in his love for eternity. Nothing or no one in this world can give us eternal love. All this world can offer is a taste of love but cannot give us lasting love. That is why our world defines love as how much you can get: how much pleasure, money or power. True love is not taking but giving. Remember again the quote from the Gospel: “God so loved the world he gave us his only Son.” True love wants to share: to share goodness, kindness, to share life, like a father who loves his children not for his own sake but for their well being. God is our Heavenly Father who has created all of us out of love, and we above all other creatures have the capacity to know God personally and accept his love. Have you accepted God’s love? Do you truly believe God loves you just as you are?

Yes, the Holy Trinity is a great mystery, one that we cannot wrap our minds around. And it would remain like an abstract calculus problem if Jesus did not reveal to us that God is Love. True love is relational, it requires another person. So if God is Love then this means that there is an exchange of love between persons. And that is what Jesus has revealed to us. That is what makes the Christian Faith different from the Jewish faith and the Muslim faith. These two faiths reveal that there is One God. Our faith reveals to us that this One God is Three Persons who are united in love. So there is God the Father and God the Son and the love they share is God the Holy Spirit. This love cannot be measured or figured out through a scientific equation. It can only be experienced in the heart. And that is why the Holy Trinity wants to rest in our hearts and be a part of our everyday life. And that is why we cannot understand this mystery unless we fall in love with God. It is then that we enter into the mystery of God’s love.

Certainly, we need help to do this. That is why as Catholics we begin and end everything with the sing of the Cross and the words “In the name of The Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” These words remind us that God is always with us. I encourage to really mean what you say when you pray these words. You see in the world cup some guys making the sign of the Cross – it is a great witness! But are they using it as a good luck charm or do they really mean it to be an instrument of God’s love and a witness to his truth.

The Holy Trinity is with us all the time and we should call on his name, but God wants to purify us of the false love that Devil offers us. The Devil is the antithesis of love. He is turned inward on himself. He only thinks of himself and, therefore, he is the absence of love. Now of course we should love our self but not in a selfish way. We should love our selves knowing that God loves us. We should treat our bodies as the temples of the Holy Spirit. We should dress with dignity and have a respectful behavior. But the devil tempts us to think that to be lovable you have to look a certain way or have certain things and so you have people who spend a lot of time and money following this temptation – trying to look like the stars they see on T.V. (make-up, immodest clothing, high heals, tattoos, speak with foul language, etc.). But with God we don’t have to be anyone else but ourselves. He loves us despite being weak and ugly and unpopular. He doesn’t want us to change our outward appearance, but our interior, our hearts. Then we can truly love ourselves and truly love others.

So it is important that we have a personal relationship with the Holy Trinity in order that we may love ourselves in a healthy way and love others as God has loved us. What is your love like? Is your love like that of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? Is it merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and rich in kindness and fidelity? Or do you hold grudges, are you unforgiving toward those who hurt you, or do you easily become angry when you don’t get your way. Are you in love with yourself in a way that leads you to take more and more for yourself or do you want to share the love in order to be blessing to others? Today let us recognize what is true love and what is false, what comes from God and what does not. Let us be true Christians and follow the words of St. Paul who says to the Corinthians: “Brothers and sisters, rejoice! Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be in you.” Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church
101 South College Street
Cedartown, GA 30125
(770) 748-1517
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