Weekly Homilies

The Holy Trinity in Harmony (Matthew 28: 16-20)

May 26, 2024 Fr. Mark Suslenko Season 7 Episode 19
The Holy Trinity in Harmony (Matthew 28: 16-20)
Weekly Homilies

Hi everyone, and welcome to Weekly Homilies with Father Mark Suslenko, Pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. We are part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. I'm Carol Vassar, parish director of communications, and this is Episode 19 of Season 7 for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity - May 26, 2024. Our Gospel reading is from Matthew Chapter 28, verses 16-20.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

The Gospel of the Lord 

“The Holy Trinity in Harmony,” by Father Mark S. Suslenko, Pastor, SS. Isidore and Maria Parish, Glastonbury, Connecticut

As we gather on this Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, it begs the simple but somewhat complicated question of what is our relationship with  the Blessed Trinity? What role does the Holy Trinity play in my life?  The answer to that question is going to depend in great part upon our relationship with God in general.  

Our relationship with God mimics other kinds of relationships we have in our lives. For example, we can have a relationship with our coworker  that's very task orientated and what one might deem superficial. We can have a relationship with our spouse that is much more intimate that claims a part of who I am. And so there's this spectrum of relationships that play out in our lives. As you look to God, where is he in that spectrum?  You see, sometimes, we treat God as a coworker. We're cordial. We say hello. We give him his due, but he really doesn't have much to say about our lives.  Sometimes, we relate to God as if he were some kind of slave at our beck and call to do what we need him to do, what we want him to do, what we plead for him to do, and we make God into an image and likeness of ourselves rather than allowing God to be who God is. So, depending upon our relationship with God in general, it is going to then depend upon our relationship with the Trinity in particular. Because for many, the doctrine of the Trinity is simply that:  the belief that God is one in three persons, and it stays there in the closet of doctrine. But how can it have some import and relevance to our lives? How do we take our relationship with God and kick it up a bit, and make it more intimate? How do we find relevance in the Trinity today and now? 

The answer to that question comes by thinking a bit about how God works, how God works. Meister Eckhart, a tremendous theologian, spiritual master, writer, and mystic, said that God's noblest work is to give birth. Think about that for a minute. God's noblest work is to give birth. And that makes sense because one of the most profound acts in salvation history is when God became one of us in Jesus Christ. God gave birth to himself in humanity and walked among us. It wasn't an event that just happened then and stopped. It's an event that happens over and over again. Anytime God creates. As I've mentioned many times before, God doesn't create something at a distance, but when God creates, he invests himself into creation, into the very stuff that we see around us, into very life itself. And the imprint of God's divine love is left in a very intimate and special way in all that he makes, in all whom he makes. And so God has given birth to himself in you and I.  In you and I. 

It's not something we have to ask for. It's already done. God has already breathed his life into us, and that life is a Trinitarian life. He breathes it in as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, if we believe that, then we believe that in the essence of our soul, the depth of who we are, God lives as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because that's God's noblest work: to give birth. 

And so you sit there, and you hear me say that this morning, and you say, "Father, that all makes good sense. But how do I know that it's true?  How do I know that what you say is, in fact, true  and has some relevance and some meaning?" Well, I'm gonna tell you,  and you will leave here today knowing how you can take the doctrine of the Trinity and make it real for you today. Right now.  

If you look at God as he works throughout salvation history, from the moment of creation on through and continuing through today and on into the future, one of the marvels, if you step back and you look at the story of salvation, is how the Holy Trinity just seems to know what to do. You know, the Father knows who he is. The Son knows who he is. The Holy Spirit knows who he is, and it all orchestrates and works together throughout history. There's never a question among them about who's doing what, about who they are, or what their purpose is. The three persons in one God act in an orchestrated harmony. And it's really wonderful to behold how the ins and outs and how God comes and enters into human history, and it all just weaves together in this orchestrated harmony of beauty. And God lives in harmony. The Trinity doesn't have to question itself. It simply is. Bound and enveloped in love, and filled with joy, and filled with life. Well, that's in the core of who we are, this harmony that is God.  

Now, every human being has a desire for harmony. Every human being has a desire for harmony, for balance, for putting the pieces of their life together. Did you put that within yourself? That desire?  Most absolutely not. That idea for balance, that a desire for peace, that desire to know who you are and where you're going, and what this whole business of life means is placed in you by God because, as all desires that lead to God, they all start in our soul.

Just like faith, just like hope and just like love. When we follow them to where they go, we stumble upon God. And so whether we realize it or not, there's need for balance. This need to put our life together, a need to put the pieces of our life together. The need to orchestrate our life so that it has meaning, that it has direction, that it has purpose is God working within us, saying to us, "I am here. Follow me for what you seek. I am within you as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit.  

When something is orchestrated, it's raised from the normal to the beautiful. When David puts the choir voices together, and they sing a hymn in unison, it's beautiful. But when they really use their gifts, and they add harmony to the mix, it raises the beautiful to the extraordinary, and it can lift us up because it takes something that's good and makes it better. And that's how it is with us. This need for balance, this need for harmony. If we don't realize that that is a call from God, then we're gonna do what a lot of people do and what we ourselves do at times. We're going to look for that balance elsewhere, and it's not going to be the right place. We're gonna think we can find it in the technology of our life. We're gonna think we're gonna find it in our job. We're gonna think we can find it in our career, how successful we are,  how large of a house we can buy, how much of a bank account we can accumulate. We're gonna look for that harmony and that balance in pleasure, in trying to satisfy these deep-seated passions.  And we're never going to think to look in the place we are called to look in the source of the Holy Trinity.  

As the Father says to us in a gentle fashion, as he always does, "I am here as your Father.  I can tell you who you are. You're a beloved child of mine.  I can give you your identity. I can give you your purpose. I can set you on your course of life, and I can guide you along your way.  I am here as the Son to teach you how to live with one another,  to show you the path of love and mercy and the difficult task of forgiveness, of teaching you how to respect the creation that I placed before you and how to find a niche with your brothers and sisters.  In this wonderful world, I created for you to use. I am here within you as the Holy Spirit to inspire your thoughts and guide your actions so that you live your life more. In conforming with my will and the task of the Gospel.  I am here," God says to us, as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit today, right now, to choreograph our lives. 

Meister Eckhart had another incredible analogy that I'll leave you with today. He said that, you know, our life with God is like running a race.  And he said, sometimes we put ourselves out there first, and we're leading this race, and God is somewhere behind. Those are the times that we're following our own passions, our own self-will, what we want, what we think we need to achieve, what we think we want to have, where we think we want to be. What I think we want to obtain, I want to obtain. It's the exercising of the self-will, and God is behind here somewhere, and we often don't even take notice that he's there. And Meister Eckhart said that's the worst place to be because that will end up in destruction. He says, sometimes we run this race of life in partnership with God, side-by-side, running together, and while that looks good and we're entering into virtue and we're doing the work of God, at some point running side-by-side, life is going to get difficult and challenging for us. Something is going to break. Something is going to need to be fixed. And we're gonna take our eyes off of where they're supposed to be, and we're gonna put them on ourselves, and we're going to turn to God and say, "God, fix me." And we're going to want God to fix what we think is broken, and we're gonna lose our gaze and lose our focus, and we're going to find ourselves off track because it's going to become less about God and more about me. 

Meister Eckhart says the only way to run the race with God is to follow behind God. To let God lead the dance, to let God orchestrate the substance of our life, to let God's will be done, not our own, so that whether life is good or life is challenging, God is in the lead and God has the charge. All we have to do is follow along and let things be as they are knowing that God has us in his care. 

You see when we really believe that the Trinity is alive in our hearts, then we can trust that God is choreographing our lives. What a freedom is released from us. We don't have to control it anymore. We can allow God to be God, to show us who we are, show us our path to one another, and inspire our thoughts and actions. In doing God's will we find the peace and the joy and the love that we so seek. There's one thing about a nicely choreographed dance or a beautifully harmonized piece of music: it has a very pleasing effect. Then, as we go out into the world, as folks led in the dance by God, our lives, too, will have a pleasing effect on others. 

Father Mark Suslenko is the pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Learn more about our parish community at www.isidoreandmaria.org. And follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our music comes free of charge from Blue Dot Sessions in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’m Carol Vassar. Thanks for joining us.