Deut. 4: 32-34, 39-40 + Psalm 33: 4-6, 9, 18-22 + Rom. 8: 14-17 + Matt. 28: 16-20
Holy Spirit Catholic Church: May 30, 2021
The Church in her wisdom places the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
immediately after the great celebration of Pentecost. Why?
Because the Holy Spirit leads us into the life of the Triune God.
We are carried on the wings of the Spirit into the heights of joy of being chosen
by the Father in the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit to share life with God.
As the river of life-giving water, the Spirit transports us into a relationship
with the Father and Son, and we are caught up in their love for each other.
By the fire of the Holy Spirit, we see clearly this truth—
love not only makes the world go round, but love is at the center of the Trinity—
the Father loving the Son, the Son receiving the Father’s love and returning that love, and the fiery passionate love they share being the Holy Spirit.
Most Christians, when asked which member of the Trinity they relate to
on a consistent basis, would answer either the Father or the Son.
The Holy Spirit is often the forgotten member of the Triune God.
Yet it is the Spirit who enlightens our minds to understand who Jesus is as Son of God
and what Jesus has done for us as Redeemer, Savior, and Lord of all.
Yet it is the Spirit who reveals that the Father has adopted us in baptism,
chosen us to be his own beloved sons and daughters.
In fact, it is by the power of the same Spirit, as St. Paul notes,
that we can even dare to address God as “Abba, Father”. (Romans 8: 15)
Whether we realize it or not, the Holy Spirit is the divine person of the Trinity to whom we relate most, because we can only relate to the Father and the Son through the Spirit.
We are not Moses—we cannot see God face to face on the mountain— and actually
Moses did not exactly see God’s face, only God’s back as God passed by.
We are not Peter, James, or John, nor Mary Magdalene, Martha, or Mary—
we do not see Jesus, the Son of God, face-to-face as they did in the 1st century.
Therefore, it is the Holy Spirit who reveals to us the Father and reveals to us the Son.
Without the Spirit we would not know either one.
The Holy Spirit draws us deeper and deeper into the life of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit performs this important work in our lives in many different ways.
The desire which propelled you here today, the desire you have
for a closer relationship with God—that is the Spirit working within you.
The voice you cannot silence arising from your conscience—
that voice which says, “Do the right thing no matter what it costs”
is the voice of the Holy Spirit.
That voice of compassion which says it is wrong to turn your back on the hungry
or those who are hurting, that is the Spirit.
The powerful voice reminding you that every single person is to be treated with dignity,
regardless of their race, ethnicity, color of skin, or gender—that is the Spirit.
That pestering voice which says “forgive” when you would rather feed resentment,
that’s the Spirit.
The Spirit is always at work repairing relationships that have been broken—
whether that’s our relationship to God, to others, to our truest self,
or the relationship we have with our common home, the earth itself.
For the Spirit is the energy needed for reconciliation.
It is the Holy Spirit as the 3rd Person of the Divine Trinity who makes us one—
one in Christ, & strengthens our relationship with each other as children of One Father.
The Spirit’s work is to encourage and console and to INSPIRE.
That word—inspire—reveals what the Holy Spirit most often does.
When out of nowhere we are inspired to call someone
who we have not spoken to in ages—that’s the movement of the Spirit.
When we are inspired to write a note of gratitude or encouragement,
the breath of the Spirit moves our pen.
When we are inspired to speak a word lifting another up, or when we are inspired
to step forward and offer a helping hand—there is the Spirit at work.
The 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity empowers us to give witness
to the Son’s redeeming love and the Father’s providential care.
The Holy Spirit, a Spirit of power, gives us the courage to be witnesses to the Gospel,
so that the life-giving relationship we have with the Father, Son, and Spirit
is something we naturally share with others.
Whenever we fall in love, we want to tell everyone about our beloved.
We want others to meet the person whose love has transformed us.
We cannot keep this news, this great good news, to ourselves.
So it is when we realize how bountifully we are loved by God
and invited into relationship now and forever with the Triune God.
It is a love that cannot be kept to ourselves, and it is a relationship
we want others to share.
We want to give witness to what the Beloved—the Triune God—
has done and is doing in our life.
It is the particular role of the Holy Spirit to help us share
this divine life and love with others and invite them into relationship with the Trinity.
So, we baptize—ushering those baptized into this life & love of the Father, Son & Spirit.
We invite others to join in the joy of the dance with the 3 Divine Persons.
It is the Holy Spirit who propels us to reach out and make a friend,
and then nurture and develop that friendship, and then bring that friend to know
the Father and the Son and the Spirit.
The heart of the mystery of the Trinity is relationship, for our God is a relational God.
The Triune God has made us in God’s image-we are made to be in relationship with God,
and we are hard-wired to be connected to others in relationship.
One of the lessons we have learned from the coronavirus pandemic is we are not made to live in isolation—we are made to be in bodily relationship with others.
In baptism, the Triune God has chosen us to be a Trinitarian people.
By baptism, we are “an adopted son (daughter) of the Father, a member of Christ,
and a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1279)
Fr. Joseph A. Jacobi