Pope Francis once commented on how today's Catholics can proclaim Christ and live the Gospel message in the modern world. The key to become effective "proclaimers" of God's Word, he said, is lived witness. "The love of Christ, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, enables us to live like this, to be like this: as persons always ready to forgive: always ready to trust, because we are full of faith in God; always ready to inspire hope, because we ourselves are full of hope."
This week we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity - a celebration which not only proclaims our belief in a Triune God, but one which also confirms our response to Christ's command to 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 He has commanded.
There is a sense of closure about this feast of the Holy Trinity. We have journeyed through salvation history, from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost, commemorating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, his ascension to the Father, and the sending of the Holy Spirit.
The Feast of the Holy Trinity summarizes all of these events in terms of how they help us understand the mysterious nature of our God, and his presence in our world and in our lives.
Our God is personal, and intimately bound up in who we are and what we do. God is not aloof or distant from the world, but known through the mystery of the world around us. We discover God and learn Wisdom through God's created gifts; we learn just how much God delights in the human race.
And so we acknowledge Him as Creator and Lord, as architect of the universe and author of life. His Word became flesh so that He could enter fully into all of the dimensions and experiences of our human journey. He preached a Gospel of compassion and unconditional love, and struggled fiercely against the evils of injustice and all of the forces that debase the quality of life and demean the human spirit. He was seemingly overcome and destroyed by these forces, but the power of his faith and of the Father's love turned this defeat into the victory of the resurrection. He promised, and then sent His Spirit to anoint, consecrate and live on in all who would come to believe in Him as Messiah and Lord, so that they would be witnesses in each generation to the God who is Father, Son and Spirit.
Yes, our God is a mystery, invisible, and transcendent - but He is not just a thing, a force, a super intellect, a remote manipulator of people and history. He continues to reveal himself to us every day and every moment - through the Word and sacrament that nourish us in the community of the church, through the people and events that are constant reminders of his goodness.
The community of persons in the Triune God is simply the result of a divine love that is so intense and so profound that it cannot be contained or defined in one dimension It is a love that not only creates, but a love that redeems and sanctifies. It is a love that brings light and warmth to the dark side of our journey. It is a love that is constantly healing our brokenness, lifting us above our selfishness and pettiness, and reaching out to save us when we edge toward the abyss of despair.
It is a love that engenders hope and courage; it is this Love that helps us to maintain a sense of purpose and peace and unity in our lives. It is this love that enables us to go out and preach to all nations.
We believe that our good and gracious God continues to reveal Himself to us out of love: as Creator, Savior and Sanctifier. He fills out our understanding of His greatness by speaking to us through the power and majesty of creation, through the life, death and resurrection of His Word-Made-Flesh, Jesus Christ, and He continues to reveal Himself to us by the indwelling of the Spirit, that enables us to live our faith with courage, wisdom, reverence, and abiding trust.
Ultimately God embraces us through that deep inner awareness and absolute assurance of being loved uniquely and forever by our Triune God - who is with us always and whom we continue to praise and worship always.