Homily – Trinity Sunday MMXII 6/3/12
In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
That is my homily today, in a nutshell.
That is also our whole Catholic Faith, in a nutshell.
Most of us probably make and say the sign of the cross without really thinking about it much when we do it. But that most basic of Christian prayers and gestures is really a whole catechism class on what we believe about the Most Blessed and Holy Trinity, whose Solemnity the Church celebrates today.
So let’s break open this little nutshell and meditate on just a little of what’s packed inside it.
We begin that prayer “In the name of the Father” and we put our two fingers and thumb to our forehead as we say the Father’s Name.
We touch our forehead, because you and I have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father. God has blessed us with the gifts of intellect and free will, the ability to reason and to freely choose the good and reject the bad.
Touching our forehead reminds us of our human dignity of being made in the image of God, but it also reminds us that God the Father is the First Person of the Holy Trinity, and that the Son and the Holy Spirit both eternally proceed from Him.
Lastly, touching the highest part of our body reminds us that one day we will rise up to the heights of Heaven, which Jesus calls The Father’s House, and that Our Heavenly Father is always looking down lovingly on us His children, raining many heavenly graces and blessings down upon our heads each day.
The prayer continues “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son” as we make a straight line with our two fingers from our foreheads straight down to our waist area.
This vertical, downward action reminds us that God the Father sent His only Son into our world, that God the Son came down from Heaven to Earth to show us the way which leads back up to Heaven.
This action also reminds us of how God’s Son Jesus lowered Himself even further, to the point of suffering the agony of the Cross, and that the Son even went down among the dead, even into the deepest depths of hell, to lead every human person who chooses to follow him from those depths of sin and death up to the heights of righteousness and eternal life.
At the name of the Son, we touch the lower extremities of our body, near those parts of our body that human life is begotten from. This reminds us that God’s eternally begotten Son took human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and became man.
We also touch near our belly button, which used to have an umbilical cord attached to it. Just as the umbilical cord is a lifeline between a child and its mother, so Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the lifeline between us and God. No one comes to the Father except through me, says Jesus. Jesus is our umbilical cord, we enter into the mystery and eternal life of the Holy Trinity only through Him.
The Prayer concludes “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and we raise our hand up, to symbolize our rising up from sin and death with Christ the Son.
But we don’t end by going back to our head, because Jesus doesn’t immediately bring us back to the Father’s House, rather Jesus puts us right back in the middle of the world, to be His witnesses, filled with His Holy Spirit. And so we end with the Horizontal line across our shoulders, to symbolize our mission in this world as disciples of Christ.
When we say the words “Holy Spirit” we first touch our heart, for the Holy Spirit is the Flaming Love of God poured forth into our Hearts.
We also touch in between our head and our waist because The Holy Spirit is the eternal Love between the Father and the Son, a Love so strong that it comes forth as a Third Person equal in power and divinity to the Father and the Son that it proceeds from.
And so, my brothers and sisters in Christ, every time we pray this most simple but most profound of prayers,we ask that this Most Holy Trinity, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, would bless and protect us,we ask that all our thoughts and deeds would be done in their thrice holy names, and finally, when we make the Sign of the Cross, we pray that all the Crosses we bear in our bodies and our souls will be lightened by our firm faith that in the Crosses of life, there and especially there can be found the powerful love of God the Father, the saving grace of Jesus the Son, and the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit.