We believe God is a Trinity.
But as practical people, we might wonder
what the practical application of this is.
The answer is, knowing more who God is,
helps us discover the truth about our world and ourselves.
To say that God is a relationship of Persons—
a “family” if you will—
means the same is true of all humanity.
So, first: this is where our Catholic social teaching—
our emphasis on the common good—comes from;
our concern for the poor, the weak, the unborn child.
But we can apply this closer to home.
Our parish, our school—are we a family?
Or are we a business?
We’re both; and balancing that is really hard.
It’s easy to go too far in the business mindset—
yet every family has bills to pay.
Your help in so many ways shows you get this.
But there are times
when some are fine with it being about “family”
when they want something,
but not so much, when the Family asks for help back.
For example: I’ve asked everyone to use Scrip
to help pay the Parish-Family bills.
Many of you do, and it is helping a lot.
But far too many simply don’t respond, and as a result,
our Family doesn’t have enough to go around.
Our own employees are not paid enough—
we pay below standard for the Archdiocese.
Our school doesn’t have enough.
We have families who want to send their children
to Piqua Catholic, or Lehman,
be we don’t have enough to help them.
Yet, if every member of the Parish Family—all of us—
would simply use Scrip for groceries,
we would have more than enough to cover our deficits,
to provide for our school, for our buildings,
for just wages for our own people…
and we could do so much more outreach to the needy.
A second point. When we say God is a relationship,
that opens up possibilities for the kind of relationship
we can have with God.
We talk about having a relationship with God—
but what kind of relationship?
What kind of relationship is even possible?
Well, think a moment about
some different sorts of relationships—
and these first examples
are going to sound kind of negative,
but they are a kind of relationship:
Ruler—and subject. Master—and slave.
Or, how about this: Owner—and pet?
But really, God is so far above us,
why do we expect God to care about us—at all?
When’s the last time you cared about the germs
that are on your hands?
So, under the circumstances,
being God’s “pet” sounds pretty good.
And if God were solitary, and not a Trinity,
that might be the best we could hope for.
It may sound funny, but—
I think some folks might prefer to be God’s pet:
You learn a few tricks to keep God happy,
he trains you so you don’t misbehave too much;
He provides us food and shelter,
and cleans up our messes, but otherwise,
He doesn’t expect too much from us!
But God’s idea of relationship with us
goes so much farther.
He talks about “Father and child”; “Friend to friend”;
and even, “Groom to bride.”
For everyone who asks why
Christianity demands so much from us,
this is why: because we’re not God’s pet—we’re his Bride.
Groom and bride—marriage with God!
Where and when was this marriage made?
First, in God becoming human—
and then, the Cross is the “marriage bed”—
the Groom gave everything with nothing held back;
and we received His life.
Can you see what the Eucharist really means?
We have intimate union—physical union—
with Christ the Bridegroom!
So, now, if you ever wondered why
the Church teaches what she does about sex—
now you understand why.
It’s the same as what we teach about the Eucharist.
We don’t treat the Eucharist as common;
we don’t share the Eucharist with just anyone;
there has to be a commitment first: marriage,
or belonging to the Church.
And if there’s a need for reconciliation—that is first.
People say we treat sex as something bad.
Does it look like we treat the Eucharist
as something bad?
And when we do share the Eucharist,
we don’t put conditions on God:
“Yes, God, I want to have union with you—
but don’t create new life through that union!
I don’t want you to expect too much from me!”
So…saying God is a relationship
means he enters into relationship with us—
and it is demanding.
God seeks a marriage with us. That demands our all.
But we might wonder how that can be possible—
God and us?
The only way it can happen is God bridges the gap.
Jesus comes over to us
to bring us back into a true relationship with God.
That becomes possible because
He pours the Holy Spirit into us.
We are no longer just a speck on his hands—
you and I are his beloved:
we are raised up to share His Life, to be one with Him!