Sunday, May 26, 2024

How to be the Image of God (Holy Trinity homily)

 Today we reflect on the reality of God being a Trinity: 

Three Persons, yet one essence. 

It was God the Son in human flesh – Jesus – who told us about this. 

He told us that Father is God; and that he, the Son, is God; 

and he told us about the Spirit, who is “another Advocate”—

the third Person in the Trinity.

So: we believe God is a Trinity, 

first and foremost, because Jesus told us this. 

We believe it because we believe him.

If you are a parent or a teacher, how do you explain things? 

Maybe you will use a diagram, or an image. 

And God did that too. 

Recall what Genesis says: 

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”

God has given us an image of the Trinity – in us, in human beings.

So, let’s explore that.

Notice, first, that in creating humanity, 

he did not create a solitary being. 

He created us male and female. 

This is not a mere detail; it is foundational to who we are. 

Which is why it’s so problematic to muddy this up.

Think back to science class in school, 

when you and I learned that some of God’s creation 

multiplies simply by splitting apart. One amoeba, two amoebae. 

Remember that?

God created those, too; but that’s not how God created us to be. 

Rather, you and I were designed to enter into an intimate, 

totally self-giving relationship with each other: 

“male and female he created them.” 

So there’s an insight here into this whole marriage question. 

This isn’t about “hook ups,” but about a unique reality 

baked into the very bone and sinew of human nature.

By our nature, we are oriented toward relationship. 

A man, a woman; a husband, a wife; a father, a mother—a family! 

See how God created us to be his image?

God is not solitary, but persons-in-relationship, and so are we.

Let’s carry that one more step. 

And this will give you a very practical take-away from this homily.

God in himself—in Three Persons—is completeand whole; 

God doesn’t need creation, he doesn’t need the universe, 

and he doesn’t need us. 

God chooses—out of generous love—to create us, in order to include us.

If you and I are God’s image, 

then what I just described is part of what we are. 

For us to be truly human, you and I likewise are called to give and love, 

not out of any necessity, but out of self-gift, out of generosity.

It starts with a husband and wife, a family, but cannot stop there.

Not everyone will have children; and what happens after they grow up?

That fruitfulness is available to everyone, throughout our lives. 

Caring for the needy, the poor, the despised and forgotten.

Even to be generous and forgiving toward those who hurt us.

Again, is this not what the Holy Trinity does?

God sends rain on the just and the unjust. 

God the Son died on the Cross, not for the righteous, but for sinners. 

God provides an abundance for all his children, 

but how well it gets shared and multiplied depends on you and me.

The grace of God is available all the time to forgive and heal.

But who will invite others to receive it? That is your task and mine.

How about you, image-of-God? Do you want to show God to the world? 

Feed the needy, lift the burden from the backs of the oppressed, 

pay a just wage, speak up for those who are oppressed and forgotten, 

and forgive readily and generously. 

This is what it means to be the image of God.

No comments: