Father Kastl Homily May 29/30th
All across our nation, we are remembering… Remembering the brave men and women who have given up their lives in selfless service in order to defend and preserve the freedom we enjoy today. On this Memorial Day weekend we celebrate the interconnectedness of human relationships… relationships that have been forged by what our constitution guarantees to every human being… Who endowed by their creator have the rights to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Some say this line from The Declaration of Independence is one of the most influential lines in the English language, for it declared and solidified some of mans most basic desires… life, liberty and happiness.
Much has happened since those 13 colonies declared their independence from Great Britain on July 4th, 1776…the movement from colonies to states, from the revolutionary war to our present day wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, from presidents George Washington to Barak Obama from laws that protected life to laws that make others vulnerable… Both a beautiful and sad history that has been interwoven as human beings struggle to live out their deepest desires for life, liberty and happiness… We can do nothing but marvel at the power of human relationships to either build up or tear down… to strengthen or to destroy!
Yes, it is Memorial Day weekend, a time to remember the important and influential people in our lives, human relationships that have either shaped us directly or who have shaped our country, but it is also Trinity Sunday, a day to reflect upon and celebrate our relationship with of our Divine Godhead, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The late Pope John Paul the Second said, “In the communion of grace with the Trinity, mans ‘living area’ is broadened and raised up to the supernatural level of divine life. Man lives in God and by God.”
“Man lives in God and by God”… Our first reading from Proverbs makes the same point… “Thus say’s the wisdom of God: The LORD posses me, the beginning of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago from of old I was poured forth, at first, before the earth.”
Wisdom is saying… Before anything thing else came into existence, God sent His Wisdom forth… Wisdom was present to make known God's presence and creative hand from the time the heavens were created along with the skies, the foundations of the earth, the seas and all they contain, finally “finding delight in the human race.” God’s Wisdom has been the constant thread throughout all of history, striving to imbue it with his presence and his intentionality…
What is the intentionality of God? The intentionality of God could be summed up in the same words of the Declaration of Independence… God desires that all his created beings enjoy “Life, liberty and happiness” Life, liberty and happiness now, in anticipation for the life, liberty and happiness that await us in heaven.
God desires as the late pope said to “broaden our area of living”… How? By living in the communion of grace with the holy Trinity… by seeing the importance of the interconnectedness between our life and the lives of our families with the life of our God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit…It is in this union, that grace, strength, holiness… ultimately the power of God is channeled into our lives.
Someone once asked me… How does one know if they are living in communion with God… What are the hallmarks of a fruitful Christian life? Is it seen by the number of ministries you sign up for and are involved in, is it seen by how many rosaries you pray or hours of adoration you attend, is it seen by the amount of money you put in the collection plate or give to other charities… Are these external signs a true testimony of living in that communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Although all of these things are extremely important, they are only as good as they are leading us deeper in union with God and one another… they are only as good as they are strengthening us to be in the Christian project for a life time.
We hear in our reading from St. Paul to the Romans… “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions.”
As all of us know, most human relationships that have not been forged over time through patience, sacrifice and forgiveness will go away, the same tends to be true in our relationship with God. Unless we continually dispose ourselves to grace and the Holy Spirit by making our faith a central priority in our life by spending time in prayer, having discussions of faith with those around us, prayerfully reading the scriptures, celebrating the sacraments, especially the sacrament of reconciliation and Eucharist, praying with your spouse, children and parents, doing works of charity, then it will be hard to boast in the hope of Jesus as St. Paul says… and even harder to boast and maintain a closeness to God in the midst of the afflictions that will inevitably come our way…
On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, let us be renewed in our Intimacy with God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a God who is always calling us to a new and more abundant life, a life steeped in Holy Wisdom, a wisdom that forms our hearts and minds in the ways of holiness which lead us to heavenly freedom, freedom which propels us to freely put ourselves at the service of the other.
All glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be a world without end. Amen.