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Trinity Sunday – year C

There is a story of a man
who went to work in the city.
He got a job painting the white line
down the middle of the road.

On his first day he painted fifty meters,
twenty meters on the second day
and only ten meters on the third.

The foreman was rather surprised.
He called the man in and said:
“How come you painted fifty meters on the first day,
twenty on the second
and only ten today?”

“But sir,”
answered the man,
“can’t you see that the can of paint
was getting farther and farther away!”

His work improved immensely
when he realized that the paint can
did not have to be only in spot.

We often have the same problem
in the way we think of God.
For many people,
God is only far away in heaven.

Our prayer becomes an effort
to capture that distant God
and make him present to us.

People whose God is only in heaven,
are forever looking for miracles
and signs of God’s presence.

Today, we celebrate the Trinity,
made up of God the Father,
God the Son
and God Holy Spirit.

Through this teaching,
we know that God is not only in heaven,
but is also a God who took flesh
and became one of us.

Our God,
not only came into the world as one of us,
but continues to journey with us
through his Holy Spirit.

He is a God who dwells in every human heart.

For many centuries
the emphasis was mostly
only on God as Father
and our Church had become
a way of trying to bring
a distant God closer.

Since the Second Vatican Council,
the Church has redefined itself
as the people of God.

We celebrate today a God
who operates
at the core of our humanity.

The readings from scripture,
show us the very nature
of the three persons in God.

We see God pouring out creation,
pouring out love,
pouring out salvation.

Jesus is pouring out his life,
pouring out his teaching,
pouring out forgiveness,
pouring out his blood.

The Holy Spirit who is LOVE,
pours out calls to gentleness,
calls to faithfulness
and calls to generosity.

Our God is a God of relationship –
not one who hoards things for himself
or who holds back from sharing,
but a God whose very essence
is to generously pour his life into us.

At the time when Jesus
was proclaiming the blessedness
of carrying one’s cross
and following in his footsteps,
he said:
any one of you who would preserve your life
by clinging to it,
by hoarding your blessings and gifts –
will lose the meaning
and true purpose of your life.

On the other hand,
any one of you
who would pour yourself out for me,
who would pour yourself out
for your brothers and sisters,
you will find and save your life.
Our culture teaches us
to look out for number one.
.
But when did you ever feel as good about yourself
as when you’ve been generous.
Isn’t it true that our best moments,
our moments of greatest satisfaction
are when we have been caring,
self-sacrificing, and generous to others?

In his book Hiroshima,
John Hersey wrote about the aftermath
of the first ever atomic bomb.
He describes thousands of people
stampeding out of the city
in a desperate effort
to escape the devastation
at the center of the explosion.

They ran without a thought for
the agonized cries of people
burned beyond recognition
and pinned beneath collapsed structures.

He suggests that people
were too preoccupied with their own survival
to hear the pain-filled cries for help.

But he goes on to write about
those exceptional persons
who did step out from the crowd
to help others.

One of those
was a young Jesuit priest
who thirty years later
was the superior of the Jesuit order of priests.
He wrote that the goal of Jesuit education is
“men and women for others . . .
people who will not live exclusively
for themselves . . .
people completely convinced
that a love of God
which does not create justice for all
is a farce.”

To celebrate God
is to celebrate our graced
human minds and hearts,
minds and hearts moved by human suffering;
minds and hearts that can do God’s work.

In our Catholic tradition
any movement towards meaning and truth
is movement towards God
who is the Fullness of Truth –
a truth that we grasp with our minds,
that we cherish in our hearts
and that we accomplish with our hands.

And so, today’s gospel invites us
to open ourselves
to the outpourings of God’s love,
to the outpourings of God’s hope,
to the outpourings of God’s peace,
and to the outpourings of God’s courage –
and then to pour out our own life
through our own service,
through our own justice,
through our own compassion
and through our own love.

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