"The teaching of God is being one in three is truly a remarkable, remarkable fact That brings the immensity of God's presence and the creative power of God's presence home to the simplicity of my soul. So as much as I kneel before the majesty of God, I can at one in the same time, also reach back out to God and call him 'Abba' or 'Daddy'. It's truly remarkable. And in searching for this God who now has a face and a personality, I began to focus not so much on what I need to do that God wants as much as who I am." - Father Mark
Hi everyone, and welcome to Weekly Homilies with Father Mark Suslenko, Pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. We are part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. I'm Carol Vassar, parish director of communications, and you're listening to Season 4, Episode 20 for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: May 30, 2021. Our Gospel reading is from Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 16-20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
The Gospel of the Lord
“Becoming a Dwelling for the Holy Trinity” by Father Mark S. Suslenko, Pastor, SS. Isidore and Maria Parish, Glastonbury, Connecticut
How do I love God? How do I love God? When that question gets asked, perhaps some of you are trying to formulate an appropriate response. Many folks, when asked that question, respond something like this: I love God by doing what I think God wants. I love God by doing what I think God wants. And then they proceed to formulate a list of those things that they think God wants and their ability to do those things then measures their love for God.
Now, as we look at our human relationships, is that the measure of our love for one another?
As human beings, we have many relationships in our lives. Relationships that are necessary and useful for us to have wellbeing and a sense of happiness. Some of the more significant ones are such as mother or father; brother or sister; friend, confidant, or spouse. As you look at those significant intimate relationships in your life, those that really matter above others, is it enough to say that your love for those people is purely a reflection of doing what you think they want you to do? Or is there something more?
In our human relationships, if they are intimate and healthy and whole, there is a quality of presence that is brought to those relationships that, in and of itself, bonds us in love. That quality of presence has more to do with being than doing; being than doing.
So as you look at the totality of who we are as people, then it stands to reason that our love for God, as our love for other people in our lives, can't simply be measured by doing what we think God wants.
Our human relationships are so important to us. If we stop and reflect what life would be like without them, it's truly a frightening thought. But as good as our human relationships are, and as necessary as they are, there's a risk. They can distract us. You see, we become so earthly focused, so focused on the particulars of our everyday life, of the people whom we center around for every day affairs that we can easily begin to mask and disguise something that's going on inside of us. And that something is an ache, a desire, a connection with something or someone that cannot be found just in my human interactions. And it all has to do with wrestling with a very existential question about ourselves that has to do with why we are here. You see the way we conduct the business of our lives, sometimes it reflects that we are here because of just earthly stuff because of what's happening around us. When we step aside from that, we really begin to reflect on that and think beyond those things, we realize that there's a longing inside of us. It's in the depth of our soul that can't settle for an answer to the reason for my existence as being just because.
We need to have more than that. We need to find a better answer than human life is just because. And so there's a desire, there's a longing, when we peel it all back, to be connected with the reason for our existence. And that is God. Only God can fill the God hole in us. Not another person, not another thing, not another adventure, not another human accomplishment: only God can fill the God hole in us, and bring us an answer to why we are here, that is more eternal, better than just because.
So as we look out for this God and reach for God, who is He? Who is this God who is responsible for us; for creating us, for making us? There's a tendency to think that God is simply some energy force somewhere; a creator that kind of put things in place, made everything that we have around us, but somehow is remote from any contact with it.
Or that God is some primal energy that's always just kind of existed.
The Feast of the Holy Trinity that we celebrate today stands before us saying and proclaiming that God has a face. God has a personality. God is not just an essence somewhere, or a being somewhere; but that God has a face and a personality. And that face and that personality is responsible for me, for making me.
And the wonder of this teaching on the Holy Trinity is that God, at one in the same time, can be both father and mother, brother and sister, friend and confidant and spouse. That God is beyond all of the categories that we place in our lives and can be all of the relationships that we hold dear, all at one and the same time.
The teaching of God is being one and three is truly a remarkable, remarkable fact. That brings the immensity of God's presence and the creative power of God's presence, home to the simplicity of my soul. So as much as I kneel before the majesty of God, I can at one in the same time, also reach back out to God and call him "Abba" or "Daddy". It's truly remarkable. And in searching for this God who now has a face and a personality, I began to focus not so much on what I need to do that God wants as much as who I am.
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, one of our newer saints, has some wise thoughts to share with us. And she says that the divine presence, the divine presence has so much strength to bring to the human soul. So much strength to bring to the human soul that when we believe that God loves us to the point where God lives in us, we then find a companion in the exile of our life as we struggle to figure out who we are and where we're being led and where we're going. But also a confident friend in every moment. And she goes on to say that it is our call to make a home in our soul for the Holy Trinity; for the Holy Trinity.
So you see, doing is only one piece of the greater call for us to be; to be a home for the Trinity. Now, how does this change up how we approach our everyday lives? But rather than first looking to our human relationships for all that we need, we can look to our relationship with God.
So our human relationships can celebrate our presence. They can center us, they can nourish us, and they can validate us. We need all of those things from those in the close circle of our friends. But when we start with God, we gain a strength that we cannot find just in those relationships. So when we turn to God first and see that God celebrates us. God has fashioned and created us. Do we realize how much God delights in what he has made? He treasures it. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. It is God who centers us, who gives us direction, meaning and purpose well beyond what we see and do here.
In the realm of the eternal and forever, it is that orientation that brings us to the truth of our lives in order, is everything else thereafter. God can nourish us more than any human being can nourish us. God who lives and moves in the depths of my soul can bring the refreshment and life and the love that I need to be who I am, especially through the word that we hear and the Eucharist we receive.
And lastly, God can validate us and give us a reason for our hope; a reason for being. And a sense of true esteem as one who is then called to go and live the Gospel that Jesus taught.
So you see, we limit ourselves by looking only at what is around us and what is here. When we stretch and look beyond, we get the true answer that what we seek, the one that satisfies the depth of who we are, the one that can bring light and love to everything else that we do. So that it's truly true that, yes, it's important to do as God wants, but it's even more important to be, so that God can be in us and us in God. It's the greatest way to show our love and by becoming a dwelling of the most Holy Trinity, then others will see by who we are what we profess.
Father Mark Suslenko is the pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Learn more about our parish community www.isidoreandmaria.org. And follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our music comes free of charge from Blue Dot Sessions in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’m Carol Vassar. Thanks for joining us.