Now we have the completion of the liturgical year. We reflect upon God as God, and give glory to Him – The Most Holy Trinity. He is one God in three Persons. Here we deal with the most complex mystery possible: God Himself.
We were made for God. God is our destiny – the whole purpose of our being; but why did God create us? So we might come to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this life; and that we might be united with him forever in another life.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity invites us to reflect on God as He is. Usually, we think about God only in terms of what He has done for us. But occasionally we need to reflect upon God just as he is.
Think of God as the Creator. There was a time when the universe did not exist, before the Big Bang, 13 ½ billion years ago. God is not located in the physical cosmos. When we complete our lives, we go to God, but that is not somewhere in the cosmos. When we search for God, we should not look for Him in the Sun, or the moon, or the stars. They would tell us, as they told St. Augustine: “He made us. Look for him elsewhere.”
I find it helpful to reflect upon our place in the cosmos. We are one of the 8 planets in the solar system. Life is found only on this beautiful planet – None of the other planets can sustain life. But our Sun is only one star within the galaxy called the Milky Way. This is a huge collection of stars in the shape of a flat disc, with spiral arms. How many stars? Over 100 billion! It takes 100,000 light years for light to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other end, and this is only one galaxy. The Hubble telescope, outside the earth’s atmosphere, sends us pictures of countless numbers of other galaxies. There are billions of other galaxies, as large as or larger than our Milky Way galaxy. Truly, our planet Earth is just a spec in the cosmos. And what does that say about the insignificant size of you and me, living on this planet?
In Psalm 8 the Psalmist asks: “When I contemplate the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars you have created, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him” (Ps 8:4)?
But God has only limited interest in the cosmos. It is full of fireworks, different combinations, supernovas and black holes, dark matter, and is constantly expanding. Its material composition is 73% hydrogen and 25% helium, with only 2% of all the other elements listed in the periodic table. God’s real interests lies elsewhere. He is not really interested in the cosmic soup of the material universe.
Our God is a highly personal God: 3 Persons in 1 Godhead. And a person is extremely complex. God is interested in persons. So he decided to create other persons. A person has intelligence and understanding. That is what differentiates us from all the animals. A person has free will and liberty. A person can enter into relationships with other persons, have friends, can receive love and offer love. Persons are so complex and so unique, there are no two persons who are identical, not even identical twins.
First, God created the angels, who are pure spirit persons. Then have no bodies. Then, He decided to create bodied persons, persons with a material body and an invisible spiritual soul. Thus He created our first parents, Adam and Eve, and all their progeny.
What motivated God to create other persons? He wanted to share his friendship and love and life with other persons. He wanted other persons to share in his own interpersonal communion of love and life. Thus, it was love that motivated God to crate the angels and each one of us. It was love that motivated God to create the material cosmos, and to place our home planet, the Earth, in the most privileged and habitable place possible within the cosmos. The Earth has been called the Privileged Planet, privileged in so many ways, among which is our ability to discover more and more about the universe we are part of, because of our unique location.
Of all the things God created, persons are the most important. A person will exist forever. That is God’s plan for persons. Our task, during these 70-80 years on Earth, is to become the full, rich person God always intended us to become. We are to learn what it means to be a son or daughter of God, how to advance the good and how to resist the evil. That is why the Father sent His Son, Jesus, into the world as one of us, to teach us God’s plan for us – how to live this life well, in preparation for being called to our true home with God in Heaven.
Jesus told us: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. … All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he, the Spirit, will take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn16: 12-15).
When we try to understand God, we know we have huge limitations. We have only limited intelligence. We can know the truth, but only to a limited degree or depth. But God has an infinite depth. The created world is exceedingly complex and declares the wisdom of its Creator / Designer. You and I are called to know God, to get to know him better. How will we do this? By the gift of Faith. Faith begins where our limited minds are baffled, and come to an end. What we cannot understand, when the mystery is too deep, too incomprehensible for us, then we simply believe. We place our full trust in what God has revealed to us. Faith is not unreasonable – it completely transcends our limited understanding. Faith and reason go together.
God has revealed himself to us. We can know him profoundly. The Father sent His Son to us, to give us firsthand and completely reliable truth about Him. And Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to help us penetrate the depths of his Words.
God is our best friend. He wants us to relate to him as a friend. We are to do what friends do. That is why some of you come to daily Mass. You know that is how the friendship is best nourished and developed. You bring your children with you. They spontaneously react to what they see you doing, and to what you are experiencing.
Brothers and sisters, God is the only reason we exist, and why the cosmos exists. Once we find him, once we discover our relationship with him, then everything fits into place. If we have God in our lives, then we have everything, a true happiness that nothing can take away. This is our God. There is no other.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…