A Relationship Of Love – Fr. Michael Guastello

Fr. Michael Guastello’s Homily June 16, 2019

“Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Trinity.  The Trinity is one of the great mysteries of our faith. Our theology tells us that we have three persons in one God and so it is reasonable for us to ask, ‘How are we to make sense of this?’  Well, like any mystery, while we can’t fully understand it, we can know something about it and it is Jesus Christ himself who is our point of reference. It is Jesus who gives us a window into the Holy Trinity.  Now the first step for us to recognize is that the Trinity is a relationship of love.  English writer and theologian G.K. Chesterton wrote that, ‘The basis of the Holy Trinity is relationship and at the heart of this relationship is love.’  In his first letter, John the evangelist tells us that God is love that this is who God is that he doesn’t just have love. He doesn’t just show love or give love, but God is love itself.  What this means is that God is at the same time a lover, the Father, a beloved Son and the shared love that is between them is the Holy Spirit. In another part of scripture Jesus’ disciples ask him to tell them about his father and he says to them, ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.’  Our Catholic theology has interpreted this statement and others to mean that while the persons of the Trinity are distinct, wherever one person of the Trinity is, there the entire Trinity is present and when one person of the Trinity is acting the other two persons are acting as well. They do not operate independent of one another, so when we take a look at a crucifix we see only the Son.  We see only the second person of the Trinity, but the entire Trinity is present. ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.’

Now let’s take a look at our Gospel for today.  Jesus tells us, ‘everything that belongs to the Father belongs to him (Jesus)’  And what belongs to Jesus he will declare to his disciples. That’s us. What Jesus is doing here is he is giving us even more insight into this relationship he has with his Heavenly Father.  He’s outlining for us an estate plan, if you will, and that we will receive an inheritance. This inheritance of course is Heaven. It is eternal life with the Holy Trinity. Jesus also promises us in our gospel today that we will be led, that we will be guided by the Spirit of Truth.  He says, ‘When he comes, The Spirit of Truth, he will guide you to all truth. He does not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears.’ In other words, he will lead and guide and speak truth in union with the Father and the Son. Now this idea of truth, things being objectively true, is sometimes lost in our 21st century American culture.  The notion that there is objective truth is not always popular in our society today. Some in our society think that truth is relative. They’ll say, ‘Well if that’s true for you, fine but that’s not true for me and what’s true for me is true for me, but it doesn’t have to be true for you.’ Some people think that we can even vote on the truth. Well I’ll tell you this, God never intended for eternal truth to be determined by democratic vote.  It doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t work that way. The truth is what it is eternally.

I’ll give you an example of earthy truth.  So this here that’s in front of me, this is a microphone.  So, I observe this. My mind comes into conformity with the object under consideration and my mind says, ‘Ah, microphone.’  This is a pulpit. This is a watch that I’m wearing, okay these things all have truths in and of themselves, so I look at this and my mind says, ‘club sandwich.’  This is not a club sandwich. Doesn’t matter if I think that it’s a club sandwich. Doesn’t matter if I hope that it’s a club sandwich. Doesn’t matter that I pray that it’s a club sandwich.  It is a microphone, so this is an earthy truth, so I’m going to try to make the conversion to eternal truth. Here’s some examples of eternal truths from God:

  • Marriage is between one man and one woman.
  • Human persons are all made in the image and likeness of God whether they are born or unborn whether they are citizens of the United States or whether they are citizens of another country, it doesn’t matter.  All persons are loved by God. They are ordered toward God and have an inherent dignity as a result of it and when that dignity is violated in any way shape or form, God is violated because we’re made in his image and likeness.

These eternal truths are laid down by God and are given to us out of love from God and in my mind that’s the key to accepting some of these things even when we might disagree, even when we might disagree even when we might not fully understand them, that our God is a loving God and he wants what’s best for all of us.  If there is something in your own life that you’re struggling with such as one of the Church’s teachings I invite you to take it to prayer. Pray about it. Talk to God about it in very real and stark terms. Ask for clarity. Ask for help. Ask for the Spirit of Truth that we read about in our Gospel today. Spend time with our Lord in front of the Blessed Sacrament talking to him about whatever it is, whatever it is.  Research the Church’s position. Study the Church’s position. Look at the history behind it. Look at the theology behind it and try to get a sense of the reasoning that goes into the Church’s teaching. If there is a Church teaching that you’re struggling with that you disagree with, I invite you, no I encourage you to do those things.

Pope Benedict in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est translated from the Latin, God is Love, reminds us that our faith first and foremost is not about a set of moral teachings or rules, it is about a relationship with God.  Our God desires a real relationship with you personally and invites all of us to share in the relationship of the Trinity, a relationship that is love itself.”