God So Loved – Dcn. John Stanley

Dcn. John Stanley’s Homily May 30, 2021

“This past Easter season we have reflected upon and celebrated what God has done, what he is doing and what he will do for us. What does God do? He loves. St. John tells us, ‘God so loved that world that he sent his only son that those who believe in Him might not perish, but have eternal life.’ but love is not just something that God does, it is who God is. It is his essence. God is love. This claim that God is love is the foundation of our Trinity for love is relational. Love does not occur in a vacuum. There is a play between the lover, the Father, the beloved, the Son and the love they share together, the Holy Spirit. By analogy, an imperfect analogy, it’s not complete- think of a mother and a father whose shared love brings about a third person, a child. God has revealed all of this to us. We were loved into existence by the Father and by and through the sacrificial love of his beloved son Jesus Christ we were redeemed and by and through the Holy Spirit given to us by the Father and the Son we are sanctified and given the grace to return to God as his heirs as his sons and daughters. To experience God’s love for us and to experience who God is we need to go no further than to the Church to the sacraments. We begin every liturgy and end every liturgy in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. In our Gospel today we hear those last words of Jesus that include, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit for Baptism is the gateway for all other sacraments. Baptism makes us children of God and opens up the gates of Heaven to us, but if we close those gates through our own sin, Jesus and his Church also gives us the sacrament of reconciliation of confession which reopens those gates and in that holy sacrament we hear the words of absolution of Jesus spoken to us by the priest, ‘God the Father of mercies through the death and resurrection of his son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins and then the priest will absolve us saying in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. In just a few minutes the priest in persona Christi, in the person of Jesus Christ, will stand at that altar. He will place his hands over ordinary bread and wine and he will invoke the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to transform this bread and wine into the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice of the Holy Mass is then offered to the first person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father and it is through the Son with the Son and in the Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit that all glory and honor is given to God the Father Almighty. My brothers and sisters on this holy day, let us reflect upon and give thanks and praise to the Triune God, not only for what he did and what he does, but who he is. God is love. God is Trinity.”