By

Gospel: St. Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the

mountain to which Jesus had directed them.

When they saw him, they worshiped him; but

some doubted. And Jesus came and said to

them, “All authority 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, and teaching them to obey

everything that I have commanded you. And

remember, I am with you always, to the end of

the age.”

In preparation for this sermon I viewed

several videos Friday afternoon on YouTube.

I sat in my office chair mesmerized by images

from the Hubble Telescope and Voyager 1 &

2. I watched magnificent images of planet

earth, the sun, solar flares, planets and moons,

craters, windstorms and volcanoes, nebulae,

solar systems, interstellar space, and galaxies

at distances unfathomable. The beauty,

complexity and immensity of our universe are

astonishing.

To see our planet from the view of a

camera lens thousands upon hundreds of

thousands of miles away is amazing and

humbling. My afternoon cosmic travel via

YouTube was in far contrast to the ‘fact

finding’ Washington proceedings plastered

across the airwaves. My afternoon journey

refreshingly took me beyond ‘my world’.

On the surface it was a visual, scientific

journey and a lesson in cosmology. But

taking into consideration my visceral

response as these images of the cosmos

danced across my 20” computer screen, the

experience was more than scientific. My

afternoon journey took me beyond ‘my

world’ into a much more profound and

immense dimension of reality. This was a

visual experience of God’s imaginative

handiwork – created matter brought together

for Divine Purpose by Divine Intelligence.

You and I are cosmic dust – formed

from the elements of the universe. Theorists

suggest that interactions of electromagnetism

combined with the right balance of nuclear

forces within atoms allowed for the creation

of this planet’s environment in which sea,

plant, animal and human life thrive.

While we are learning more about its

arrangement, qualities and intricacies, the

universe itself remains incomprehensible.

For most of us who are not scientists,

physicists and astronomers all we can do is

experience the universe and grow in

awareness of our connectedness to our

environment – which is a miniscule part of

the universe.

If the universe is incomprehensible, how

much more so is GOD. We can think about

GOD, we can study what others have written

about GOD, we can hear a Sunday sermon,

but the most effective way to truly begin to

comprehend the incomprehensible GOD is to

experience GOD.

On this TRINITY Sunday we acknowledge a

doctrine of the Church that for centuries many

theologians have tried to explain and few of

us understand.

Here is one explanation extracted from St.

Augustine:

“There is only One God the Father. He

always had his own Word and Spirit (or

Wisdom) accompanying Him.

When God first "thought" God’s invisible,

inaudible Spirit or "breath" was sent out.

When that invisible breath was articulated

they became God’s Son. The Word of God is

the Son of God. God, God's word, and God’s

Spirit (or Wisdom) are not separate persons.”

(from http://www.piney.com/Trinity.Augustine.html)

I applaud Augustine for his thoughts.

Yet, I think a lack of clarity about GOD as

TRINITY is just fine because GOD is

MYSTERY and not to be understood but

rather to be experienced and welcomed.

This morning we listen to sacred

scripture. Our readings reveal both

thoughtful reflection and experience. Sacred

scripture is offered within the context of the

Church’s Liturgy so that we might extend

beyond our ‘self’ to welcome an experience

of the HOLY ONE.

The Church looks to Christ Jesus to

know and experience GOD.

In Christ Jesus we witness GOD present

and actively involved within our

environment. Jesus reveals GOD’s essence is

love. Resembling forces within atoms in the

cosmos, GOD is magnetized to us. GOD

longs for relationship with everything GOD

creates. That means the GOD of the Cosmos

longs to love you and me because we are

GOD’S creation.

For Saint Augustine, love best illustrates

the nature of GOD as Trinity. I quote: “Now

when I, who am asking about this, love

anything, there are three things present: I

myself, what I love, and love itself. For I

cannot love love unless I love a lover; for

there is no love where nothing is loved. So

there are three things: the lover, the loved

and the love.” (from: http://rzim.org/wp-

content/themes/rzim2015/assets/img/logo-header-

RZIM@null2x.png)

No matter the examples or thoughtful

reflections, it does us well to remember that

GOD is MYSTERY. We might be able to

better understand GOD by viewing GOD as

Trinity – or not.

It is unwise to get caught up in defining

GOD. Rather, through the witness and

inspiration of others throughout millennia

today we can experience GOD as CREATOR,

SAVIOR and LIFE-SUSTAINER: Father

GOD, Son JESUS CHRIST and HOLY

SPIRIT.

I’m blessed to have two nieces and one

nephew. When important things happen in

their lives, I usually get a picture of the event.

I greatly appreciate the pictures – but to know

these three dear ones I must spend time with

them, experiencing them, listening to them,

laughing with them, crying with them, doing

exciting activities and the mundane things of

life with them. To experience is to truly

know.

We are GOD’S dear ones, created and

loved. Welcome the experience of GOD into

your life. Allow the GOD of the cosmos to

love you. This experience opens up within us

awareness that is difficult to articulate, but oh

so permeating, rejuvenating, heartwarming,

motivating and awesome.

I close with the poignant words of the

14 th century German theologian, philosopher

and mystic Meister Eckhart:

“When God laughs at the soul and the soul

laughs back at God, the persons of the Trinity

are begotten. When the Father laughs at the

Son and the Son laughs back at the Father,

that laughter gives pleasure, that pleasure

gives joy, that joy gives love, and that love is

the Holy Spirit.”

 
St. Paul's is located at 33 W. Dixon Ave, Dayton, OH 45419; phone: 937-293-1154; fax: 937-293-3723 Office hours are Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.