Monday, May 31, 2010

Holy Trinity Sunday and Marriage

They go together at least in the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph where couples celebrating 50th Anniversaries (and more) gather at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert W. Finn. (I note as an aside that Feast of the Holy Trinity and marriage literally joined together this year for this blogger and his wife Lynn as we celebrated our 18th anniversary on Sunday.)

Following is Bishop Finn’s homily from the Jubilarian Mass:

Dear Jubilarians, Dear Friends in Christ all,

In his first encyclical, which he entitled, “God is Love,” our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the love of the Holy Trinity – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as the image and model of our love for one another. “If you see charity, you see the Trinity,” he writes quoting St. Augustine.

Today’s Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is the Church’s praise for this wondrous mystery of love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Though the Easter Season was completed in last Sundays’ Feast of Pentecost, these weeks bring us wonderful feast days: Holy Trinity today; next week – Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of the Lord); and then the commemorations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These celebrations continue the high pitch of joy that we have celebrated in Easter and the days after.

Today our prayer is one of Glory: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ did not merely come among us, but He revealed His Father in heaven, and He told us that this Father was Our Father. Before His death He tells – He promises – the apostles, indeed the Church, that He and the Father are going to send the Holy Spirit. This most amazing mystery calls to our human hearts and causes us to praise God for the love with which He sustains the world. True enough, He has created the world, but it is love which drives the world forward in its best sense. It is love that holds us together; it is love by which God draws us to Himself.

This enduring love is the heart of your marriages: You have come together by God’s providential design. It is love which has sustained you for these years; a mixture of human love infused with God’s love. It is love that helps you to bring each other more and more to God.

According to the Pope’s encyclical, “The [Holy] Spirit is that interior power which harmonizes the hearts of believers with Christ’s heart, and moves them to love their brother as Christ loved them.” (Deus Caritas Est, no. 19) This love is expressed in humble and generous care for others, and sacrifices, even like that of Christ who gave His life for us.

Today, in the name of the Diocese, I welcome with joy our Jubilarians celebrating 50 years of marriage. A few of those here are celebrating milestones beyond 50 years. Like the solemn feasts of these days which celebrate the manifestation of the life and love of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in a living communion of love, so also your anniversaries of marriage distinguish this day by means of a union of life and love which has powerful implications for the good of the world.

The love of husband and wife is an essential part of God’s plan for the world. Your love is life-giving – in the wonderful gift of family and children, and also in the way it completes and transforms you as spouses.

Your love is a powerful and personal gift to you from God, and a means of holiness; and it is also a gift to the Church and the world. Indeed, St. Paul tells us that the love of husband and wife is an image and a reminder of Christ’s love for the Church. (Eph 5:23ff)

The way this love reaches its perfection in marriage and in the family is in humble service one for another and in self-sacrifice, both after the example and image of Christ. Jesus Christ, through His Church, perfects and completes the natural institution of marriage through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony so that married couples will have the benefit of a supernatural grace and assistance.

How could couples ever hope to give themselves so completely and forever unless it is because of supernatural faith, hope and love? Your marriage in Jesus Christ is a testimony to the Providence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, who as the Pope writes, “harmonizes our hearts with Christ’s heart,” and moves us to love each other as Christ loves us.

Dear friends, Dear married couples:

The Diocese thanks God for your vocation to marriage and for the health, peace, and commitment in which He continues to sustain you.

As the Holy Trinity chose Mary to be the daughter of the Father, the mother of Jesus the Son, and the spouse of the Holy Spirit, we ask her to intercede always for us and for the Church. As Mary obtained from her Son the very first of His miracles on behalf of a married couple at the wedding feast of Cana, the Church entrusts you Jubilarians to her again, confident that she will never fail to bring your prayers before her divine Son.

On this day of the Most Holy Trinity, may the grace of God be poured in abundance into your hearts, on all our families, our parishes, on our Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. In this way the love of Jesus Christ, manifest in humble service and self-sacrificing and generous love, will become a lasting oblation of glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.