Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Adult confirmations — Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne
The readings today draw our attention to the reality of love that is contained in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. In the first reading from the book of Exodus, we heard God’s amazing words to Moses proclaiming to him that He is “the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” When Moses heard these words, he bowed down to the ground in worship. Think of the context of this revelation by God. God reveals His love to Moses right after the people had committed a very serious sin. They had made and worshipped a golden calf, breaking the first commandment. They had shattered the covenant, but God did not destroy them. What does He do? He expressed His merciful love. He tells Moses that He is a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and rich in kindness and fidelity. We have a God who refuses to destroy sinners. He always offers to us sinners the possibility of conversion and forgiveness.
We see this revelation of God’s mercy also in the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel. Jesus says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” In the world, there is evil; there is selfishness; there is wickedness. God could come to judge this world and to punish those who work in darkness. Instead, He chose to send what is most precious to Him: His only-begotten Son. And not only does God the Father send us His Son, He gives Him as a gift to the world. God’s merciful love reaches its highest expression when the Son , responding to His Father’s love, gives His life for us on the cross. On the cross, the Son of God obtains for us the eternal life that is communicated to us with the gift of the Holy Spirit. We see the mystery of the Holy Trinity in the mystery of the cross: the Father giving His only-begotten Son for the salvation of the world; the Son totally fulfilling the Father’s plan; and the Holy Spirit poured out by Jesus at the moment of His death. The Holy Spirit transforms us and makes us participants in divine life. This is a lot to think about, the mystery of the Trinity and the mystery of our salvation. When we were baptized, we were initiated into this mystery. We were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity took up His abode in us when we were baptized. We became adopted children of God the Father, members of Christ the Son, and temples of the Holy Spirit. As Saint Paul says, the love of God was poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. We became new creatures, partakers of the divine nature, through the Trinity’s gift of sanctifying grace.
At this Mass, 49 adults will receive the sacrament of Confirmation. What a beautiful feast on which to be confirmed. These 49 brothers and sisters in Christ will renew their baptismal promises – they will reject Satan and profess their faith in the Most Holy Trinity. They will then be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. They will receive an increase and deepening of the grace they received at Baptism. They will be drawn even closer to the Father and united more closely with the Son who is Jesus, our brother. And they will be infused with the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation strengthens us to witness to Christ in our words and deeds. The Holy Spirit gives us power to live our faith with conviction, like He gave power to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Though last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, we can say that today is Pentecost in the lives of the 49 people who receive Confirmation today. I invite everyone in this cathedral today to pray for these candidates during the Rite of Confirmation, as they come forward with their sponsors to be anointed with the sacred chrism. Pray for them and for yourselves and for me, that we may all be open to the grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that we may grow in communion with the Blessed Trinity, that we may be witnesses in our lives to the great truth that “God is love.”