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Bishop's Homily for Trinity Sunday

May 30, 2021

[St. Pius X Church, Manoa (Confirmation & First Communion);
Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Wahiawa (Confirmation & First Communion);
Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu]

Someone sings.  Someone hears.  And then there is the song.  These three things – the singer, the hearer, and the song – are distinct and different, yet they are so intimately connected that we might say they form a trinity.  There is no song without a singer, nor without someone to hear it, and without a song, there is neither singer nor hearer of a song.

Today we celebrate the eternal love song that is God himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, three persons, undivided Trinity.  We celebrate it not just to marvel at the infinite and perfect love that is God himself, but also to remember that God’s song of love is sung to us.  And even more than that, we celebrate our immersion in the holy name of the Trinity in our Baptism, and that we ourselves have been commissioned to sing this song of love we have heard.

You who are to be confirmed are here because you have been hearers of the song of God’s love.  It has been sung to you by your parents and grandparents, by your priests and catechists, by so many others.  It has been sung to you in beautiful harmony and in great discord.  It has been sung to you when you wanted to listen and even when you did not.  It has been sung to you in the Sacred Scriptures, in the person of Jesus Christ, in the joys and the struggles of life.  You have learned over these years to hear this song.

But now you are called and commissioned in a special way to be the singers of the song for others.  It is this song of God’s love that you are sent to sing to your classmates who are filled with self-doubt and despair, or who feel isolated because they are criticized and rejected by others.  It is the Holy Spirit poured out upon you in Confirmation who will give you the courage to reach out to them in spite of the criticism you might receive, and to sing them the song of God’s love.  It is the Holy Spirit who attunes your ear to hear more clearly and your tongue to sing more beautifully of the eternal love that is God himself.

In a world filled with the sounds of violence and war, you are commissioned to sing the song of peace.  In a world torn apart by discord, you are sent to sing a song of harmony.  In a culture of death, you are called to sing a song of life.  And in an atmosphere of darkness and doubt, you are chosen to sing a song of faith.

Sometimes we hear God’s love song in the most unlikely places and where we least expect to hear it.  Many years ago, I received a letter from a friend who was 20 years old at the time, and who had learned to sing a brand new song.  He had been sung the lie that he was worthless, and he tried to find his worth with drugs, with sex, with asserting his authority in violence.  He was in prison.  But in prison, he discovered something he had missed all his life – that Jesus is not just a person who lived a long time ago and died.  He is risen from the dead, is alive now, and is with us, especially in the Eucharist, to free us.  This friend said that, even though he had remorse for his past life and all the people he had hurt, he had never felt more free than he did then, because he had heard Jesus’ song of love.  He knew that Jesus was not some long-ago and far-away person, but someone who is alive and active now.  He encountered him in the flesh in the Eucharist.  And once he heard the love song Jesus sang to him, no bars or barbed wire could take away the freedom that comes with being in communion with him.  And all this happened because someone sang him the song of truth.

The Father, who created you, is going to sing to you his most precious song by sealing you with the Holy Spirit and feeding you with the Body and Blood of his Son Jesus.  If ever a song could move your soul, it is this great Song of the love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit that we celebrate today.  But as Jesus said to his first disciples, he now says to you and all of us:  “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.”  He wants us to sing his song to the depressed, the hungry, the needy, the poor, and to all to whom you are now sent.

The greatest of all Lovers, the God who is the perfect community of love, sings a song that all the world is meant to hear.  And he makes us singers with him, so that all nations can be immersed in this eternal song of love that is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.