To know God and Jesus in the present is to participate already in the life of the age to come.
– Marcus Borg
You can find the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity here.
Scripture scholars will tell you that John 3:16 represents the quintessential Johannine kerygma. We shouldn’t move on without first defining the word kerygma. The Archdiocese of Washington tells us that kerygma is an “example of one of those ‘Church words’ which is rich in meaning to those who know… but is largely unknown to many others.” Kerygma simply means; a proclamation. The simple definition really does not convey the proper gravity of the meaning. To proclaim the good news is significantly different than standing in your favorite coffee-shop and proclaiming your latest mocha-latte is the best ever.
Kerygma is meant to change how you live your life. As Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda tells us; “hearing [kerygma] is not passive but active and carries the notion of invitation, challenge and acceptance of his call.” Everyone who believes… has eternal life.
On March 22, 2014 in Oso Washington there was a landslide. The ground was saturated and a mountain slope crashed down on homes and people. It left behind a wake of tragedy. Locals were the first to respond and Federal Agencies came in to oversee the recovery effort. There was tension between them at first. As the Federal Agencies realized they needed the locals, because they knew the land, and the locals realized they needed the Feds, because of their expertise, there emerged a fellowship. They combined their efforts to accomplish their common purpose.
In order to have fellowship with any man, there must be a concord of heart. “Can two walk together unless they be agreed?” At the very bottom of fellowship there must be a likeness; we must have like wishes, like desires; we must have espoused like ends, and our spirits must be welded together in the intention to effect like purposes. Now, I think we can avow, this morning, in the first place, that we do feel a sweet concord with God in his eternal purposes.
The scripture scholar will tell you that John’s Gospel “stresses the present reality of ‘life’ which the believer can enjoy here and now.” This understanding informs our beliefs and the way we live.
If we believe that Christ is incarnate in Jesus, we must believe that Jesus brought heaven with him when he came. From that moment we have been living the eternal life Jesus promised. Praise your pastor if the homily or sermon includes the understanding that we are living the eternal life today.
Many of us have felt the feeling that, even though we have had some success and happiness, there is something missing. Way back in the 1960s Peggy Lee sang “Is That All There Is?” In the 1980s U2 sang “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” We all feel that restlessness, that nagging feeling that there must be something more to life than our day-to-day existence.
James Martin, S.J.
In verses just before our reading this Sunday, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born not only of flesh and blood but also of the Spirit.
Henri Nouwen explains that “somewhere deep in our hearts we already know that success, fame, influence, power, and money do not give us the inner joy and peace we crave. Somewhere we can even sense a certain envy of those who have shed all false ambitions and found a deeper fulfillment in their relationship with God.”
Being born of the Spirit requires us to travel inside ourselves and examine our life. If you take one thing away from the homily today it should be that we are living our eternal life now. If we are in fellowship with God and live according to the teachings of Jesus we are creating heaven on earth. This is indeed what we should crave. The Gospel message today is a proclamation. We should see it as an invitation and a challenge to accept God’s call in our lives.
May the eternal presence of God expand and enhance our lives.
Our gratitude for life be expressed in our generosity.
Our faith be expressed in good causes.
And our belief in the future find full expression
in our daily attitude of mind.
– F. Macnab