We lift our hearts in worship of God - Trinity Sunday (A)

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Shortly in this Mass we will profess our faith as we recite the Nicaean Creed. We say, “I believe” - “Credo”.

Firstly we say, “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” Next we declare that as a Christian, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ.” Later we say, “In believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life”.

Each time we say the Creed we profess our faith in One God revealed as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We express our faith in the one God who has revealed Himself, as we heard in the first reading, as a God of “tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness”. God has revealed not only His existence but also His nature.

The Gospel of today declares that one God who is the “maker of heaven and earth” is also the God who has shown the depth of His love for created yet sinful humanity by sending his own Son not to condemn what He has created but to save humanity, the work of His hand.

And as our celebration of Pentecost last Sunday proclaimed, the Father has poured forth the Holy Spirit upon those who have been redeemed.

This is the God in whom we believe. This is the God who has revealed Himself to us in the Old Testament, but ultimately and completely in Christ. Today, we contemplate the wonder of God and his wondrous works in creation, in redemption and in sanctification.

We believe in God who, as St John never tires of saying, is a God who is love itself. We believe in God who, in Christ, reached out to sinful humanity to enable us to have eternal life. We believe in God who, in the Holy Spirit, dwells within us and raises us up in holiness.

Today the Church invites us to declare our faith in the one God who is three persons. This is not just a notional acceptance of belief in God. It is far more than a theological statement.

It is the moment, especially having just completed the celebration of the Easter season, to contemplate in awe the wondrous nature of God. St John declares, “God loved the world so much.” When we contemplate God we contemplate love. When we reflect on what God has done, we realise that God does not condemn but God is a god who saves. 

In the first reading we notice that when God revealed Himself to Moses, Moses found that there was no other response worthy of the moment than to bow down to the ground and worship.

This is the true and only response to the contemplation of the nature of God. We are moved to bow down in worship. This action acknowledges the greatness and glory of God and our nothingness before Him. Who are we but sinful imperfect creatures before the all-holy God.

The fact that God loves us so much stirs our souls to want to bow down in humble and grateful worship. We know we do not deserve such love. We are not in any way entitled to the salvation that is offered to us. What other response can we make? Nothing can ever be in the least way adequate. All that we can have in our hearts is humble gratitude. All we can do is offer ourselves to Him in an act of worship.

When the Christian sings the hymns are of praise and thanksgiving. At Mass we join with angelic chorus singing with all our hearts: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory.” The angels’ great hymn of worship is the Church’s hymn honouring the greatness of God.

Christian songs are first and foremost songs of praise. We want to lift our hearts in joy and thanksgiving. We exalt in the glory and greatness of our God. We give expression to our love of God through our prayers and songs. We lift our hearts on high as our spirits sour in exultant praise.

In every Mass the sacred liturgy leads us in our worship of God. We make a grateful offering of ourselves to Almighty God. While knowing that our efforts are so paltry, we know that God delights in the sincere movements in our hearts. It is just like a parent receiving with joy the imperfect drawings or gifts offered by their child. It is the intention and not the gift itself that is important.

So it is that God looks into our hearts. He is joyful when we attempt to express our profound gratitude for his love.

In this Mass in a few moments the priest will engage us in a dialogue as we prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer. He will say to us, “Lift up your hearts.” We will respond, “We lift them up to the Lord.” Today let us be conscious of what we say we are doing. We do lift up our hearts to the Lord.

Then the priest will say, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” To which we say, “It is right and just.” Yes, this is what we should do. This is what we want to do.

Today, on Trinity Sunday, as we contemplate the wonder and mystery of the one God. Let us give Him our praise, our worship, our thanksgiving.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Archbishop Julian Porteous
Sunday, June 7, 2020