What we celebrate on this Trinity Sunday is the force of divine connection. Our opening prayer says that today, we adore God’s Unity. We don’t adore just the Father or just the Son or just the Holy Spirit today. Today we celebrate their bond, their inseparable and eternal connection. The three persons of the trinity—while they are distinct, they are not three separate persons. They are three united persons, three connected persons. Jesus says, everything the Father has is his and everything the Spirit says comes from them both. They are all united, all connected, all one. We cannot think about the Father without the Son, or the Son without the Holy Spirit, or the Father without the Holy Spirit. They are all one.
When we are baptized, we are brought into this connection, this unity of love. In baptism, in the Eucharist, in confession—in every sacrament—God is bringing us into the force of the Trinitarian connection. He is bringing us through these sacraments into this unity, this bond of love that is the Trinity.
This is something above our nature. Sometimes we have a hard time joining something on our own. CARA says that only 56 percent of Catholics want to join a parish. Some of the other 44 percent may go to Mass each weekend, but they don’t want to join a parish. Msgr spoke yesterday about how things like Boy Scouts, sports teams, etc—it just seems like fewer and fewer people are wanting to commit to joining something.
With God, we always belong. God calls us into this beautiful divine connection, this Trinitarian force, this family. He calls us into this thing that is so much more powerful than anything we could ever think about in our minds, this thing that is held together by his love. It is the church. And in it we are connected to God and each other.
Today we are supposed to talk about the last of the spiritual works of mercy, to pray for the living and the dead. That’s right—it is a work of mercy to pray for someone! The Bible tells us of the importance of praying for each other. Jesus tells us to do it, and to even pray for those who persecute us. St Paul often tells his friends to pray for him. Romans speaks about how we don’t know how to pray, but the Holy Spirit prays within us and helps us. Maccabees talks about the importance of praying for the dead.
And that’s an important thing. The people who have died—we need to pray for them. Funeral Masses are not simply “celebration of life” Masses. The funeral Mass is a time to pray for the repose of the person. When I kick the bucket, I want people praying for my sorry soul. We should all want that. And we should love our deceased friends and family enough to pray for them. Why? Because they might still be in purgatory, needing our prayers.
Why God should arrange the universe in such a way that prayer is such an important thing, who knows. I suspect it has something to do with our being connected and how God has deigned it to be that we need to rely on this connection, even to enter into paradise.
I imagine it will be a wonderful day in heaven when we will get to see all that our prayers have accomplished. But in the meantime, we keep on praying. And because we are connected, we can be sure our prayers are doing something important.