Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

27 May 2024

Appears in: Archdiocesan NewsMessages and Homilies

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Sacrament of Confirmation


[Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33; Romans 8: 14-17; Matthew 28:16-20]

Our celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation today coincides with the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. I would like to give particular focus, then, to the significance of the Holy Trinity for the young people who are about to be confirmed.

Much can be said about the mystery of God as Triune. In fact, libraires could easily be filled with theological and spiritual books that have been written about it. Nevertheless, for our young people today, allow me to say simply that the mystery of the Holy Trinity means this: your lives matter!

This is important to emphasize in our day. We all know that many young people question their worth. That is because they are being fed the false message that, in order to be noticed, to count for something, one has to be beautiful, rich, talented, athletic, make high marks, and so on. If we have none of these traits or abilities, we might fall into the trap of questioning if our life is worth anything, or if it matters that I exist. Well, the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity makes clear that you are of infinite worth, that you have a dignity that is priceless, that you matter, simply because you are alive. Your existence, and the story of your life, matter because you matter to God.

Here is how we know this. Jesus has revealed to us the nature of God: one God in Three Persons. This means that God is perfect in Himself. As perfect, God needs nothing. Yet, our perfect God chose to create the world and place us within it, in fact at creation’s very summit. This means that God created you and me not because He needed to do so, but due simply and beautifully to the fact that he wanted to. You are wanted by God! In God’s eyes, you are necessary. Remember from the Book of Genesis that God looked upon all that He had made, – and that includes you – and pronounced it very good!

Let’s notice, too, that God shows His love by entering our lives. God does not remain distant. No, He comes close, entering into all that matters to us. In the first reading, Moses marvels at the many ways throughout history God showed His love by intervening in the lives of His people, always for their good. And, of course, the most wondrous way God entered the world was by giving Himself! This happened in two ways: by sending His Son Jesus to die and rise that we could live with him forever; and by the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the very love of God poured into our hearts.

You first received the Holy Spirit when you were baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, just as we heard Jesus command in the Gospel.  Now, this very day through the sacrament of Confirmation, God sends His Holy Spirit in a new way, this time to give you a mission and empower you for it. Here we have yet another way God shows how much you matter, how greatly you are loved! He entrusts you with the mission of making His Son Jesus known. God the Father wants all people to know Him by knowing Jesus, and by knowing Jesus realize that they each have great worth, that they are precious in the eyes of God, that they are always accompanied and helped by God, and that they have a destiny where they are awaited in love by God. This is your mission; this is the mission of all followers of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important, nothing more exciting than this!

In a moment I will ask you to stand and renew your baptismal promises. When you answer “I do” to the questions I pose, you will be saying that you want always to say “yes” to Jesus, to all that he has revealed about the mystery of God and to the way he wants us to live, and “no” to the evil one, to all that is wrong. This is not just for today that you say this. Your answers also show how you fulfill your mission, how you will make Jesus known to others. When, every day, you show by the way you live that you have found joy and meaning from saying yes to Jesus and no to evil, you point others to him, and invite them to learn from Jesus that they, too, matter, they count.

Thank you for accepting this mission from the Lord. Thank you for saying yes to the gift and power of the Holy Spirit, who gives you all the gifts you need for its accomplishment.

Most Reverend Richard W. Smith

May 26th, 2024

Saint Joseph Basilica