My topic today is love stories and I want to tell four love stories. Back in 1975, Charlotte Von Sledvin was 19 years old and the member of a Swedish royal family. She decided to travel to India to get a portrait made by a gifted artist. The artist was Prada Mahandia, a member of a poor family of the lowest caste, also known as the “untouchables.” In spite of his low ranking in society, Prada had an outstanding reputation for being a gifted painter. His portrait of Charlotte was magnificent and by the time the portrait was finished, they fallen in love.
Because of her love for Prada, Charlotte spontaneously decided to stay longer in India. A couple of days became weeks and then months. The two had fallen so deeply in love that they got married according to traditional Indian rituals. The time came when Charlotte had to leave in order to complete her college studies back in Europe. They were separated by thousands of miles but their feelings for each other never changed. They stayed in contact through letters which they exchanged weekly.
Charlotte offered to buy airline tickets for her husband; but he refused. He had decided on reuniting with the love of his life on his own terms. He wanted to stay in his caste so that he could stay in relationship with his family. So he bought a bicycle and headed out toward Sweden. His voyage took him through eight countries and took more than four months. But eventually he arrived at Charlotte’s hometown in Sweden and since then they have never left each other’s side. They have a bond of love that cannot be broken.
Now for three more love stories. The story of God the Father. The story of God the Son. And the story of God the Holy Spirit.
God the Father loves people so much that he gives them free will. Life would be so boring if we were preprogrammed and robotic and not allowed to make any choices. Along the way people made some bad choices. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. God responded by promising to send a Savior.
When Moses was the leader of God’s people, they abandoned God and worshipped a golden calf. Did God abandon his people? No. God gave them another chance. God loved His people with a bond of love that could not be broken. God found delight in the human race as we heard in today’s First Reading.
God so loved them that He sent them priests and prophets to help them stay on the path to salvation. Did the people stay on the path? No. They began to worship the Canaanite gods. The prophets confronted them on that score and they repented. But then they created class distinctions and said that the poor could not be saved. That made God angry but He did not condemn them. Instead, God so loved the world that He send His Son not to condemn them but to save them. Century after century God the Father loved His people with a bond of love that could not be broken.
Now we move on to our third story of love…. The story of God the Son. He sacrificed His life so that we could be set free from the power of sin. His body was broken on the cross… so much did He love us. His blood was poured forth on the cross…. So much did He love us. Saint Paul says it best when he says, “In Christ, God has reconciled the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) God the Son loves us so much that even our sins cannot break his bond of love with us. His love story is the story of His sacrifice so that we could be…. set free from sin and set free to be more loving.
Our fourth love story is the story of the Holy Spirit. During the Last Supper Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. We heard about that promise in today’s Second Reading. Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion. The Holy Spirit loves us by staying with us at all times. When we are anxious, when we are in pain, when we are confused, we are never alone. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion. The Holy Spirit is also our guide.
In today’s Gospel Jesus says that the Spirit guides us to all truth. I will name three truths that the Spirit brings to us:
People are more important than things.
In times of temptation, God will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
There are many more truths but you get the idea. The Spirit loves us by guiding us to all truth.
Time for a short summary. The Feast of the Holy Trinity is a Love Story. The Father so loves us that He sends His Son not to condemn us but to save us. The Son loves us by dying on the cross to save us. The Spirit loves us by being our constant companion and by guiding us to all truth. The bottom line is this: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are bound to us by a bond of love that cannot be broken.