I will never forget that summer camping trip. My father and I went on a hike and camping trip with a group of other guys and boys my age. On the hike out, we were all carrying very heavy camping bags, and I remember finding the experience painful and difficult. As I was hiking, my father encouraged me by telling me to repeat, “Pain is weakness leaving my body, and I am not weak at all.” I would summarize my father’s role in my life with that story. He taught me the value of pushing myself hard and being able to sacrifice for the sake of others. Whether our relationship with our fathers is good or bad, we can all recognize how important a role they play in our lives. This Sunday we give our appreciation and acknowledge our fathers and the crucial role they play.
A real danger that we can get into in understanding masculinity is that we think that being a man is about being tough. Although men should have a certain resilience and perseverance, strength should be coupled with tenderness. Discipline should be partnered with mercy. To be a man is not just about having a kind of rigid, emotionless exterior. Rather, it is about having the courage and inner resources to be vulnerable before God and others. This kind of masculinity is able to do more than just respond to the world with aggression, but rather is able to endure the cross for the sake of love. This is the masculinity of Jesus Christ.
What Jesus Christ reveals is that the power of God is made manifest when we have the courage to love. This Sunday we celebrate Trinity Sunday, and we recall how Jesus Christ reveals the depth of who God is. He reveals that God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one perfect communion of love. This revelation transforms love and instead of making it a kind of nice sentiment or a surface emotion, he reveals that it is the very dynamic at the center of creation. It is love that moves the stars and it is love which makes life worth living.
This revelation is meant to set us free. The more we participate in God’s love, the more our lives begin to resemble the communion which is at the heart of all creation. When on fire with Divine love, the world becomes a place filled with potential and intrigue. The Gospel light makes even the most common of things new, filling them with a resplendent radiance. The Gospel light illuminates the depths of our hearts, allowing us to conquer the anxiety and fear caused by sin.
To walk in this light, we must be in a state of grace. This means that we must faithfully confess all mortal sins in the sacrament of confession. In confession, we receive the healing and pardon which reconciles us with God. In this way, we are restored to friendship with God and given all the blessings which our Lord wishes to pour in our lives. Today, I want to invite you to go to confession often.