God is no abstract force in the universe, but is a personal God who broke into human life out of love, Archbishop Alexander Sample said June 7 during his homily for Trinity Sunday.

“He is profoundly interested in us,” Archbishop Sample said during the livestreamed Mass from St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

The three divine persons of the Trinity relate to one another in love and relate to humans in love, the archbishop said. He pointed out that those in society who profess to be “spiritual but not religious” do not go far enough in responding to a God who calls us into personal relationships.

One of the persons of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, was the topic of the archbishop’s homily for the feast of Pentecost on May 31.

The coming of the Spirit turned a huddled band of fearful and dejected disciples into a confident and resilient team of apostles who preached Jesus risen from the dead, the archbishop said.

“They were afraid for their own lives a moment before, then suddenly they can’t keep quiet,” he explained during a Pentecost Mass livestreamed from the cathedral.

He reminded viewers that through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus remains with humanity and that all have gifts from the Spirit like caring for the poor, fighting for justice, tending to the sick, teaching, relating to young people and working with elders.

The Spirit also brings unity, which is a profound need now, he said. “If we could become one, and our hearts were set on fire, we could transform western Oregon.”

On May 29 during his weekly livestreamed chat from his home chapel, the archbishop continued a series on the Eucharist. In earlier sessions, he had explained that the Mass, while it is a banquet, is primarily a sacrifice, a way humans participate in Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice on the cross. In this session, he explained why a sacrifice is necessary.

He told viewers that original sin caused an infinite breach because the one offended was God, who is infinite love, goodness and perfection. Such a breach cannot be healed by a finite human sacrifice — only one of infinite value will do.

That is why through Mass Christ becomes our priest, offering the sacrifice, but also is the one who is sacrificed to bring about reconciliation. “Because he is divine, the sacrifice is of infinite value,” the archbishop said, reminding viewers that we need to be reconciled with God not just for original sin but for the sins we commit each day against God. “Only that offering of Jesus on the cross can make up for that.”