Glory Be to The Father, to The Son and to The Holy Spirit
Today, the holy Mother Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Our celebration today is on God who is loving, compassionate and forgiving, and has called us to share in this mystery of the Trinity that leads us into the mystery of Divine love.
“Today’s feast invites us to live in the awareness of the presence of the Triune God within us: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The mystery of the Holy Trinity, a doctrine enunciated by the ecumenical Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, is one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity and the greatest mystery of our Faith, namely, that there are Three Divine Persons, sharing the same Divine nature in one God. There is one God, who has three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each Person is God, yet there is still only one God”.
Two of the most concise prayers and blessings are:
“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you;”
“May the Almighty God bless you,
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
These are called Trinitarian formulas. In these, the Trinitarian God unites to perform the function for which they are being consulted. Paul knew this and so, constantly employed this formula in concluding most of his letters.
The first question that comes to mind at the very first encounter with the doctrine of the Trinity is: “Three Persons in One God, how could that be? Indeed, it should provoke such a question. However, this question becomes meaningful if only one could humble oneself and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten him through the Church.
The Church teaches that: “The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the consubstantial Trinity. The Divine Persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire…the Divine Persons are really distinct from one another. God is one but not solitary. Father, Son, Holy Spirit are not simply names designating modalities of the Divine Being, for they are really distinct from one another” (CCC253-255, p.82-83). Today’s Readings convey the fundamental mystery that the Triune God reaches out to people with love, seeking the deepest communion with them.
In the First Reading we see the obedience and humility of Moses before God. This humility won him the favour of God. Here also, God proved that He is indeed a Father. This is because, although He was not happy with the ways of His people, He relented in His anger and because of the prayer of Moses, He forgave them.
In the Second Reading Paul encourages us to “be united and live in peace.” He concluded with his characteristic benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” In this, Paul shows great interest in the unity of Christian community and blessings of the Trinitarian God.
In other words, by invoking the Trinitarian fellowship on them, he wishes that they emulate it, and be united in heart and soul as the Most Holy Trinity. A divided family lacks the fellowship of the Trinitarian God and needs to give it a chance.
The Gospel of today is an immensely popular one: “God sent his son so that through him the world might be saved.” This sending is one way through which we share in the Trinitarian Community. They keep coming to us to unite us, and to make us be like them. They continue to seek fellowship with us because they wish that we be united as they are.
Human words cannot perfectly explain this divine reality and mystery of the Trinity. So, no terminology or formulation is adequate to communicate it. All we need is God’s enlightenment and grace for us to comprehend the Trinitarian mystery and theology. It is the crux to understanding the message of Christ and Christianity.
Clear doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament, the Annunciation, (Luke 1: 26-38), describes how God the Father sent the angel Gabriel to Mary to announce to her that God the Holy Spirit, would “come upon” her, that “the power the Most High will overshadow” her, that the Son would be made flesh in her womb: ‘Therefore, the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God’.”
During the Baptism of Jesus, (Matthew 3: 16-17), the Holy Spirit was shown descending upon Jesus in the form of a Dove while the Voice of God the Father was heard from the clouds, saying, “You are My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased” (Luke 4:22).
John, (Chapters 15 through 18), presents the detailed teaching of Jesus on the Persons of the Holy Trinity and in the preaching mission given by the Risen Lord to the disciples, Jesus commanded them to baptize people “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Confer also Matthew 28:19; John 10:30).
Finally, the Trinity is not an abstract theological concept, instead, it is a reality which is to be believed and lived. The Trinity is someone to whom we pray, but it is also a community, the communion of three in one, the family in whose image we build up our own human community. In appreciation of this fellowship and communion let us give praise to the Most Holy Trinity:
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Fr Jude CSSp