The Most Holy Trinity, Year A
Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
June 15, 2014
Today we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity is central to the way we pray as Catholics. Every time we celebrate Mass, every time we pray, we begin and end by invoking the Trinity with the Sign of the Cross, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Pretty much every time I celebrate Mass, right after the Sign of the Cross at the beginning I use the same greeting, The Grace of Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. There are other options but I like this one because it refers to all three persons of the Trinity and is clearly scriptural in origin as it comes from today’s second reading.
With all this in mind, the Trinity is the central mystery of our faith.
So it would only seem appropriate that as we celebrate the Trinity today, I should give you a perfect and clear explanation of the Trinity….
Well, that would be nice, but it isn’t going to happen. First off, remember I said it is a central mystery of our faith. As a mystery, we don’t have all the answers.
It would be wonderful to provide you with all the scriptural passages that talk about the Trinity. However, the word Trinity is never used in the Bible. We won’t expect to find it in the Old Testament since Jesus and the Holy Spirit weren’t talked about as such.
In the New Testament, the word Trinity isn’t used but the three persons of the Trinity are referred together, like in the second reading today and the Baptism of the Jesus where the Holy Spirit comes down upon Jesus and the Father speaks as the voice from above proclaiming Jesus as his beloved Son.
What makes it so hard to talk about the Trinity?
That’s an easy question that I can answer!
It’s God we are talking about! Why should we expect normal human words to be adequate to describe God? God is infinite. God is so immense that we cannot look upon God directly. Even Moses in the first reading was not worthy to see God directly, only seeing God after He passed by.
What do we know about God? As Exodus tells us “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.”
God is merciful and rich in kindness. How much? So much that he sends his son Jesus to die for use on the Cross. There is no limit to God’s love. That’s the “awesomeness of God.”
It’s hard for us to understand this. That’s why St. Augustine once said that if you think you understand, then it isn’t God.
We are never going to fully understand God while we are in this world. That’s why we call it faith.
The relationship of the Trinity is part of what we can’t understand. Each Sunday we profess the Trinity in our Creed. We profess the Father as maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible…Jesus is begotten of the Father, consubstantial with him. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three persons yet one God. They exist in perfect unity, completely cooperating with one another. They are not three separate persons each doing their own thing with a common purpose.
Even when two human beings get along great, the unity between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit greatly surpasses what the human beings share. It is that same unity with God that we seek.
The Father offers us the gift of faith, Jesus reconciles us, and the Holy Spirit unites us to God, the Most Holy Trinity.