The Most Holy Trinity, Year A
Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55 (52b)
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
June 7, 2020
Our celebration of Pentecost last week brought our Easter Season to a close and we resumed Ordinary Time. The liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green but today we are wearing white vestments. We will again wear white vestments next Sunday.
Why? Because we celebrate two special solemnities. Next week we will celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. First, this week we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
The Trinity, three persons, one God. It is a mystery. In fact, it is a central mystery of our faith. It is who God is to us.
Yet, we should realize that we can’t expect to fully comprehend God. We are humans. God is, well, God. God is infinite. God is eternal. God is thus mysterious. That does not mean God is not real or that we should give up on trying to know God. No, God wants us to know him.
In our reading from Exodus today, God came down to Moses “in a cloud.” I don’t see it as a rain cloud or a thunderstorm. If you want it in physical terms, I point to the white puffy cloud in a beautiful blue sky. In the sense of mystery, I see the cloud as that which we cannot see through, what is within the cloud remains hidden, mysterious.
This passage comes shortly after Moses comes down from the mountain and finds the Israelites in sin, worshipping a molten calf (Exodus 32).
In Exodus 33:18, Moses asks God, “Please let me see your glory!” In verse 20, God says to Moses, “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.” God is mysterious. We cannot fully comprehend God.
Then, in today’s reading from Exodus (chapter 34), the LORD passes by without Moses seeing God’s face. Moses can only look towards God after He has passed by. When Moses does, he sees the glory of God and “at once bowed down to the ground in worship.”
We cannot see the fullness of God in this life. Yet, we can recognize the majesty, the infinite grace of God, and bow down in worship.
We bow down physically in our worship with our genuflections and bowing. Yet, we should understand this is not simply a physical gesture. It should symbolize our bowing in our heart and soul to God. We stop trying to make ourselves great and give it all to God.
The Trinity is a mystery to us. We cannot fully comprehend three persons being one God. We don’t have to. We believe in faith, faith that we have received as a gift from God.
I could say a lot about the Trinity. Last Wednesday, I gave a webinar presentation, called Praying With the Trinity (www.renewaloffaith.org/trinity) where I spoke for almost an hour about the Trinity. Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk that long here.
What will I say? The Trinity is about relationship. It is the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It leads us to appreciate our relationship with God and it is model for our relationship, one based on love, with other people. We are, as Paul says in the second reading, to “encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
God shows us love by giving his only Son for us. God does this so that we might be saved through him. God desires to save everyone who “believes in him.”
What does it mean to believe?
To believe in Jesus, to believe in God, is not to just say we believe. It is not just a matter of giving God one hour at Mass a week. It is not just calling Jesus Lord. To believe in Jesus calls us to make him the center of our lives. Yet, we do not do this on our own.
Paul reminds us, “No one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3b). Faith is a gift. The Trinity is a mystery. The transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood is a mystery. In faith, we believe in these mysteries.
So, what are we to do in our prayer and worship to honor the Trinity?
How do we begin and end our prayers? With the Sign of Cross, invoking the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We reverence the Trinity in our prayers at Mass. We certainly think of Jesus in the Eucharist. We also worship the Father as many of the prayers of Mass are addressed to the Father. Lest we forget the Holy Spirit, in the Eucharist we invoke the Holy Spirit to come down upon the bread and wine so that they may become the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Yes, the Trinity is a mystery. However, just because it is a mystery doesn’t mean we forget about it. In faith we believe.