The Most Holy Trinity, Year A – 17
Ex.34:4-6, 8-9; 2Cor.13:11-13; Jn.3:16-18
There is a story about a man who was suspected of being out of his mind, climbed a tree. Many were worried about this. So, they shouted at him to go down from the tree but he did not. They called the captain of the fire department to convince him to go down but he was not convinced.
They called the mayor but it’s hopeless. Finally, they called the old parish priest of that place. So, the old parish priest went to the place and they asked him to make a blessing if in case he will fall down and die.
So, the priest made the Sign of the Cross. After a while the man went down from the tree and the people were surprised why it happened that way. They asked the priest how he was able to convince the man to come down by making the Sign of the Cross.
The priest told them: “No, I did not convince the person to come down. I just said, ‘If you will not go down (tracing a vertical line), I will cut this tree (tracing a horizontal line in the air). After that he came down.”
Today we encounter the mystery of all mysteries, the mystery that underlines our faith and our entire spiritual lives. It is a mystery, too great for many people to accept. Many people prefer having a God whom they can understand.
This celebration of the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity had started since the 10th century. The idea of the Trinity is not explicitly stated as a doctrine in the Sacred Scriptures. But implicitly it is stated many times.
We believe the Blessed Trinity through faith and nothing more. This faith has to be realized, embodied and materialized in our concrete lives. And what is that, that makes the life of a Christian so important.
All prayers in the Church begin in the Name of the Holy Trinity and end glorifying the Trinity.
All Sacraments are administered (we are baptized, confirmed, anointed, our sins are forgiven and your marriage blessed, our Bishops, we, priests and deacons ordained) in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Church bells ring thrice daily, reminding us to pray to the Holy Trinity.
We Bless ourselves, and the priest blesses us, in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Let me try to give you some Biblical proofs: There are only vague and hidden references to the Trinity in the Old Testament. But the New Testament gives clear teachings on the Holy Trinity.
At the Annunciation, God the Father sends His angel to Mary, God the Holy Spirit overshadows her and God the Son becomes incarnate in her womb.
At the baptism of Jesus, when the Son receives baptism from John the Baptist, the Father’s Voice is heard and the Holy Spirit appears as a Dove.
At the Ascension, Jesus gives the missionary command to his disciples to baptize those who believe, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel of John, chapters 15-18, we have a detailed account of Jesus’ teaching of the role of each Person of the Holy Trinity:
1) God the Father creates and provides for His creatures.
2) God the Son redeems us and reconciles us with God.
3) God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, strengthens us, teaches us and guides us to God.
Now, another way to think about the Trinity is the way that St. John described it in one of his letters. He said very simply, “God is Love.” And the theologians and saints have helped us to see, that in his innermost heart – God is a communion of three divine Persons in love.
Remember, the human person is created in the image of God. That means that you and me, every one of us are created in the image of the Most Holy Trinity. In the image of the God who is Love.
So, the Trinity tells us the meaning of our lives. It tells us that we are made to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity. We are made to live a divine life in this world. As children of God. As temples of the Holy Spirit.
This is the basic reality of our Christian lives. Jesus said that if we love him and keep his commandments, that God will come, the Trinity, to make his home within us.
St. Paul used to say, we are the temples of the living God. That’s the truth. God is dwelling in each of us by his grace! But are we aware of it? Are we living this truth? So, this great feast today challenges us to examine ourselves.
This feast calls us to really believe this and to really live with a greater awareness of this beautiful reality, of the Blessed Trinity’s presence with us.
The last words we heard from Jesus in our Gospel last Sunday are: “Behold! I am with you always.” This isn’t just a happy thought. It’s another way of expressing the beautiful spiritual reality of our lives. As we all remember, when Jesus was born, they called him Emmanuel.
And as we know, that name means, “God with us.” The mystery of the Trinity means that we have access to God – all the time.
Trinity Sunday is a good opportunity to pay special attention to what we do and pray every Sunday at Mass so that we realize more deeply that every Sunday is Trinity Sunday.
The early Christians discovered later that they simply could not speak of God without speaking of the three ways in which He had revealed Himself to them.
This does not mean that there are three Gods. It means that there is only One God who has shown Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Thomas Edison, the inventor, once remarked: “We don’t know what water is. We don’t know what light is. We don’t know what electricity is. We don’t know what heat is. We have a lot of hypotheses about these things, but that is all.
But we don’t let our ignorance about these things deprive us of their use.” The truth of that statement is real. Most of us do not know how an electric light works, how a telephone or a TV works, but this does not prevent us from using them.
Let us try to apply the same common sense to our faith in the doctrine of the Trinity. Let me end by saying that the doctrine of the Trinity does not attempt to explain God. It only explains to us in a very elemental way what God has revealed to us about himself so far.
To describe the tip of the iceberg above the water is not to describe the entire iceberg. So, we Christians affirm the Trinity, not as an explanation of God, but simply as a way of describing what we know about Him.
Let us have the firm conviction that the Trinitarian God abides in us, that He is the Source of our hope, courage and strength and that He is our final destination.
Let us practice the Trinitarian relationship of love and unity in the family relationships of father, mother and children because by Baptism we become children of God and members of God’s Trinitarian family. Amen.