The Most Holy Trinity – Year A
For today’s Gospel reading click the link below:
(Exodus 34:4-6. 8-9, 2 Cor 13:11-13, John 3:16-18)
Homily Reflection by Fr. JJ Fenelon
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, just a week after Pentecost, the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Why such a feast? Isn’t every Sunday a feast of the Trinity?
The solemnity of the Trinity goes back to 12th century England and St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Historians say the great Thomas celebrated a Liturgy in honour of the Trinity in his cathedral. So was born the observance. In the 14th century, the feast came to be observed by the Universal Church.
In the 2nd reading – St Paul asks us “to be united, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you” and concludes with the Trinitarian blessing. “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”
We entered the faith at our Baptism with the words I baptise you in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We have the gift of the Trinity within us right from the day of our Baptism.
We enter into Holy Mass with the sign of the Cross – In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen! The greeting that is extended after that is Trinitarian – “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit”, which is far greater than any secular greeting of Good Morning or ………. .
All prayers in the Mass (Collect, Prayer over the Gifts and Post-Communion Prayer) are addressed to The Father, through the Son, in the Spirit. The Mass ends with the Blessing and “May Almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
These are called trinitarian formulas. We can’t find the word Trinity explicitly found in the Bible. Jesus Christ the Son, reveals God the Father and promises to send the Advocate, God the Holy Spirit. The Catholic doctrinal teaching of the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead is considered to be central to our Christian faith. God came to meet us:
(2) as the Lord who, in the incarnated figure of Jesus Christ, lived among human beings and was present in their midst as the “Resurrected One”; and
(3) as the Holy Spirit, whom they experienced as the helper or intercessor in the power of the new life.
Hence, the Church teaches that: “The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the consubstantial Trinity.” (CCC 253-255, p.82-83). We profess it in our Creed every Sunday:
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;…
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,….
Our celebration today is a song of praise to God who has called us to share in this mystery of His Love. It is a celebration of the tremendous love that exists between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We cannot and will not understand the Trinity because if we did than we are God ourselves. It is a mystery with a capital M and it will remain so forever. Therefore, no explanation is adequate to communicate this Mystery.
But we can appreciate the Trinity by loving the Trinity in the way they love us. This is fulfilling the two great commandments that Jesus taught: Love God and neighbor.
In the 1st reading we see the obedience and humility of Moses before God. This humility won him the favour of God. Moses pleads for us with God… “adopt us as your heritage” – 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 his anger. So, because of the intercession of Moses, he forgave them.
God has been forgiving us all along in a personal way and finally through his Son who by his life, death and resurrection has won for us this tremendous union of love with his Father by sending us the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel we hear, “God so loved the world… God sent his Son not to condemn the world… so that world might be saved.” We in our lives need to be and do the same.
In the 2nd reading, Paul encourages us to “be united and live in peace.” In His greeting of the Corinthian community, “The grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”, Paul shows great interest in the unity of Christian community. 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, biological or spiritual, lacks the fellowship of the Trinitarian God.
The Gospel verse: “God sent his son so that through him the world might be saved,” is still being experienced by us every time we celebrate the Eucharist. 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.
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 the absence of the Holy Eucharistic celebration every Sunday during this pandemic, we as Catholics are still expressing our desire to live in the love of the Trinity. This is evident in our families coming together to attend online Masses, praying the Rosary and sharing the word of God in small Christian communities like our Ministries and Neighbourhood groups (NCCs).
In the Holy Trinity, God has revealed His innermost secret: “God Himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and He has destined us to share in that exchange. Man lives in God and by God”
(Pope St John Paul II)
In appreciation of this fellowship and communion with this Great Almighty God, let us give praise to the Most Holy Trinity: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen!