We celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, or Trinity Sunday, which is the central mystery of our Christian faith. From the beginning of Christianity, the Trinity is always invoked – very frequently – in prayer.
We have just proclaimed the Word of God, what does it tell us?
First Reading: Dt 4:32-34, 39-40. In the Old Testament God is not yet revealed explicitly as Trinity but as the One – “I am”-, the One who is merciful and gracious! “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” Second Reading: Rom 8:14-17. Paul tells us that we are adopted children of God One and Triune. We remember what Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit, continues telling us: “If you love me, you will keep my word, and my Father and I will come to you, and make our home in you.”
The Holy Gospel: Mt 28:16-20. After his resurrection and just before his ascension into heaven, Jesus gives to his disciples a mission, a universal mission to which all the disciples are called to do: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commended your.”
The Mystery of the Blessed Trinity is revealed in – among other events – the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan: the Father speaks, “You are my beloved Son”; the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove; the Son of God is baptized by John the Baptist (cf. Mk 1:7-11).
Our God is One and Triune. He is One God and Three different Persons (we say “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…,”and not in the names of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). One God: absolute unity and absolute equality. And Three Persons: real distinct relations among the Three: of the Father to the Son (paternity), and of the Son to the Father (filiation), and of the Father and the Son to the Holy Spirit (love). And Three different Persons, or three different faces of the same God; or three caresses of love; or one love and three lovers; or one fountain without beginning and end with three rivers in the same water.
Who is God? God for us Christians is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father is the first divine Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is our Creator and our Father: the Father of the prodigal son and of the lost sheep who loves us, who forgives us. We are God’s children. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus tell his diciples: “I am going to my Father and your Father.”
God the Son is the second divine Person of the Blessed Trinity. He reveals to us God as Father and sends to his disciples – we are certainly included – the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and the Son. He is Jesus Christ, God and Man, our Savior and Redeemer. He is the Way we have to follow, the Truth we have to know and communicate to others, and the Life we have to live – a life centered on love of God, and of all neighbors, and of the poor and needy neighbors in particular. Christ is our brother, and in him we are each other’s brother and sister.
God the Holy Spirit is the third divine Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Love of the Father and the Son, God’s gift to us – his divine Grace. The Holy Spirit is our advocate and consoler. He dwells in us with the Father and the Son (the incredible indwelling of the Blessed Trinity!).
Our God is not a solitary or lonely God. We proclaim: “The true God is One in Trinity, and a Trinity in One.” Our dear God, One and Triune, is communion and a constant invitation to us to pray together, and to live in the communion of love.
The Holy Trinity is a constant presence in our life. We were baptized “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We often make the Sign of the Cross “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We end the recitation of the Psalms, of the Mysteries of the Rosary, and of our prayers with the “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” The priest addresses all our community prayers to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.
We are Christians, and happy to be so! Who is a Christian? He or she who is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and is faithful to his or her baptism: a person who knows God as Father, confesses Jesus as the Son of God and the Man-for-Others, and experiences the Holy Spirit who tells women and men believers that Jesus is alive; that we are called to live in him, and that outside him there is darkness (O. González de Cardedal).
As we Christians celebrate the great Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity after the season of Easter that ended with Pentecost, we are asked to examine our faith and devotion to the Blessed Trinity. We are urged to check up in our soul the primordial Trinitarian attitude in our life: the filial attitude – we are children of God; the fraternal attitude – we are brothers and sisters of Christ and in Christ of one another; and our charismatic attitude – we are people transformed by the grace and love of the Holy Spirit, and joyful and courageous witnesses of the death and resurrection of Christ, that tell the world of his love.
When all is said – the little we may say on the Blessed Trinity -; when all is said, we have to conclude with what we all know: The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is the unfathomable, the awesome mystery of the Blessed Trinity! Thanks to God’s gift of faith, we believe, that is, we see “like through a glass darkly.” We cannot understand, but we believe in God who reveals himself to us as One and Triune. The deep mystery may be unveiled little by little – always very imperfectly – by living our faith in love. It is clearly so in the lives of the saints and the mystics. St. Columbanus says something beautiful: The invisible God “is partly seen by a heart that is pure.” “Therefore – the monk adds -, seek the supreme wisdom, not by verbal debate but by the perfection of a good life; not with the tongue, but with the faith which issues from singleness of heart” (Instruction I, On Faith, 3-5).
Let me close with a lovely anecdote I heard to Cardinal Bo of Myanmar, when he pronounced the keynote lecture of the Theology Week of the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, last March 2018. There was a bishop who had to cross the seashore to go to his ministry. One day he saw three fishermen who rushed to him to tell him proudly and joyfully: “Bishop, we are Catholics.” The Bishop asked them: “Do you pray? “Yes, every day.” “How do you pray?” “With raised hands up to heaven, we say: You Three are there; we three are here, have mercy on us.” The good Bishop loved them and told them that they should learn the Our Father, and taught it to them very patiently. Two weeks later, the bishop crossed the seashore again. He asked the three fishermen: “Do you pray the Our Father?” “No, Bishop, we forgot it.” The Bishop told them: “Your prayer is fine; it is also my prayer.” The four raised up their hands to heaven and prayed: “You Three are there; we four are here, have mercy on us.”
Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You Three are there, we all are here, have mercy on us. Amen
(Fausto Gomez OP. St. Dominic Priory. Macau, May 27, 2018)