SUNDAY, SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
Prov 8: 22-31 Ps 8: 4-9 Rom 5: 1-5 Jn 16: 12-15
GOD IN HIS DEEPEST MYSTERY IS A FAMILY
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Trinity and thus, it’s very appropriate to shed a little light on the revelation of God as Trinity and go deeper to understand the divine truth, the Church teaches on the Trinity. The word ‘Trinity’ is not found directly in the Bible. However, what we understand of the Trinity is found in scriptures and the early Christians arrived at the doctrine of the Trinity when they applied their God-given understanding to the revelation which they had received in faith. The mystery of the most Holy Trinity is a basic doctrine of Faith in Christianity, understandable not with our heads but with our hearts.
Our mind struggles to grasp this doctrine, but we believe in this Mystery because Jesus, who is God, taught it clearly to His disciples; the Evangelists later recorded it; the Fathers of the Church tried to explain it; and the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople defined it as a dogma of Christian Faith. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), n. 250 we read; “during the first centuries, the Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith, both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it”. This clarification was the work of the early councils, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people’s sense of faith. However, one fundamental truth we should keep in mind is that the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the most foundational aspect of our faith; on it everything else depends, and from it everything else is derived. Therefore, the Church’s constant concern to safeguard the revealed truth that God is one in nature and exists as three persons, is seen from very early on.
The Church teaches us three important elements in the dogma of the Trinity:
- The Trinity is One. The three divine persons are distinct from one another, and the divine persons are in relationship with one another. (CCC n. 253)
- The divine persons are distinct from one another. They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: “It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.” The Divine Unity is Triune. (CCC n. 254)
- The divine persons are relative to one another. (CCC n. 255)
We can understand something of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity more readily with the heart than with our weak mind. We may not be able to understand “the how” of the Trinity, but I think it is very important to understand the why. Why did God reveal to us this mystery regarding the very nature of the Supreme Being? The importance of this doctrine lies in this truth: we are made in the image of God, therefore, the more we understand God, the more we can understand ourselves. What does the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity tell us about the kind of God we worship and what does this say about the kind of people we should be?
It is a good day to reflect on our own lives as children of God; on our family life; and on the harmony that all hold with and for each other. There is an intimate relationship between family life and the Trinity. Just as the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are united in love, we too are created in love to be a community of loving persons. St John Paul II wrote what the implication of God’s name means in this way: “God in His deepest mystery is not solitude, but a family, since He has in Himself fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of the family, which is love.” We belong to the Family of the Triune God and the love, unity and joy in the relationship among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit should be the supreme ideal for our relationships within our own Christian families. In today’s world where our culture is so hostile to the family, in which divorce, brokenness, separation and unhealthy relationships are so common, in which family life has been so badly shattered. It is thus important that we note and try to build this Trinity relationship in our own lives. May the Trinity strengthen us and deepen our love for one another.
Response: O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name
through all the earth!
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