The Most Holy Trinity
The Holy Trinity is one of those mysteries that we will never understand, yet we still believe. A homiletics teacher once warned never to speak of the Trinity for more than ten minutes, or for sure you would get into heresy. Good advice. It is easy to talk in circles around this great mystery and never get close to understanding three Persons in One God. We are only one person each, and never one in being with another person. So how can we possibly understand this? We can’t. But we can contemplate the varied faces of Father, Spirit, and Son as they are presented to us in today’s scriptures, and give glory to God and believe.
GLORY AND PRAISE FOREVER
When Moses went up Mount Sinai, God revealed the divine Self to him by name. “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God” (Exodus 34:6). In the Old Testament, we are accustomed to assuming that the “Lord GOD” indicates the Father only. But in the retrospect with which we look at these readings, we can see that the title is inclusive of the three persons of the Trinity. Never has there been any separation of the three persons in one God, and although there may be mention of only one person, it is understood that all three persons are present. Jesus taught many times that he and the Father are one, and that the Holy Spirit would come upon us and remind us of all things. We believe in God, creator of all that is, the Son, redeemer of our human lives and giver of eternal life, and the Holy Spirit, inspiration of the prophets and lover of all humanity; holy Wisdom, inspiring in us the understanding of all things holy.
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
When we hear in the oft-quoted text in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life,” we begin to see how language that expresses the sending of the Son fails to express the unity of the Holy Trinity. This failure of human language in the presence of the mystery of the Trinity is what makes it so hard to explain and comprehend.
So how can we respond when we see a reference to “God”? We can strive to remember that God is three persons, not just one as we are, but one in being. Our best response is praise to the Holy Trinity. “Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to God who is, who was, and who is to come.” And we can bless each other when we pray with Saint Paul, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Corinthians 13:13).
Today’s Readings: Ex 34:4b–6, 8–9; Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55; 2 Cor 13:11–13; Jn 3:16–18