SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY – B
The Trinity is the central doctrine in Christian faith. Our belief in the Trinity and the cross are the two marks that distinguish Christianity from the other world religions. They define who we are and determine our destiny.
Whilst all the other celebrations of feasts and solemnities in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church are based on the life of Jesus, the events in the history of salvation and the lives of the saints, the celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is based on a doctrine. It is the doctrine of one God with three Persons. The other two monotheistic religions believe in one God: Islam believes in Allah and Judaism believes in Yahweh. We Christians also believe in one God but in the Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Simple in its expression yet it is the mystery of all mysteries therefore the most difficult to understand. We try to understand the doctrine of the Trinity as God with one divine nature (or Essence) in three divine persons. These three persons are distinct yet they co-exist in unity, are co-equal, co-eternal and con-substantial. Our understanding may sound metaphysical (and even daunting) because the doctrine is defined using philosophical terms as developed by the two great geniuses of the Church: St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Many thinkers and theologians (Origen, Karl Rahner, Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar to name a few) contributed to our deeper understanding of the doctrine as it continues to evolve and to mediate its meaning to the needs of our time.
How do we come about our belief in the Trinity which is different from the other religions of the world? Jesus through his life most especially in the Paschal Mystery of his death, descent into hell and resurrection revealed to us that God is a Trinity! In fact, it is through the unfolding of the three Persons of the Trinity in the life of Jesus that inspired the biblical authors and subsequent thinkers and theologians to define the doctrine the way we understand it now. They show to us that the history of salvation is nothing but the unfolding or the manifestation of the three Persons of the Trinity who became a Pilgrim-God leading humanity in a pilgrimage towards himself.
In Jesus we do not just see the revelation of the Trinity but rather he invites humanity to enter into the life of the Trinity. He did not just reveal God as a Father, but our own Father whom we can call “Abba”; he did not just reveal the Holy Spirit but was given to us as a friend and Jesus did not just reveal himself as the savior but a brother as well. This is quite revolutionary in a sense that finally a religion is here whose God is not just Almighty who is detached from the lives of people but a real being who became like us and whom we can relate with.
But the question is: If there is God, why would he let evil prosper and triumph in the world? Our answer to the question of evil that most atheists bring about as their justification of not believing in God, is the cross and death of Jesus. The God who revealed himself to us suffered the most excruciating pain a human being could take and died crucified! And yet death and evil were vanquished by the power of love as shown to us in the resurrection of the Crucified God.
The gospel this Sunday reminds us of the mission that Jesus entrusted to the Church: “Go therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.” In the highly atheistic culture of the world today, our mission is to let the whole world know that there is a God who is the Trinity and to bring all peoples into this Trinitarian life: that God is our Father; Jesus is our Savior and the Holy Spirit is our Friend.
Our belief in the Trinity challenges us to enter into a personal relationship with the Father, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit. In this Trinitarian life we are invited to participate in the overflowing self-emptying love of God that penetrates every stratum of society our society and every fibre of our being. We experience this as we form communions through our families, the parish, the Church and groups that bring about love, unity and peace.
Through us and with us and in us, the Trinity continues to walk as a Pilgrim-God in our pains, abandonment, loneliness, suffering and even in death as well as in our joys, triumphs, dreams and aspirations. His fulness is the communion of all his sons and daughters back to his womb, our true home and our final destiny, in which we live and move and have our being.....
OUR LADY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, PRAY FOR US!
OUR LADY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, PRAY FOR US!