Today is Trinity Sunday; it comes just one week after the beautiful feast of Pentecost that celebrates the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the entire world. Our “Trinitarian” Christian faith asserts that there is one God who is three distinct persons existing as a community of self-giving and loving relationships with each other. Yes, God is love (1 Jn 4:8); each person (Father, Son, and Spirit) is fundamentally a fountain of overflowing love!
Describing the Mystery. You may recall from your early catechesis that various images were used to express how three elements form one reality. The one shamrock is really a three-leafed clover. The equilateral triangle has three sides of equal length. An egg has the shell, the white, and the yoke. Water exists as liquid, ice, and steam. These images are only meant to assist us in imagining how three aspects can be integrated into one reality. Certainly, the Trinity is a much more profound mystery!
Trinity in Scripture. God’s oneness is clearly affirmed in the Bible. Jesus echoes the words of Deuteronomy 6:4 when he says: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord…” (Mk 12:29-30). The Bible clearly reveals God is the Father (Eph 4:6; 1 Jn 3:1); God is the Son, the Word (Jn 1:1; Jn 3:16; Col 1:15); God is the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:10; Eph 4:30). We are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).
We see the various persons of the Trinity relating and interacting with each other. The Father sends the Son into the world (Jn 3:16). Jesus frequently talks about his Father (Jn 5:19; Jn 17:5) and prays to Him (Mt 11:25-26; Jn 12:27-28; Jn 17:20-26). During his baptism the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus as a dove (Lk 3:22). Jesus promises to send this same Spirit from the Father to his disciples (Jn 15:26). Friends, consider reading these scripture passages to deepen your Trinitarian faith.
Reflections from Pope Francis. Our pope asks us to “pause to celebrate this mystery.” He notes that “there is the Father to whom I pray with the Our Father; there is the Son who gave me redemption, justification; there is the Holy Spirit who abides in us and inhabits the Church. And this speaks to our heart because we find it encompassed in that expression of Saint John which summarizes all of Revelation: ‘God is love’ (1 Jn 4:8-16)…. It is not easy to understand, but we can live this mystery, all of us.”
Pope Francis turns to Mary to conclude his reflection: “Mary Most Holy, in her simplicity and humility, reflects the Beauty of the Triune God, because she fully welcomed Jesus into her life. May she sustain our faith; may she make us worshippers of God and servants of our brothers and sisters.” “May Our Lady, daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, and spouse of the Spirit, help us to welcome and bear witness in life to the mystery of God-Love.”
James H. Kroeger, M.M.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
I bow before the sublime mystery
of one God in three divine persons
confessing I do not fully comprehend
a truth far beyond human understanding.
You, in whose image all people were made,
nevertheless reveal yourself as
creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier,
thus inviting us to experience
the fullness of your Being though
it remains outside our poor ability
to fully comprehend.
God, by becoming one of us
and filling us with the Holy Spirit
you nonetheless invite us to enter fully
into a mystery we will never understand
until that Day when by your grace
we stand totally alive in you.
Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.