HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, YEAR A (JUNE 7, 2020)

HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, YEAR A (JUNE 7, 2020)

Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9; Psalm – Daniel 3; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18

 

We have four sets of homily notes to choose from. Please scroll down the page.

Fr Galadima Bitrus, OSA: Diversity and unity in God:The Trinity as Source and Summit of    Communion

Rev. Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai : The Trinity and two basic lessons today

Rev. Fr. Paul Oredipe: The Mystery of who God is

Rev. Fr. Evaristus Okeke: God is Trinitarian so that Man may be Communitarian    

                                                                                                                                          

 

Fr Galadima Bitrus, OSA

Diversity and unity in God:The Trinity as Source and Summit of    Communion   

Catholic liturgical celebrations begin with a confession of the Trinity, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, accompanied by the sign of the Cross. This Trinitarian confession expresses the Christian belief in One God made known to us in the three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The sign of the cross which accompanies the confession shows belief in the saving power of Christ’s Cross, the belief that Christ’s death on the cross was not simply an accidental discharge or simply the result of a miscarriage of justice but God’s freely chosen instrument of salvation, thus, fundamentally changing the symbolism of the cross from being a sign of curse and reproach (see Deut 21:22-23) directed against enemies of the state and ardent criminals (see Josh 8:29; 10:26; 1 Sam 31:10; Esth 9:13-15) to a sign with which we bless ourselves, a fount of blessing so to speak (see Gal 3:13-14).

Belief in the Trinity and belief in the salvific merit of Christ’s death on the Cross form therefore the bedrock of Christian faith. Hence, while Christian denominations may differ in several other aspects, we are largely united in the doctrine of baptism in the Trinity, that is, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19; cf. 1 Cor 8:6; 2 Cor 13:13; Eph 4:6). With this, we profess our origin as creatures out of the Father’s love, saved by grace accruing from the death of Jesus on the cross, and brought together into harmonious and sanctifying fellowship by the Holy Spirit. In the Trinity, we also profess the summit of our faith, the height of what our faith aspires: to live in sanctifying fellowship as persons uniquely made and saved by grace.

In the 1st Reading (Exod 34:4-9), we read of the restoration of God’s covenant with his people after the alienating experience created by the people’s terrible sin of setting up and worshipping the golden calf (Exod 32-33). At this point, God has listened to the pleas of Moses to forgive the people’s unfaithfulness. While he awaits the Lord to renew the covenant, Moses proclaims the litany of God’s loving qualities: “The Lord, the Lord, a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exod 34:6). Israel had broken faith with God but in place of merited judgment and condemnation, God manifests compassion, steadfast love and faithfulness, by renewing his covenant with her. 

In the 2nd Reading (2 Cor 13:11-13), Saint Paul in his appeal to the Corinthian Christian community to live in peace prays for the presence of “the God of love and peace” in the community (2 Cor 13:11), thus evoking God’s essential attribute of steadfast love which informs his actions in the first place, and the peace which his mercy brings about in place of the judgment and condemnation which sin and unfaithfulness merit. Thus, love, grace and communion capture the essence of God’s relation with us, as the apostle expresses in his final words of blessing to the Corinthian Church: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:13). These words have been adopted by the Church as the priest’s greetings to the Christian community gathered in sanctifying fellowship. They are words that remind us of the Trinity as the source and summit of our faith, the source and summit of the life of grace, love and communion.

The Gospel Reading (John 3:16-18) reflects another step, a more radical one in God’s renewal of his covenant with men. In place of merited judgment and condemnation, God sent his only begotten Son that we might not perish but that the world might be saved through him. Thus, God’s love first made manifest in freely creating us free, continues even more radically in moments when we merit judgment and condemnation but instead, God grants us redemption and salvation. 

Therefore, when we sin and merit condemnation as were the Israelites, when we fall short of being faithful to God, let us never give up thinking that we have exhausted God’s love. Love is God’s very essence and as such can never be exhausted; for he is “the Lord, the Lord, a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exod 34:6). As Pope Francis once reminded us, God does not get tired of forgiving us; we are the ones who often get tired and give up asking for his forgiveness. Until we have become what God wants us to be (his faithful people), we must continue to drink from the well of his compassion, grace, abundant love and faithfulness. In reality, we can never drink enough of it because we are essentially a product of God’s steadfast love and grace and faithfulness. Cut off from that, we cannot be.

Essentially, therefore, the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity is a celebration of God’s essence as LOVE and his essence as Communion. As the author of 1st John unequivocally states: “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8.16) and love is the only sign that we are of God and that we know God (1 Jn 4:7). Based on this, Saint Augustine would attempt to explain the Trinity using the analogy of love (analogia caritatis), later to be advanced by the medieval mystic, philosopher and theologian, Richard of Saint-Victor (1110-1173), to the effect that there are three things involved in love: the Lover, the Beloved and the Love which binds the lover and the beloved. Accordingly, the Father is the Lover, the Son is the Beloved and the Holy Spirit is the Love, the bond between the Father and the Son.

The Trinity as the expression of God’s essence as love is a message that we need today in our world when and where in the name of God some of us have perpetuated hate, condoned it justified it and have failed to see the contradiction between the culture of hate in any form and the vocation to be children of “the God of love and peace” (2 Cor 13:11). 

Another essential message that the mystery of the Triune God bequeaths us is the essential relatedness (communion) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, an idea also intuited by Saint Augustine to the effect that the Father is so-called by virtue of his relationship with the Son and the Son is so-called by virtue of his relationship with the Father, the Holy Spirit being the bond between them. Thus, where the Father is at work, there is also the Son and the Holy Spirit and vice versa. The Trinity, therefore, calls us to relatedness despite our distinctiveness, hence, to embrace life as essentially a cooperation and not a competition. Thus, no one should have to be left behind because someone wants to get ahead. In cooperation and relatedness, we give expression to the image of the Triune God we carry from the moment of our creation: “Let us make man in our image and likeness…” (Gen 1:26). 

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:13).

 

Rev. Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai

THE TRINITY AND TWO BASIC LESSONS TODAY

 The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity is a celebration of a vital aspect of our faith that was gradually revealed to us. The readings today help us enter into this sacred mystery of our faith. While the first reading tells us God is different from the god worshiped by people of other religions, the gospel tells that God the Son is the Redeemer and the He was sent to redeem the world by God the Father. Lastly, the second reading gives us a fuller revelation of the nature of God as Trinity: the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  God is a family, a family open to us all and man is created in this image and likeness.

The Trinity is used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Greek word Trias, which was first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Latin word Trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. The doctrine holds that God is one God, but three coeternal, consubstantial persons or hypostases. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as “one God in three Divine Persons”.

Though the term “Trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible; the Old Testament gives a glimpse into the Trinity in Gen.1:26 God said, let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves.  Us?  Ourselves?  These words reveal to us the nature of God.  In addition, the Old Testament has also been interpreted as foreshadowing the Trinity, by referring to God’s word (Ps33:6), his Spirit (Isa.61:1) and Wisdom,(Prov9:1).

More so, in the New Testament we have a clearer “triadic” understanding of God. Matthew 28:19 saysGo therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Take note, the word “name” as used  is singular not plural. indicating ‘God’ and not ‘Gods’. In Luke 1:35 the Bible says “And the angel answered and said to her, the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God; John 14:27  says the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things. Acts 7:55 says “But Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God…”; Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power… and 2Cor. 13:13, the second reading today says  “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

In our liturgical celebrations we continue to use the Trinitarian formula, from the beginning of the mass (sign of the cross) the conclusion of the collect, the Eucharistic prayer through to the conclusion of the mass is all centered on the Trinity. So one can say every mass is a celebration of the trinity. This Sunday is just set aside to celebrate this great gift of love gradually made known to us through the Bible and the teaching of the Church fathers. 

 

I shall draw two basic lessons from this great celebration.

  1. TRINITY IS A COMMUNITY OF PERSONS. Beloved in Christ, the Trinity is the model for our lives.We are made in the “image of God,” in the image of the Trinity. The Trinity is a community of persons. There are no isolated, self-sufficient, rugged individuals. The Trinity is three equal divine persons, distinct in function and lives in community. Each Person needs the other two Persons to be God. Our souls strive for union; we have innate need for companionship, and for love. This gives indirect testimony to the Trinity. God is relationship and God is love. Precisely because of this it is so hard to live in isolation. Deprivation of companionship is one of the worst possible punishments. In fact, it has been recorded that in prison the worst punishment is solitary or lonely confinement. You may have been disappointed by friends and relatives in relationships but that does not mean that the trending desire for (self-love, self crush, single and not ready to mingle) is better. It is good to love yourself but that love is fruitful only in relation to your neighbour. The Trinity is a community and we are created in the image and likeness of God, let us live in relationship with each other.
  2. TRINITY IS A COMMUNITY OF LOVE. The essence of the Trinity is a personal relationship of love between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Love should also be characteristic of the Christian community. Jesus says in John 13:35, by this all men will know that you are my disciples. We all have a need to love and be loved. Love is creative, fulfilling and healing. It heals both the one who gives it and the one who receives it. No doubt many of us Christians find it difficult to live in love. There is high rate of jealousy, envy and hatred. People are into unhealthy competitions; laity and clerics alike. The Trinity is a model of shared power, shared functions and shared loved.  We should learn to live in harmony with one another in spite of our individual differences and uniqueness. The crisis in America today is centered basically around racism. The death of George Floyd is just a public expression of the unease faced by  many blacks. Even in our own nation, tribalism has eaten deep into our lives and has reduced efficiency, credibility, and competence needed for development and progress. Today, we must learn from the three divine persons, how to love and respect one another. This also means, complimenting and appreciating the efforts of one another. We must avoid treating others unjustly as if they are not important or do not belong to the same family or community of God.

 

 

Rev. Fr. Paul Oredipe 

THE MYSTERY OF WHO GOD IS

            In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

            What we celebrate today – MOST HOLY TRINITY – is a loud affirmation of the fact that God dwells in relationship.  No one has ever seen God.  No doubt about that.  The little that we know, the much that we believe about God is what has been freely and fully revealed to us in various ways and at various times.  If you want a summary of what God has revealed about himself in human history, it is the theme of our celebration today: that there is ONE GOD in whom dwells THREE PERSONS, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all bonded together by love. 

            The Church, completed in her being and in her faith by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, dedicates this first Sunday after Pentecost to reflect on the central and most unfathomable mystery of that faith, which she has been sent to announce and make present: the mystery of who God is (cf. CCC 738).  The central Christian mystery. “The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life.  It is the mystery of God in himself.” (CCC 234) 

            It is only in the Christian religion that we find the revelation of a God who dwells in relationship.  In fact, faith in the Trinity constitutes such an indispensable and formidable bedrock for the Christian religion that it is impossible to be a Christian unless one accepts the Trinity with an implicit, unflinching faith.  For most of us, if not all of us, the very first thing our parents taught us about our religion was most probably the sign of the cross: ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. 

            When we admit someone into the Christian fold, we baptise him or her in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  These words, made with the sign of the cross, lie at the heart of our Catholic liturgical prayer.  We begin our prayers in the name of the Trinity and at the end of our prayers, we are accustomed also to address our petitions to the Father, through his Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit.  The last thing a priest will do at our graveside is to make the sign of the cross over our body.  The life of a Christian is marked “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 

            On this celebration of the Most Holy Trinity we therefore come face to face with the inner mystery of God as a family of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, where there is complete harmony, love and total peace.  This revelation (self-disclosure) of God about Himself fills us with amazement and open-eyed reverence, for we do not have a God whose limits we can define.  In the Trinity our minds are brought into loving contact with the complexity and wonder of God, which no language is adequate to describe. 

            His greatness and goodness exceed the boundary of all thoughts and are beyond our human attempts to comprehend.  No human language or critical logic (traditional or symbolic) can unravel or resolve this great mystery that we celebrate today.  In the Trinity we are given a glance into what God shares with us – life in relationship, in community.  God is not an isolated being out there on his own without any contact, connection or communion with us and the world.  God is not a self-enclosed reality.  His nature is to be communicated and related.  He lives in community.  He is God-with-us, the God who stands at our side every day, to the end of time. 

            One day, St. Augustine himself was sitting by the sea, thinking and trying to understand the mystery of God’s life – how the one God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  A small boy came along and dug a hole in the sand.  Then he began to pour the sea into it with a calabash.  “Boy, what are you trying to do?’ Augustine asked.  “I am trying to put the whole sea into this hole”, said the boy.  “But you can never do that,” Augustine said.  “The sea is too great and the hole is too small”.  “True for you” said the boy, “and no more can you understand the secret of God’s life.  For God is too great, and your head is too small.” 

            Our faith in the Trinity finds its solid basis in the Bible.  In many instances in the Old Testament, it is foreshadowed.  Time will not permit a complete survey of these instances.  Just to mention two citations.  In the book of Genesis (chapter 1) we read of the Spirit of God that moved over the face of the void before creation began.  And in Proverb 8: 22 -31 we read about Wisdom which not only pre-existed creation but actually collaborated with God in the work of creation as the “master craftsman” and “architect” with God. 

            However, over and above all these antecedents in the Old Testament, it is Christ who reveals to us in all its fullness the inner workings of the Trinitarian mystery and calls us to participate in it.  “No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matt. 11: 27)  “He who has seen me has seen the Father; the Father and I are one”.  It is Christ who speaks to us of the co-existence of the Holy Spirit with the Father, and who sends him to the Church to sanctify it until the end of time. 

            Today’s lessons bring this out so clearly, who God is, what kind of God it is that we worship.  “Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets.  Having come down in a cloud, the Lord stood with him there and proclaimed his name, “Lord.”  God is proclaiming God’s own name, “Yahweh.”  Yahweh which means I am who am, the one who is, the one who is the source of everything, the one who is the ground of all being.  I am who am.  I am who gives being to all others.  God had revealed that name to Moses sometime before.  And in the Jewish tradition, when you reveal your name to somebody, you are making yourself open to that person, you’re becoming vulnerable, you’re entering into a relationship.  Thus the Lord passed before him and cried out, “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.”  Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.  Moses opened himself up to the mystery of the Lord and experienced his presence on that mountain. 

            And so in the book of Exodus, we learn how God opened God’s whole being to us.  The God who is – I am who am – enters into relationship with all of us.  In the lesson that we hear today, God is a God of forgiveness, of compassion, of mercy, of love.  Even though the people had been totally unfaithful, had denied their relationship with God, God could not stop loving them.  That is the kind of God we worship and celebrate today in this Feast of the Holy Trinity. 

            In the Gospel, John puts it so plainly and so powerfully in his reflection.  These are words from John 3:16 that you see quoted in many places because they really sum up the whole message: “God so loved the world that God gave Jesus.”  And the depth of that gift can be brought out for us if we reflect on how Paul recounts the same thing in his letter to the church in Philippi where he says, “Jesus, though he was God, did not think his divinity something to be clung to, but emptied himself, emptied himself and became fully human.”  He became one of us.  That is how much God loved us; that God’s son, Jesus, emptied himself, became fully human, and entered into our history, related to every one of us, even to the point of death and the horrible ignominious death of execution on the cross.  That is how much God loves us. 

            There is no limit to the love that God has for us.  God so loved us that God sent Jesus to be one of us, to allow us to share the life of God, to enter into communion with God, and to enter into the depths of the mystery of that community of persons that is God.  And it becomes very clear then, that if we really enter into who God is, how we must interact with one another.  We cannot grow in our union with God, unless we grow in love.  And we cannot grow in love, unless we reach out to one another and begin to share in the same way that God shares within that mystery of the Trinity; reciprocity, mutuality, communion of life.  We must be people who love and who are loved in order to be all that God wants us to be. 

            Something that is really quite extraordinary about that passage from John is the fact that God offers us this love, but does not force it upon us.  It is there if we want to enter into a relationship with God and deepen that relationship by loving one another.  But we have to make the choice.  Whoever believes in Jesus will not be condemned.  But those who do not believe are already condemned because they have not believed in the name of God’s only son, Jesus.  And sadly enough, we sometimes make that choice, don’t we?  We choose not to love.  We will carry hatred, resentment in our hearts, sometimes within our own family.  What could be more hurtful than that? 

            But sometimes in our relationships with our neighbors, or work, or school, wherever we are, we choose not to love.  We choose to hate or to carry resentment and anger.  What does it do?  It does not diminish God in any way, but we are condemned.  It diminishes us and destroys us.  And that can be on an individual level.  Obviously, every one of us has relationships that we need to nurture and to build up, if we really want to grow in our ability to love.  But it has to go beyond our individual relationships. 

            My dear brothers and sisters, no one can see God face to face and live.  After all said and done, the Blessed Trinity remains a mystery that our limited intellects will never unravel or disclose.  God is the deepest mystery of our lives and is infinitely more expansive than our tiny minds are capable of imagining.  We should never look on the Trinity as a problem to be solved, a puzzle to be worked out or something simply to test our faith.  Rather we should seize the opportunities that such a generous revelation of God himself offers to us. 

            We can only believe it with deep faith, reverence and love.  For those who believe, no explanation is necessary.  For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.  The doctrine of the Trinity did not originate as a theory or system of thought, but as a blessing.  It did not even come as a result of controversies and heresies about the doctrine or its formulation.  It came out of the disciples’ threefold experience of God in life and worship. 

  1. – God has freely and fully revealed Himself to us.  We should rejoice and celebrate this fact.  We are also invited to proclaim to the world around us this wonderful news of God.  The Gospel passage remind us of the great command and commission to all of us as Christians: “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 
  1. – God lives in relationship and community.  So also must we be in our journey through life.  We cannot and should not go it all alone.  Jesus intended his Church to be a community, just like the Trinity, based on love and sustained in unity.  A community where there is respect for the uniqueness of each, just as in the Trinity.  In the Trinity, the three persons maintain and retain their identities.  The Father does not become the Son, nor the Son take the place of the Holy Spirit.  In this we find unity in diversity.  A community not based on love and sustained in unity can never be a Christian community.  It may be something else but never and never a Christian community. 

            We are enveloped (enfolded) in the love of three persons and challenged to bring that love to our community, within the Church of Christ in every place, be it parish, diocese, seminary, religious houses or congregation, families and communities.  The doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity is not an idea to be left behind in Church at the end of Mass, but a way of life now and for ever.  The Trinity was to be the model of the unity of believers. 

            Again, as the Catechism puts it “But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity: ‘If a man loves me, says the Lord, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’”  (Para 260; John 14.23) 

  1. – The community of God is unitive, productive, generative.  How are we fruitful in our lives?  By our baptism we too are grafted into the Trinity.  We become sharers of Trinitarian communion and love.  This is a great privilege and dignity of being a Christian. 

            With the Father who is the Creator, we are also co-creator of the world.  How do we co-operate with God to improve the quality of the earth; to respect and honour life, not to destroy or abuse it? 

            With Christ the Redeemer we are also co-redeemer of our fellow men and women.  Are we instruments of salvation in our lives, saying the truth and living good lives? 

            With the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter, we are co-comforter to lead, guide and comfort those in ignorance, doubt, sorrow and temptation.  We realize and experience the mystery of the Trinity when we are all genuinely united into a community of love and service.  

  1. – We are children of God who cares for us.  In Jesus Christ we have a brother and friend who died and rose for us.  In the Holy Spirit we possess also a friend, a companion and comforter who strengthens and protects us when we are in temptation and in danger.  If we have to remain in this position that we have in the Trinity, we cannot but just live a life that is worthy of this greatness. 

            The Trinity invites us to obedience, and obedience leads us back to the Trinity.  To preserve the unity and community of this honour at home, in our working places, in the school and all areas of our life.  If our behaviour is to mirror the life of the Trinity, then the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit should govern our every thought, word and action, now and forever. 

            Dear brothers and sisters, the Trinity is more than a theological doctrine.  The Trinity is God’s revelation of His essence, His inner nature.  He is the Divine Lover.  St. Augustine put it this way: the Father is the One who Loves.  The Son is the One who is Loved.  The Spirit is the very act of Loving.  God is love in every possible use of the word.  He is the Subject Love, He is the Object love, and He is the Verb Love.  The essence of God is Love. 

            And we human beings are made in His image.  We are integral, whole, when we give ourselves over to God’s love.  We reflect our very nature and are at peace with the world when we take a step away from our own selfish drives and trust ourselves into the hands of sacrificial love.  To reflect what we have within us; to reflect the depth of our nature, is so worth the sacrifice that love demands that we do not even mind it. 

            God is not just some abstract power, the source, or some combination of super people.  God is a community of persons.  We learn from the mystery of the Trinity that God loves and is loved; that there is mutuality, reciprocity, a communion of life.  That is the very essence of God.  And God has made us in that same image.  Yet, unless we learn to love and be loved, we can never grow into the fullness of the image of God that we are called to achieve. 

            As Saint Irenaeus taught us, the greatness of man lies not only in the fact of subduing and dominating the earth (cf. Gen. 1:28) but especially in the fact that he participates in the life of the Holy Trinity.  The proper measure of his greatness is the glory of God and “God’s glory is in living men and full life for men is in the vision of God.”  (cf. The Divine Office, vol. III, p. 77). 

            For a Christian, therefore, to live in God therefore means to share in the Trinitarian life.  Trinity is an existential reality, a mystery that is meant to be lived with faith and not an idea, which is meant to be speculated on.  God is with us, God is within us, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are active within us, sharing their divine life with us and making it possible for us to lead a Christian life and to aspire to that complete union with God when we shall see Him face to face and will be made like Him. 

            This is not esoteric theology.  This is the practical living of our faith.  The more we love others, our families, our spouses and children, other people, friends and enemies, the Lord demands even that, the more we love others, the more we are true to our nature, made in the image of God, the Trinity.  The more we love, the better we really and truly know God.  For God is love.  In fact, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” 

            May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion (fellowship) of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 

Song:   “Take glory Father, take glory Son, take glory Holy Ghost, now and forever more ….”  

             In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

 

 

Fr. Evaristus Okeke

 God is Trinitarian so that Man may be Communitarian

The fundamental difference between a Christian and an Idol worshipper is not what they do but on the understanding they have about the Supreme Being which motivates their actions. Both persons related to God differently because they understand Him differently. The idol worshipper sees the world to be controlled by different gods who can be offended and appeased. These gods have their distinct constituencies: god of thunder, god of the sea, god of fertility and so on. Today, we celebrate the unique Christian understanding of God namely: that there are three persons in one God; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These three persons are not three gods; they are one and equal.

Thus talking about the Trinity is talking about God. Since God is a mystery, the Trinity is also a mystery. But being a mystery does not mean that we cannot talk about it or understand it to some extent; it only means that human reason cannot fully and entirely capture it. Hence, we can know something about the Trinity but we cannot know everything about the Trinity.

What we can know about the Trinity is technically called “Economic Trinity” – the saving role of the Trinity. We were created by God the Father, through the Son and by the Holy Spirit; we were redeemed by the Son, from the Father and through the Holy Spirit; and we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, from the Father, through the Son. The Trinity that created us is the Trinity that saves us. In the second reading, St. Paul invoked the Trinity in blessing the Corinthians. This has remained the model for sacramental blessing today. In the Gospel, the one substance of the Father and the Son is stressed: the Father sent the Son so that whoever believes in the Son, believes in the Father and so will not perish but have eternal life. The Holy Spirit perfected the work of salvation on Pentecost day.

However, whatever we know from the Scripture about the Trinity is not all that can be known about the Trinity. That which we cannot comprehend about the Trinity is called the “Immanent Trinity”. This does not mean that there are two types of Trinity. No! The Economic Trinity is the Immanent Trinity and the Immanent Trinity is the Economic Trinity. What we can know about the Trinity is revealed to us in the Scripture while what we cannot know is the mystery of God. God has not revealed everything about Himself. Knowing the mystery of God is what is called beatific vision, which is the reward of faithfulness. If we remain faithful to the Economic Trinity (what we know about God), then we will be rewarded with knowing the Immanent Trinity at the end of our earthly sojourn.

Beloved, what we celebrate today is the unity of God – a unity that is key to our creation and salvation. We too need learn to be united in faith. We can live together in this big family and universal Church of Christ without bursting the ego of others or robbing them of their dignity and uniqueness. We learn from the Trinity to appreciate, respect and value the function of all in the Christian community. We are all members of Christ body. *God Bless You!*

 

 

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Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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