Trinity Sunday: One God, Three Divine Persons
This coming Sunday, the Church throughout the world celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the central mystery of our Catholic Faith, that honors God as Father-Creator, Son-Redeemer and Holy Spirit, Sanctifier. We speak of God as a communion of persons: one God in three distinct persons. It is a central mystery of our faith because it deals with the mystery of God himself in whom we place our faith. God as Trinity is the source of all other mysteries of faith and it gives light to them, the Catechism reminds us.
We speak of the human being created in God’s image, a notion that is rooted in Genesis: “In the divine image, we created him.” We also speak of the human being, in social sciences, as fundamentally a “social being,” a creature whose nature is oriented toward others – this nature seems to derive from our identity as “made in God’s image, God who is a communion of persons. We are a community because it is in our very nature, created in God’s image. St. Cesarius of Arles (470-542) once wrote that “the faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.”
God revealed himself as father-creator. Jesus, the Son of God, the word made flesh, speaks that way when he addresses his Father in prayer. The Gospels tells us, in the most comforting way, as he ascended to the father when his physical, human life on earth was finished, that He is with us always. The promised Holy Spirit that descended upon the early Church at Pentecost is the guarantee of that presence in the Church.
There are not three Gods but only one God. The divine persons are really distinct persons but each is God whole and entire. We refer to mystery because it is not easy to comprehend or explain, yet, as Church councils remind us: Father is what the Son is and Son is what the Spirit is. Each person is fully the divine reality and revealed to us.
The Father generates, the Son is begotten, the Spirit proceeds and all are One and in relation of love to each other, inseparable. And we are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we profess this and live our Christian life in praise and worship of God as Trinity and in loving relation to each other, as a community, in God’s image.
This coming Sunday’s Gospel from John is a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us. The Father sent the Son so that the world, so that we, could be saved … saved from ourselves! Our first reading from Exodus reminds us that "The LORD (is) a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” Our second reading from 2 Corinthians describes what impact that should have on us: as we have the image of God in our very DNA so to speak, we should have his mercy and kindness as well. In the Holy Trinity, we become brothers and sisters of the Lord and one another … “rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace,” St. Paul tells us.
So let us, as a Church, celebrate the Holy Trinity and focus our faith in God.