The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - June 16, 2019
This Sunday we celebrate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the Holy Trinity of God. St. Patrick used to teach unbelievers about the Holy Trinity, a concept very abstract to children and beyond even the understanding of many adults, using a shamrock. The shamrock represents God and each of the leaves the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One God, three beings: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The shamrock is both one leaf and three leaves.
The Trinity and the Shamrock
Legend has it that St. Patrick was responsible for ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes; but more importantly, it is said that Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol to explain the Trinity to unbelievers, i.e., how God is One God in Three Persons. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Patrick would hold up a shamrock and challenge his hearers, "Is it one leaf or three?" "It is both one leaf and three," was their reply. "And so it is with God," he would conclude.”
It is also said of the trinity that God the Father is the lover, Jesus is the beloved and the Holy Spirit is the love between them. In other words, the love between the Father and the Son is so great it produces a new being, the Holy Spirit.
God is our heavenly and eternal Father and we, like Jesus, call him both Lord and Father. We experience God in three distinct ways: God the Father who loves us and cares for us, God the Son with whom we share humanity (Jesus is a divine being, but took human form or flesh) and our heavenly father in common, who is our brother and redeemer and the Holy Spirit who lives with and in us empowering us with understanding, strength, courage, power and the reality of life everlasting!
In the second reading for this Sunday, Romans 5:1-5 talks about having “…peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand…” This speaks to the familial loving relationship we have with our God, through and with the Son and the subsequent love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Because we are adopted brothers and sisters of Christ, we are children of God and we share in the inheritance of Christ Jesus, even eternal life. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:14-17 (quoted above), explains our familial relationship with Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit quite well, I think.
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come.
The Gospel sets forth the understanding of our familial relationship with God the Father, and Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, who will guide us to all truth, and speak to us what he hears from God. Jesus declares, “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” All that Jesus has, as he says, “Everything that the Father has…”, is ours too, because of the salvation we have received through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Remember how it was that God made us? God didn’t just say, “Let there be people.” and there were people and it was good. No. He took great, loving care to create us in His own image, meaning not his face but his mind and soul. He lovingly made us with his hands. Since we cannot go now to live with God and Jesus in eternal life, God sent another advocate, another aspect of Himself, which is to stay with us and help us: The Holy Spirit. We are surrounded, and filled, by the love of God.
Every time we cross ourselves in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we should be reminded that this is our family, the family of God, to which we belong. Every time someone is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we should rejoice as a new member is born into our family!
The Psalm for this week is Psalm 8:4-9: Oh Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!