Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
First Reading: EX 34:4b-6, 8-9
Psalm: DN 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
Second Reading: 2 COR 13:11-13
Gospel: JN 3:16-18
“On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity we celebrate this most great and central mystery of our faith – God is one but he is not a solitary reality; he is a perfect communion of Persons. And he wants us to share in this communion of love.”
~Fr. Avelino Gonzalez
Today on this first Sunday after Pentecost the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (sometimes called Trinity Sunday).
On this day the Church celebrates and contemplates the central mystery of the Christian Faith – that the one and true God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons sharing one substantial nature. God is one but he is not a solitary reality; he is a communion of Persons yet a perfect single substance.
The liturgical context of today’s Solemnity is important. The Church celebrates this great Solemnity after Pentecost as if to say that only after the infusion of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ received in baptism) can we through faith begin to delve into this great mystery, this central truth of divine revelation.
Next weekend, a week after today’s solemnity, we will celebrate the great Feast of Corpus Christi; as if to say, we can only continually penetrate this mystery (throughout all the generations) only through the illumination of Christ himself in the Eucharist – the Body, blood, soul, and divinity of risen Lord.
The reality of the Triune God is unmistakably present in Our Lord’s reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit throughout his ministry.
In today’s Gospel St. John tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son to open the way for humanity toward eternal life. This way is opened through belief in the Lord Jesus, that is, through the belief that he died for our sins and consequently that we are called to respond with equal love.
Today, however, we must realize that a whole new generation of peoples are completely apathetic to this love. Many youth today – and not so young – say, “Jesus died for my sins? I really don’t care.” However, this really means, Jesus is not real for me. He is just a story from the ancient past. He is just a means by which people take away control of our life or take away our fun.
Yes, the Lord allows us to say, “I don’t care” when he shows us how much he loves us by poured out his blood in his passion and crucifixion.
However, this bad choice of our freewill has tragic consequences.
In his address to the youth of Chile in 1987 Saint Pope John Paul II said, “humanity can construct a world without God, but that world will be against humanity.
On an individual level this is also tragically true. When we abandon God in our lives our decision comes back against our own welfare.
This past week I received a tragic call from the hospital that a parishioner had died. It was a suicide. The young man was 19 years old.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suicide among the youth is a serious public health problem. For youth between the ages of 10-24, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year in the U.S. – but this is only part of the problem. More young people survive suicide attempts than actually die. Each year 157,000 youth between ages of 10-24 receive medicinal care for self-inflicted injuries at emergency rooms across the U.S. The increase in suicides in the last fifty years, to the order of 200%, mirrors the secularization of culture and the destruction of the family.
In today’s first reading from the book of Exodus we see one of the most significant moments in salvation history that helps us in confronting this tragic trend. The Lord God reveals the meaning of his personal name Yahweh to Moses. The Lord passes by Moses and cries out “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.”
It is fascinating to see how the Scriptures describes God crying out in a loud voice to Moses, but not just to Moses, to every generation of history. He cries out as if saying, “if you would only let me love you, you would find out how merciful and gracious I am; how rich in kindness and faithful I am. Your husband or wife may not be faithful, but I am faithful; your father or mother may not be faithful, but I am faithful; your brother and sister may not be faithful to you, but I am always faithful. Never, will I abandon you. With me you are never alone. No, never alone.”
God is actually madly in love with us and wants nothing more than his children to blossom as human beings. It is Satan who comes to steal and kill because he hates God and anything that reflects God. You reflect God, I reflect God, because we are made in his image and likeness. That is why from the beginning Satan seduced humanity into thinking that somehow we can be happy without God because his intension is to destroy. The consequence of buying this lie is always death.
But praise be Jesus Christ for coming to our rescue so that whoever believes in him will not perish but might have eternal life – and life to the fullest.
Before leaving the Apostles and ascending to the Father, the Lord gives them what has been dubbed the Great Commission – “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The Lord gives us the means by which to understand the meaning of this Trinitarian formula, through the gift of His Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Today on this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity we celebrate this most great and central mystery of our faith – God is one but he is not a solitary reality; he is a perfect communion of Persons. And he wants us to share in this communion of love. We are most blessed in having received this revelation, this mystery. May we cherish it and deepen in our understanding of its significance especially in the context of the family. Amen.