Homily for Trinity Sunday, A08 Jun 2017, by Sermons in
We celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, the mystery of the three persons in one Godhead. This is a mystery; we cannot fully understand it just as written in Isaiah 55:8-9, for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
In our first reading this morning, Moses went up the mountain of Sinai, and there the Lord descended in the form of a cloud. Moses recognized him as the God of tenderness and compassion, a God that is slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness. That is the nature of God; love, kindness, faith, and so on. That is what Jesus revealed to Nicodemus and every one of us in our gospel passage this morning, that God is love and that he loves us so much. We must learn to hold on to this power of love, as St. Paul admonishes in the second reading, to try to grow perfect in our love for each other and be united. That unity in its perfection is what we celebrate today.
The word trinity is not in the bible, but the reality of the Trinity is biblical. Even from the very beginning, God showed himself to be a mysterious God; he said in Genesis 1:26, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… The words “us” and “our” shows that the Father is not alone; He wasn’t speaking here to the animals he had created because they were not in his image and likeness; he was talking to other beings with his appearance and likeness, beings that were not made. He was talking to the Son and the Holy Spirit.
At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Trinity’s reality was shown; the Son was being baptized in the river Jordan, the voice of the Father was heard from above, and the Holy Spirit was seen descending in the form of a dove. These Three persons from the one Godhead.
Some persons’ attempt to understand and explain the nature of the Holy Trinity led them into theological confusion, into erroneous teaching. They denied Trinity’s reality by their different theological opinions; some said Jesus is not God, others said the Holy Spirit is just an Angel, while still, some others insist that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are different Gods. These are heresies that must be rejected; our God is one. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God through different persons. It is a mystery, three persons in one God. Jesus explained this mystery when Philip asked him to show them the Father, and Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his work”. (Jn. 14:9-10). Jesus, in answering Philip, did not deny the existence of the Father but insist that the Father and the Son are one; to have seen the Son is to have seen the Father and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son. They are three different persons yet one God; they can operate separately for one purpose. The Father created the world, the Son redeemed the world, and the Holy Spirit sanctified the world; three persons acting individually but remain one Godhead. What a mystery.
Just as many were theologically confused and fell into all kinds of Trinitarian heresies in their attempts to understand and explain this mystery, so also are many today. Some people want to understand God before they trust him; they want to study him, they want to manipulate God; it is not possible. They see him as a very weak and slow God just because their prayers were not answered the way they wanted it; they have forgotten that his ways are not our ways. We must know that Christianity is a religion of faith and not of rules and manipulations.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb.11:1). No matter what happens, God is God. It is only faith in this one God that will lead us into the mystery of the Holy Trinity. This is the mystery God has called us to, the mystery of his love. He calls us to intimacy with him, into a relationship in faith. As the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God; we are also invited to be one with them in love and devotion. Their love for each other translated into a passion for man, so our love for them must be translated into a love for each other.
The Holy Trinity’s solemnity is not a call to try to understand the mystery of the Trinity but to marvel at the greatness of God, the unity, love, and cooperation between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today’s celebration is a challenge to heal the damaging divisions that exist amongst us. We are reminded that we are all one even though we are politically, religiously, culturally, and socially divided. Today, we are called to allow unity in our diversities, acknowledge and appreciate our differences, and pull our talents and gifts together to build a better society. We must do away with the spirit of division, tribalism, hatred, and all forms of segregation and realize that we are one people with one God.