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THE MOST HOLY TRINITY: CALLED INTO GOD'S LOVE

The doctrine of the Trinity occupies a central place in the history of Catholic theology. Historically, we are ware that this doctrine is not easily acceptable as it is not humanly graspable. Do we find the word “Trinity” in the Bible?


The Old Testament Israel professed monotheism, which demanded unreserved loyalty to the one and only God. Hence to think about God in any “three-ness” would be considered unacceptably polytheistic. In the Old Testament, the Shema addresses Israel’s confession of faith, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one” (Deut. 6:4). But we are not talking about three gods when we define the trinity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reinforces the meaning of this mystery this way, “There is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity. The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life” (CCC 233 - 234).

 

In the Genesis account of creation, we read, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The divine expression, “Let us make mankind…,” suggests a community of persons beyond one person. We also see an incipient plurality expressed in most OT terms associated with divinity such as the use of “Wisdom,” “Word,” and Spirit.” Certainly, it is a bit hard to figure out the word “Trinity” in the Old Testament Scriptures even though references exist. But Scripture is a history of the revelation of God which starts in the Old Testament and completes in the New Testament. Christ as the definitive revelation of the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, makes present the true and eternal Godhead in his incarnation, Emmanuel, God is with us. The solemnity of the Trinity invites us into the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor. 13:13).

 

The Book of Deuteronomy highlights Moses recalling God’s love for the Israelites. This love is unsurpassed in history. Moses, therefore, summons the people to a sincere commitment in return for the special privilege granted them as God’s chosen people. This should be our concern. How can we commit to God’s love in a sincere way? Christ tells his disciples, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He inaugurates the trinitarian love for them by commissioning them to baptize, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Christ pledges God’s abiding presence for his followers.

 

We experience the Trinity each time we celebrate the sacraments. Through baptism we relive our adoption as children of God. We become missionary disciples. We testify through the Holy Spirit at confirmation. We minister God’s nourishment and love in the Blessed Eucharist. We affirm God’s mercy and compassion through penance, being reconciled to the love of the Father. We embody love as we give birth to new life through the bond of holy matrimony. We reassure the sick of God's healing and reunite the dying with the saints through the sacred oil of anointing. The Trinity is therefore central to our faith. This is what we profess in the creed. Hence, “The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works"(CCC 198).

 

Christ says to us today, “I am with you always, until the end of time.” He reassures us of the love of the Father. He unites us to the love of the divine persons in One God. Christ brings us into God’s relationship, pure and undivided, yet making us disciples of the trinity. This mission is defined by love manifested through the various levels of our relationships in this world. Why can’t we become missionaries of love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Why can’t we restore others to the love of God through forgiveness, peace, and joy? Why can’t we accompany others in compassion? The solemnity of the Trinity invites us to radiate God’s mercy and love, to embrace God’s grace and live out our missionary discipleship.


Here’s one way to think of this invitation: "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Eph. 4:2-6).

 

 Readings: 1st- Deut. 4:32-34, 39-40; 2nd- Rom. 8:14-17; Gospel- Matt. 28:16-20

 

 

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