Homily for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity year C 2013
Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity- the core of our Christian faith. This is one truth of our faith that is really hard to understand. In fact, this is one of the points that other faith or some denominations used to criticise our Christian and Catholic faith. Even now, theologians are still trying and are still studying to make this truth more understandable and relevant for us. We need to understand first of all that the truth of the Holy Trinity is a mystery that couldn’t be understood completely through our own reasoning (YouCat #36). However, this doesn’t mean that we just take it as it is without at least trying to understand what does the Holy Trinity have to do with us. We are baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And not only this. By virtue of our baptism we are able to share the life of the Holy Trinity, the life of love and communion with one another. And we are here today because of this, so we begin the mass by acknowledging the presence of ‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit’ in us all.
It still doesn’t make much sense, is it? I hope this teaching from the YouCat or Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church can elucidate us further. It says:
‘Christians do not worship three different Gods, but one single Being that is threefold and yet remains one. We know that God is triune from Jesus Christ: He, the Son, speaks about his Father in heaven (I and the father are one, ‘(Jn 10:30). He prays to him and sends us the Holy Spirit, who is the love of the Father and the Son.’ (YouCat # 35)
It really is a challenge for us how to make sense of this intimate union of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (three persons in one God). It’s really hard to explain. But here are some analogies that may help us realize how may we come to understand this mystery of our faith.
For the lovers of nature, God is like the sun. The Father is the Sun. The rays emanating from the sun is God- the Son. And the warmth we feel and the energy we get and benefit from it is the Holy Spirit.
For the music lovers, the Father is the singer, the Son is the song and the Holy Spirit is the beautiful sound of music that comes out of both.
For the musicians, the guitar can even be used as the analogy. The Father being the hand or the person playing, the Son as the guitar, and the music that is produced is the Holy Spirit.
For the mathematician, God is a perfect triangle- three perfect angles in one triangle.
But I like the one analogy from the Celtic prayer addressed to the Trinity: It says: “Oh Father who sought me, Oh Son who bought me, and O Holy Spirit who taught me.”
This last analogy is one that really helps us see what does the Holy Trinity have to do with us. We are sought, bought and taught by God himself because of love- because of God’s great love for us. This love of God for us however is rooted and is an overflow of the love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Some theologians would explain this perfect way of loving among the Trinity in a way like this: God is love, and his love is so intense, so perfect and complete, strong and personal, that it becomes a person, the Son. Then the Son loves the Father back. His love is so intense and strong, perfect and complete and personal, that it becomes a person, the Holy Spirit.
This is still hard to comprehend I have to admit, but the Good News is, even if we don’t fully understand the inner life of God, we can however, express in our lives the beauty of God by our way of love. When we love someone or something, nothing or no one else matters. Everything fades into the background. The former Superior General of the Society of Jesus or Jesuits Pedro Arrupe seemed to have realized this when he wrote the poem ‘Fall in Love.’ A line in his poem said: Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything. In like manner, this is one way to show us how God loves us. Because he is love himself, loving is his nature and the Good news for us is that he loves each one of us as the only person there is. ‘In the eyes of God, no one is nobody because everyone is somebody.’
This feast of the Holy Trinity therefore is a reminder for us that God loves us so much that he shared his life with us, his love in his only Son, Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. This also tells us that we need a loving Father, we need a caring Lord and friend (in Jesus-the Son) and the warmth of God’s loving embrace (in the Holy Spirit).
And because we are loved this much by God, then we are also called to share this love to others. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Jesus dwelling in us, we can also love selflessly and unconditionally. This calls us to go out of our comfort zones and even deny ourselves of something for the sake of the beloved and for the sake of our sisters and brothers in God. I have been trying to preach this to myself when I tend to ignore the needs of others for the sake of my own selfish interests- like being tempted to drink wine at night so that if there’s a sick call I have a reason not to go. I tell you it’s not a good feeling to be selfish. It upsets my conscience.
As we continue our celebration of the Eucharist today, let us live out the gift of love that the Holy Trinity has shared with us by sharing it and let it overflow to one another. Let us learn from the love and the perfect communion of the three persons in one God. If we love one another, we come to understand the love of the trinity and also we would be experiencing this love ourselves. So then let us be instruments of God’s love for the Glory of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.