Homily on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Today we celebrate the central mystery of our Faith: today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  When we use the word “mystery” in the context of our Faith, we are not talking about something that needs to be solved; this type of mystery is a reality that is beyond our capacity to comprehend.  We can know things about the mysteries of our Faith, but we will never be able to fully understand them because these mysteries are beyond us.  The mystery of the Trinity is a reality that we are incapable of fully grasping: it is the reality of Who God IS in Himself.  From all eternity God exists as a community of Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God has revealed Himself to us through Sacred Scripture and through Sacred Tradition.  God has revealed Himself to us as a Trinity of Persons, and because God has revealed it, we can be sure that it is true.  Our finite minds cannot fully encompass this truth, because this truth is concerned with the Who God IS.  God is infinite and therefore cannot be “figured out” by His finite creatures.  Our limited minds do not have the capacity to contain God Who IS beyond all limits.

If we study our Faith, if we study Scripture and theology, we can deepen our understanding of the mystery of the Trinity.  We can grow in our understanding of God’s self-revelation, but we will go on growing in our comprehension of Who God IS throughout all of eternity in Heaven.  The best way for us to grow in our knowledge of the Trinity is not through study, although studying our Faith is certainly important; the best way to deepen our appreciation of Who God IS in Himself is through prayer.  Through prayer we come in contact with the Most Holy Trinity; through prayer, God reveals Himself more fully to us.  In fact, studying our Faith and prayer should go hand in hand: all good theology is done on one’s knees.  That is why the Saints are the best theologians: they don’t just know things about God: they know Him.

In order for us to come to know God more deeply, we need to meet Him in prayer.  Our prayer is shaped by our beliefs and our beliefs are to influence the way that we pray.  When we pray as individuals, we oftentimes tend to focus on one Person of the Trinity or another.  We may turn to the Father seeking His forgiveness; we might address the Son asking Him to help us to bear our daily crosses; we probably turn to the Holy Spirit when we are seeking guidance on a particular matter.  The reality, of course, is that all three Persons of the Trinity are not separate from one another.  We separate Them in our minds, but the Three Persons are really inseparable.  They are three distinct Persons: the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father.  Yet the Father is God and the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.  The Son is not less than the Father; the Father is not greater than the Son.  The Holy Spirit is not greater than nor less than the other two Persons.  All three Persons are God and yet God is perfectly One.

It is fine for us to relate to the different Persons of the Trinity at different times, yet we ought to remember that our God is Three Persons.  We can learn from the example given to us by our Mother, the Church.  Whenever the Church prays in the liturgy, she almost always prays to the Father, with the Son and in the Holy Spirit.  Most of our opening and closing prayers at Mass begin by addressing the Father and then conclude with “through Our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.”  The Church is continually pointing us to the Trinity: we begin our prayers, both at Mass and in private with the Sign of the Cross: in which we call upon the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Many of the prayers that we say at Mass are done three times: “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy”; “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  This is reminiscent of the Three Persons in One God.  The entire Eucharistic prayer is directed to the Father.  Listen to the prayers that the priest prays at the altar: you will hear that the prayers are addressed to the Father and usually conclude with “Through Christ our Lord.”  Just before the bread and the wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is called down upon the gifts.  The Persons of the Trinity are invoked and referred to again and again throughout the Mass.  Through the prayers of the Mass the Church teaches and reminds us of Who God IS.  If we are attentive to the prayers, we will see very clearly how Trinitarian they are.  The prayers of the Mass help us to meditate more deeply upon this central mystery of our Faith that we celebrate in a special way today: that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in One God.  Let us ask God for the grace to come to know Him more fully as He truly IS: O Most Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we adore You and we thank You for revealing Yourself to us: lead us into an ever deeper relationship with You.  Help us to know You, to love You and to serve You faithfully in this life, so that we can behold You Face-to-face in Heaven and there be happy with You forever and ever.  Amen.

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