SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
The readings from this reflection: Prv 8:22-31; Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Rom 5:1-5; Jn 16:12-15
For most of us, our best understanding of The Most Holy Trinity is a little vague, maybe somewhat foggy, or a little hazy. Almost every one of us would appreciate a better and hopefully a deeper understanding of the Trinity. It definitely is a challenge for us and unique to our tradition. We call it a mystery, often we just accept it as a reality beyond our understanding. Three persons in one God—Father, Son, and Spirit—is a certainty, a truth we cannot fully wrap our heads and brains around. Yet, we still believe and look for a fuller understanding and clarification. Even though we cannot fully grasp it, we can still be thankful for the Trinity liturgically and in our own personal prayer life.
Most of us express the reality of this mystery as we sign ourselves with Holy water upon entering or exiting the Church. Some writers have called the sign of the cross a prayer in its own right. Another prayer that reminds us of the Holy Trinity, and one that we use often, is the “Glory Be.” The Church, by calling this Sunday celebration of “The Holy Trinity” to our minds, reminds us to be attentive to the many ways truth is revealed in Scripture.
Today’s Gospel from John, part of the final discourse to the Apostles, is somewhat provocative and puzzling at the same time. “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now,” Jesus says to his disciples.
“Everything the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
If I had happened to be there, I would find that all at once both tantalizing and sort of annoying. And no doubt, what he was saying was and is true: They could not bear it at that time. And even if one of us was there, neither could we. He and the Father are one. It would take more understanding and time to completely absorb His message. Jesus was also telling them that it would be the role of the Spirit to guide them to “all truth.”
As we look at Paul’s Letter to the Romans, one thing that stands out for us is how Paul understood how much God loved him. Still, Paul exudes peace, confidence, and the present share in the risen life of Christ. No doubt filled with love and confidence he was able to face a number of difficulties in his evangelizing, both of the everyday type and numerous major challenges. Even with these problems, Paul stood fast on hope and the love that had been poured out in his heart. It is mind boggling to realize that these same gifts of hope and love are given as gifts to each of us by the Holy Spirit. Through this reading we should be reminded of the wonderful access we have to God’s grace. Our first reading from the Book of Proverbs rolls on very smoothly like the poetry it is. It is enjoyable reading, even if it did not provide a ton of information. It does give us Wisdom personified in feminine terms. We see that she/Wisdom is with God and serving God from the very beginning, with a very active role in creation. This wisdom further suggests God’s abundant love in creation and at the same time connects wisdom with the human person. As we read on, we gather that humanity has the responsibility to care for all that is.
Deacon Bill Keller ministers in St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield