Trinity Sunday

The Holy Trinity

Readings: Matthew 28: 16-20

Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40

Romans 8: 14-17

As Ordinary Time resumes, two “solemnities of the Lord” are celebrated on the next two Sundays. Today’s celebration of the Trinity originated in France in the eighth century and was adopted by the universal Church in 1334. The solemnity focuses on the essence of our faith: the revelation of God as Creator, the climax of his creation in Jesus the Redeemer, the fullness of the love of God poured out on us in the Sustainer Spirit.

Before returning to God, the Risen Jesus commissions his fledgling Church to teach and baptize in the name of the Holy one who reveals himself as Father, Son and Spirit (Gospel). In the Trinity we find our identity as the people of God.

Israel encountered God, first, in God’s act of creation, and then in his redemption of the Israelites and his raising up of the nation of Israel. Moses exhorts the Israelites to remain faithful to the commandments of this great God they have encountered (first reading). The Spirit is that unique love that exists between God the Father and Son. Christ invites us to embrace that same Spirit, which enables us to cry out to God as “Father” and to one another as brothers and sisters, children of the same God (second reading).

Themes:

Trinity: the love of God revealed.

Many metaphors have been used to explain and depict the Trinity. St. John of Damascus, the great Eastern theologian of the eighth century, suggested that we think “of the Father as a root, of the Son as a branch, and of the Spirit as a fruit, for the substance of these three is one.” Today we celebrate the essence of our faith manifested in our lives: the loving providence of the Creator who continually invites us back to him; the selfless servanthood of the Redeemer who “emptied” himself to become like us in order that we might become like him; the joyful love of the Spirit that is the unique unity of the Father and Son.

The commission to ‘teach’ others about God.

Christ has revealed to us the depth of the Creator’s love and has called us to share with one another the unique Spirit of love that unites Father and Son. As disciples of the Risen Christ, we have been called now, in our time and place, to teach what we have seen and heard, to pass on to others “everything I have commanded you” through our imitation of the Teacher’s compassion, forgiveness and servanthood.

Called to be ‘children of God.’

The core of all of Jesus’ teaching is the revelation of God as Father to humanity. God calls us, not as the all-powerful Creator demanding homage from the lowly slaves he created, but as a loving parent welcoming one’s own children. God invites us to a relationship with him not based on fear and judgement but centered in love, mercy and trust. Today’s celebration of the Trinity confronts us with our response to God’s invitation and our worthiness to be called God’s “children.”