May 26, 2013 –– The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Today is The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. A “Solemnity” is the highest-ranking Holy Day possible in our Church calendar (followed by a Feast, and then a Memorial). Pope John XXII instituted this Holy Day in the 14th Century.
The Most Holy Trinity is perhaps the most fundamental belief we have as Catholics and Christians. We can never fully understand the mystery of the Trinity, but we can sum it up in the following formula: God is three Persons in one Nature. The three Persons of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are all equally God, and They cannot be divided.
All the readings for this Holy Day include the idea of the Holy Trinity. The first reading from The Book of Proverbs presents a segment of Chapter 8, The Discourse of Wisdom. This chapter is one of the most significant sections of the Old Testament — a major influence on both Jewish and Christian thought. It represents that the Holy Trinity was there before the beginning — “When the Lord established the heavens, I was there.”… “and I found delight in the human race.” God created all, but God also wanted to be close to and to interact with humankind.
The second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans amplifies the idea of the Trinity and of God’s complete interaction with us His flock. Paul’s letter was written to the Roman Christian community to make it clear to them that they were justified by faith, not by law. Paul’s use of particular words in this short passage is noteworthy. In just a few sentences he includes “faith, peace, grace, glory” and most of all “hope.” As Paul reminds us “…hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
The Gospel from John parallels the first reading. However, it also portrays our own relationship to Jesus at times. The Lord begins by saying to the disciples, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” Isn’t that the way we sometimes relate to God? We want to know and understand everything. It was not possible for the Apostles, who were so close to Him, and it is not possible for us. Jesus makes reference to all three elements of the Holy Trinity in this Gospel passage. Just as the Apostles do not fully grasp the complete meaning, neither do we.
The reason we celebrate the Holy Trinity goes back to the thought that God wanted to be a part of our lives; God wanted to interact with us; God wanted to love us and the Lord wanted us to love in return. This Holy Trinity Sunday should bring us to serious reflections as to how we can love God completely. Living out our love for God in this world is quite simply stewardship. It is through stewardship that we can fully express our love for God. It is through stewardship that we can fully appreciate God’s love for us.