HOMILY FOR HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY YEAR C (1)

HOMILY FOR HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY YEAR C

THEME: UNITY OF THE HOLY TRINITY

BY: Fr. Gerald M. Musa

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JUNE 12 2022

The ordinary natural mind cannot grasp the depth of spiritual realities and so it takes a supernatural mind to







HOMILY FOR HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY YEAR C

THEME: UNITY OF THE HOLY TRINITY

BY: Fr. Gerald M. Musa

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JUNE 12 2022

 

 

The ordinary natural mind cannot grasp the depth of spiritual realities and so it takes a supernatural mind to understand God’s nature. Therefore, explaining the mystery of the Trinity to an ordinary mind is like going to a kindergarten class and saying to the children, today we are going to be talking about the law of gravity or quadratic equation. Put simply, God the Father creates, God the Son who redeems, and God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies are three persons in one God. Theologians rightly say the foundation of all theology is the unity of God. Jesus summarises this foundation of theology in his inspirational priestly prayer: ‘And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3).
Who is God and what is his nature? These are important questions that ancient and modern religions and cultures seek to answer.

Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God and he shows us that God is one, God is love and God is near. The words of Jesus tell us the mysterious nature of God – in One God there is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus speaks about God the Father as he says, “All that the Father has is mine” (John 16:15) and he speaks about the Holy Spirit saying, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:12). Paul referred to the three persons in one God when he says, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1) and God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). The book of proverbs asserts that the Holy Spirit was there from the creation of the world and the Holy Spirit was the wisdom of God (Proverbs 8:22-31).

Preachers and fathers of the church made attempts to explain the mystery of the Trinity. Tertullian explains the Trinity in a metaphor in which he thinks of God the Father “As a deep root, the Son as the shoot that breaks forth into the world, and the Spirit as that which spreads beauty and fragrance.” We are familiar with the famous story St. Augustine recounts about a child he met by the sea who was making a frantic but futile effort to transfer the water from the sea into a little hole. St. Augustine wondered about this activity and it dawned on him that understanding the depth of the Trinity is similar to transferring a limitless God to a limited mind. St. Patrick used a Shamrock (a plant with three small leaflets) to describe the connectivity between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

One interesting analogy of the Trinity is that of St. Gregory Nazianzus (d.389/390) and Maximus Confessor (d.662). They used the term perichoresis (a Greek word meaning rotation or to dance around) to describe the relationship that exists between the three persons of the Holy Trinity, based on the prayers of Jesus: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21). Perichoresis is a Greek special dance involving three people and so Perichoresis is a metaphor that explains Divine or Mystical dance: the dance of love, fellowship, and harmony that takes place within the communion of the Trinity. The word dance is used to describe the order, rhythm, and harmony, which characterize the relationship of the Holy Trinity.

The major difference between Christianity and other religions is the Christian understanding of God as a Trinitarian God. There is a relationship of love and perfect communication between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We can then understand why Jesus said to his disciples to go and baptise in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This baptismal formula is therefore an invitation to the baptised Christian to share in the intimacy of the Trinity. This new life in the Trinity, therefore, challenges the baptised Christian to walk humbly with his God, love others tenderly, and be in communion with the church, which is Christ’s body. The baptized Christian continues in his daily life to imitate the life of the Trinity.

Significantly, Christians are baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and also practice spiritual devotions in the name of the Trinity. Interestingly, Christian prayers begin with the name of the Trinity: In the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Most of our prayers also end with the Trinity when we say: “We make our prayers through our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord, who lives and reign with You (God the Father) and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and Ever. St. Paul uses the name of the Trinity in his greetings to people, and he often says, May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. Besides, another prayer that refers directly to the Trinity is the famous doxology: Glory is to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

Let the mystery of God be the point of our deep reflection. Moses invited the people of Israel to reflect and understand God the creator who made the world (Deut.4: 32-34.39-40) and St. Paul writes to the Romans to relate to God the Father through the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to be sharers in the Glory of Christ the Son (8:14-17). We live in a country where we are deeply divided by region, religion, and ethnic group; we live in a church where division is visible between denominations, organisations, ethnic groups, class, and gender. The unity of the Holy Trinity challenges us to bring unity and love to the communities where we live.

Proverbs 8:22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

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