HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY YEAR A
HOMILY THEME: HOLY TRINITY AND ONE GOD
By: Fr. Gerald M. Musa
“God is not something vague…He is tangible; He is not abstract but has a name: “God is love.” Pope Francis.
Most African Traditional Religions believe there is a supreme God who works with other intermediary deities or gods. He is conceived as creator of the Universe, omnipotent and omniscience. Christianity, Islam and the Jewish religions are generally called monotheistic religions because they belief in one God. Historically, Arabs and Jews had several gods. Before the introduction of Islam Arabs believed and worshipped Hubal and his goddess daughters al-Lat, al-Uzza, and al-Manat. Similarly, Jews believed in many other gods before Abraham encountered Yahweh.
Exodus Chapter 34 shows Moses pleading on behalf of Israel because the people deviated from Yahweh and began to serve a man-made god. They had a poor understanding of who God is. God revealed his true nature to Moses as “A God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity” (Exodus 34:6). God expressed this bounteous love by sending his Word, Jesus Christ, to save the world from sin (John 3:16). The Jews believe God is father of all creation (Deuteronomy) and they are his first-born children (Exodus 4:22). Christians also believe that God is not only Father, but also, God is a Redeemer in the person of Jesus Christ and God is Guide in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity means there is one God, operating in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Christian Creed (Credo) is a summary of this belief. It says: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
Several passages of Scriptures illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity. In the story of creation God said: “Let us make man in our image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26) shows the nature of God as Trinity. During the baptism of Jesus, God manifested in the three persons: The voice of the Father speaking from the heavens, the Holy Spirit hovering like a dove, and the Son in the water of the Jordan (Matthew 3:13-20).
Another scriptural passage that provides some insight about the nature of God as Trinity is what is known as the Triadic Benediction: “The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:14. Therefore, the Father is love, the Son is grace and the Holy Spirit unites (fellowship). Furthermore, in the Great Commission Jesus spoke to his disciples saying: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:18-19). The Introduction of Gospel of John clearly shows the divinity of Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Besides, the “Golden text” of the Bible, John 3:16, Jesus said to Nicodemus: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” In addition, the Apostle Paul prays thus: Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3-10). The Apostle also proclaims: “There is no other God but one… to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). Even though scriptures reveal who God is, the human mind cannot fully comprehend the depth of God and this is why a prominent Christian leader says: “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God. The letter to Corinthians says, “Depth of God can only be understood by the Spirit of God…An unspiritual person is one who does not accept anything of the Spirit of God: he sees it all as nonsense; it is beyond his understanding because it can only be understood by means of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:11,13-14). Catechism of the Catholic Church adds: “The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God” (#237).
In simple terms, the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons can be compared to an individual who operates or plays different roles as a distinctive Father to his children, beloved brother of his siblings, and a distinguished advocate in the court of law (Father, Brother and Advocate). Doctrine of the Holy Trinity shows how near God is to his people and so he is called father, he took flesh to live and work among his people and continues to support his people through the power of his spirit. He is present through his love; he is present through the grace of his son and empowers his people through his spirit dwelling in hearts.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year A,
EX 34:4B-6, 8-9;
2 COR 13:11-13;