MOST HOLY TRINITY
“The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God. They can never be known unless they are revealed by God. To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian Being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as “Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 237)
In Genesis, chapter 1.26 we read: “ God said, “Let us make man in our own image, according to our likeness”. God did not say: “Let me make…”.It implies that God is a communion of persons. So also “the Christian family is a communion of persons, the sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). As some theologians clarify: “Creation was the unanimous decision of the Triune God: The decision coming from the Father, executed through His Son Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
The mystery of the Trinity is fully revealed in the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, at the time of his baptism: “When Jesus had been baptised, just as he came up from the water, suddenly, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 3.16-17). The Trinitarian nature of One God is revealed in the very first book of the Bible itself, and made known to the world at the baptism of Jesus. And at the end of his earthly presence, just before the Ascension, Jesus commanded his apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit “(Mt. 28.19). “ I am sending upon you, what my Father promised; stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
Trinity is a Divine Mystery which is not comprehensible to human reason or knowledge. There is a story that St. Augustine was walking on the beach contemplating the mystery of the Trinity. Then he saw a boy in front of him who had dug a hole in the sand and was going out to the sea again and again and bringing some water to pour into the hole. St. Augustine asked him, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to pour the entire ocean into this hole.” “That is impossible, the whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made” said St. Augustine. The boy replied, “And you cannot fit the Trinity in your tiny little brain.” The story concludes by saying that the boy vanished, as St. Augustine had been talking to an angel.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God himself. It is therefore the source of all other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith” (234).
“Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son’s another, the holy Spirit’s another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal” (CCC 266).”
We begin and end every prayer, both Liturgical and personal, ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ In the prayer of the Creed we profess our faith in the Trinity; “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit……I believe in the Holy Spirit…” Each time we make the sign of the Cross, we profess our faith that we belong to the Triune God through our Baptism.
St. Caesarius of Arles has said that ‘The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.’ We are baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The significance of the Sacrament of Baptism is not our immersion into the water, but our immersion into the life of the Trinity. In the Sacramental Rite of Baptism, at the anointing on our forehead with the blessed oil, the Priest says: “I anoint you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Before receiving the Sacrament, the parents and the godparents of the child (or the recipient in the case of adult baptism), respond to a three-part question when asked whether they believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: to which they answer “I do”.
The Catechism teaches in no. 263: “The mission of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of the Son (Jn. 14.26) and by the Son “from the Father” (Jn. 15.26), reveals that, with them, the Spirit is one and the same God. “With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified” (Nicene Creed). In the Eucharistic Prayer II, the Church prays “all holiness comes from your Father, through your Son Jesus Christ and through the working of the Holy Spirit”. “Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do.”(CCC 267). “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal.4.6). “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you” (Jn.14.26)
Jesus said: “The Father judges no one but has given all the judgement to His Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who send him” (Jn. 5.23). “No one who denies the Son, has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son, has the Father also” (1 Jn. 2.23). “Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God, does not have life” (1 Jn. 5.10-12).
Now the Holy Spirit is the love of the Father and of the Son. And therefore, where the Father and Son are One, that unity is brought about by the Holy Spirit. And “ it is the very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom.8.16). “ And no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12.3).
We are privileged to have the life of the Trinity within. Jesus said: “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and make our home with them” (Jn.14.23). St. Paul reminds us that we are ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit’ (I Cor. 3.16. 6.19).
Father, Son, Holy Spirit, One True God, we adore you. We thank You Father because you created us and we totally depend on you; We thank you Father for sending your Son to redeem us, and we thank you Holy Spirit, because you are dwelling in our hearts and transforming us into the likeness of Jesus.