SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY HOLY TRINITY: PERFECT MODEL FOR THE FAMILY

“But when the Spirit of truth comes … He will glorify Me since all He tells you will be taken from what is Mine. Everything that the Father has is Mine; that is why I said: All He tells you will be taken from what is Mine” (John 16: 13, 14-15)

 

We celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity has been a subject of contention, controversy and heresy down through the ages. It has still continued to court these un-mutual alliances even to this day. The reason for this is not far-fetched: the Trinity tries to answer the question: “Who is God?” or “What is the nature of God?” It seeks to unravel the essence of the being of God. We have to admit here that as long as man continues to speak of God in human language without a deep sense of humility, without claiming or assuming that he knows God in totality or that God should be known in His totality, these elements of disagreements always stand out dominantly. The Trinity is not primarily a concept to be understood, but a reality to be worshipped. In other words, it is a mystery. An article of faith – to be accepted as certain even though we cannot see (Hebrews 11: 1). On this subject of its incomprehensibility, the Catholic Catechism has this to say: “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.” It goes on to say:  God’ s “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” (CCC. 237).

Basically, the dogma of the Trinity teaches that God is “Three Persons in One God.” That God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit Are Three Distinct Persons, equal in Being, eternally existent but not three different God(s). There are traces of the Trinitarian of nature of God in His work through the Scripture. In Genesis, the creation narrative reveals God the Father, Who creates, God the Son, Who is the Spoken Word, and God the Holy Spirit hovering over the water (Genesis 1: 1ff). The Evangelist John later affirms this understanding: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made … And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us” (John 1: 1-3, 14). The three angels who visited Abraham and promised the birth of Isaac (Genesis 18: 1-15) is often understood as the visitation of God in His Trinitarian nature. More self-revelation of God in His Trinitarian nature are found in the New Testament: when, at the Baptism of Jesus, the Son of God, God the Father spoke from heaven and the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, descended as a dove (Matthew 3: 13-17; Mark 1: 9-11; Luke 3: 21- 22; John 1: 32-34)); at the Transfiguration, when the Son was transfigured, the Spirit manifested in the cloud and God the Father spoke: “This is My Beloved Son” (Matthew 17: 1-13; Mark 9: 2-13: Luke 9: 28-36). The clearest revelation of the Trinitarian nature of God, as recorded in the Gospel of John, is made by Jesus. Revealing the eternal and reciprocal God-Son Relationship He has with the Father, Jesus says: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Matthew 11: 27). Similarly, Jesus attests in John 14: 9: “To have seen Me is to have seen the Father.” He confirms His oneness with the Father when He said in John 10: 30, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus identified His Person, Words, works and mission with the Father (John 6: 38; 12: 49; 14: 10).

While they were at supper, Jesus revealed and promised another “Advocate” Who will be with the apostles, teach them, remind them and lead them to “all truth” (John 15: 26-27; 16: 7-11; 13-15). The Holy Spirit is revealed as a Divine Person Who proceeds from the Father (John 15: 26), who will lead the apostles to “complete truth (John 16: 13). Like Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, speaks not His Own words but hears from the Father and the Son.” The Jesus lucidly captures the unified relatedness of the Trinity in the Gospel Reading (John 16: 12-15) as follows: “He (The Holy Spirit) will glorify Me since all He tells you will be taken from what is Mine. Everything that the Father has is Mine; that is why I said: All He tells you will be taken from what is Mine.”

So what do we have to learn from the Most Blessed Trinity? The first image that comes to mind is that of the family. The Trinity of Persons can be likened to the family in its nuclear form – the Father, Mother and children, where the children are the manifestation of the love between the husband and the wife. From here we can draw some lessons for nurturing the family. The divine bond of the Trinity is sustained by perfect love and obedience. The family should be a sanctuary of love and obedience exhibited in the loving obedience between the spouses, flowing down to the children, and flowing back from the children to the parents. As we celebrate the “Day of Life” with focus on domestic violence today, we should bear in mind that the imitation of the love of the Blessed Trinity is the strongest and the most sustainable antidote to domestic violence. The equality of the Persons of the Trinity offers a significant challenge to our world, the Church, families and individuals. With so many and complex divisions, intolerance and discriminations every facet of our society today cries out for fair treatment, justice for all and equality. On various occasions, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are seen to be at work together, sharing the same project and mission. This turns our attention to collaborative ministry, division of labour, principle of solidarity, cooperation and complementarity. All these can only come through sincere search openness to love, humility, forgiveness and faith in the God, Who is Three in One. May the grace of God save us from being asked, like Philip: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?”