June 13, 2023 | By Fr. Vincent Arisukwu
June 13, 2023 | By Fr. Vincent Arisukwu
Paul issues this powerful greeting, “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” This is said to be the clearest and most illuminating acclamation of the trinitarian God in the New Testament. In this greeting, Paul assigns roles to each Person of the Trinity -God the Father is love. God the Son is grace. God the Holy Spirit is fellowship or bond. The solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity invites believers to recall the immensity of God’s love. Hence, I say to you, “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”
One of the great gifts of the Trinity is relationship. The Jesuit theologian, Grenz reminds us that “the formula: “God is love,” means that the inner life of the Trinity is characterized by loving relations—and is expressed toward creatures.” Let’s think about God today, just from God’s point of view. Let’s discard our distorted lens and think deeper about our relationship with God. What hasn’t God done for us as Father? What hasn’t God given to us as Christ? What hasn’t God inspired in us as Spirit? As members of our faith community, God invites us into the family of divine love. Paul invites us today in the Trinitarian communion, “Greet one other with a holy kiss.”
St Augustine spent the longest time researching the Trinity and spent some thirty years writing his book “On the Trinity.” Yet Augustine discovered that irrespective of his theological achievements, the mystery of the Trinity could not be unraveled through the human mind, but through grace and wisdom from God.
The teaching of the church is that there are three Persons in one God -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each being truly distinct but equal in all things. Saint Paul speaks of this as, “The mystery of our religion, very deep indeed” (1 Tim. 3:16). The mission of the Trinity reveals itself throughout the mission of Christ:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the doctrine of the Trinity as teaching the mystery of God himself and maintains, “It is the most fundamental essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of faith” (CCC 234). The church declares, “The Father is that which the Son is, the Son is that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e., by nature one God” (CCC 253).
The Blessed Trinity depicts an inseparable bond of love in which humanity is called to participate through baptism.
The gospel reminds us today of the depth of God’s love for us. What is the primary mission of Christ to the world? It is to bring humanity into the love of the Trinity. Christ’s mission is not to condemn, but rather to prepare us to accept God’s love. This reflects in the ministry of Christ in many ways. Jesus encounters individuals in their struggles and challenges. In most cases, we read in the gospels about people compelled by supernatural problems, who feel isolated and filled with the spirit of abandonment. In certain cases, demons and demonic possessions estrange these individuals from identifying who they are -God’s children. The demons stir them to see only destruction and punishment. Christ restores them to God’s love by casting out the demons.
Others, for some reason, become trapped in their sinful habits and addictions. These individuals become fixated on their negative habits and doubt their Christian identity. They are unable to see God’s love. Jesus usually stoops down to meet everyone where they are. He sets such human hearts on divine fire because his mission is to restore everyone to divine friendship.
The feast of the Trinity is also an opportunity to reflect on what God means to us as believers. What is your image of God as Father? What is your image of God as Christ? What is your image of God as Spirit? How has your individual experience and upbringing influenced your perception of God?
Perhaps you have questions about God’s fatherhood, based on your experience of a father who failed you. The reality is that through being violated or abused by someone we call father; the devil may want to snatch us away from God’s loving fatherhood. Through negative self-perception, possibly for some past mistakes and sinful habits, the devil may want to shrink the love of God in our souls.
The solemnity of the Blessed Trinity presents a great moment for understanding God’s love in our lives. Yes, God so loved the world that he sent Christ to die for humanity. God so loves you as His child that he would do anything to have you. God so loves you that he would not let anything take you away from his love. God is not a father like any bad dad. God is not a son like any disobedient son. God is not a spirit like any negative force/disappointing promise. God is God, the perfect image of Love, Truth, and Peace. God loves to the end. Saint Augustine’s words are powerful in this sense, “If you see charity, you see the Trinity.”
Readings: 1st- Ex. 33:4-6, 8-9; 2nd- 2nd Cor. 13:11-13; Gospel- Jn. 3:16-18