Sunday, June 11, 2017

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Year A

Readings: Ex 34:4-6,8-9; 2 Cor. 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". That familiar prayer leads us into the mystery we celebrate this Sunday, the Most Holy Trinity. One of the optional greetings at the beginning of each Mass uses the beautiful words taken from the second reading of today:  "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you". In the gospel of this Sunday, Jesus speaking to Nicodemus highlights the reason why God is communion. “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.” God is love by nature and desires that none of us should perish, but that all share His life of communion in eternal life. One the best description of the Holy Trinity for me is Rublev’s icon depicting the three mysterious visitors received by Abraham in Mamre (cf. Gen 18:1-8). In this icon, Rublev depicts three angels seated around a white table on which a chalice-like bowl contains a meal to be shared. Through the symbolism of the three angels, the icon intends to draw our attention to the awesome communion of the three persons in one God.

The Holy Trinity may therefore be better understood as an awesome sharing of communion by the three Divine Persons, drawing us all into that same communion shared by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each time we celebrate the Holy Eucharist we highlight this mystery many times but more so in the doxology that concludes the Eucharistic Prayer to show that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered through Christ, in Christ, “in the unity of the Holy Spirit; all glory and honor is offered to Father. The Holy Trinity is not just a subject for theological speculation on the three divine persons in One God. The Holy Trinity is not so much about the awesomeness of God, but about an awesome lover who draws us into communion with Him. The Holy Trinity is a life of communion to be lived, shared and celebrated liturgically. Therefore, we need to go beyond talking about love, communion, sharing and putting that into practice by being instruments of reconciliation, mercy and communion. As one bishop put it jokingly, the reason why God in creating us does not put us directly into heaven, is because if He did so, we would mess life up there! Our life here on earth is a time to practice our stewardship in concrete ways by sharing, healing and living in communion with the people God has given us. The central message may be summed up in three points. 1) The solemnity of the Holy Trinity is a model of life of communion in God to be lived and imitated; 2) We are challenged to be instruments of reconciliation, healing and communion; 3) To be such instruments, we need to be nourished by prayer and scripture, for example in the family so we can grow into closer communion with one another.

©2017 John S. Mbinda

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