Fr. TJ. Puliyan, MSFS
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity andthe greatest mystery of our Faith. There is One God, one Nature, and three Divine Persons. This same Divine Nature is shared among them. This is a mystery, and it is the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
This doctrine was enunciated by the ecumenical councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, which say,”There is one God, who has three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Each Person is God, yet there is still only one God”. We have the Father,who is the Creator, the Son,who is the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit,who is the Sanctifier and the Counselor. Certainly, it is a mystery hard to comprehend, and humans need imageries and comparisons to understand it.
St. Cyril tried to explain the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity by using Sun as an example. He said, “God the Father is that blazing Sun. God the Son is its light and God the Holy Spirit is its heat, but there is only one Sun.
St. John Maria Vianney used to explain Holy Trinity”by using lighted candles, roses on the altar, and water in the cruets. “The flame has color, warmth, and shape, but these are expressions of one flame.
Similarly, the rose has color, fragrance, and shape, but these are expressions of one reality, namely, rose. Water, steam, and ice are three distinct expressions of one reality, water. In the same way one, God revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The doctrine of Three Persons in one God, yet co-equal and co-eternal in Divinity, is not explicitly spelled out in the Bible. Even the very word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. However, the doctrine of the Trinity underlies all major Christian feasts, including Christmas, the Epiphany, Good Friday, Easter, the Ascension, and Pentecost.
All the official prayers of the Church, including the Holy Mass and the Sacraments, begin with an address to the Holy Trinity: “In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We are baptized, absolved of our sins, and anointed in the name of the Blessed Trinity. When Church bells ring three times a day, Christians are invited to pray to God the Father, the Provider; God the Son, the Savior; and God the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier.
When we pray the Angelus, or the Regina Coeli, in the Easter Season,we give glory to the Triune God for the Incarnation of the Son and our redemption through His suffering and death.
When we bless ourselves with the Sign of the Cross, invoking the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, we conclude our prayers glorifying the Holy Trinity, saying,”Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
The Old Testament books give only indirect and passing references to the Trinity, and the Jewish rabbis never understood them as references to the Holy Trinity. Genesis 1:26 presents God speaking to Himself: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
Genesis 18:2 describes how Yahweh visited Abraham under the appearance of three men, an event that the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates as the “Trinitarian Experience of Abraham.” In Genesis 11:7, before punishing the proud builders of the Tower of Babel, God says, “Come, let Us go down among them and confuse their language. “These passages imply, rather than state, the doctrine of the Trinity.The New Testament gives a clear reference to the Trinity.
The Annunciation (Lk 1: 26-38) describes how God the Father sends the Archangel Gabriel to Mary to announce to her that God the Holy Spirit, will “come upon” her, that “the power the Most High will overshadow” her, that the Son will be made flesh in her womb. “Therefore, the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”
During the Baptism of Jesus (Mt 3:16-17), the Holy Spirit is shown descending on Jesus in the form of a Dove, while the Voice of God the Father is heard from the clouds, saying, “You are My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased” (Lk 4:22). John Chapters 15 through 18 presents the detailed teaching of Jesus on the Persons of the Holy Trinity.
We need to see the Trinity as the model for our Christian families as we are created in love to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One in Love. We belonged to the One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit from the day of our Baptism. Therefore, we become more like the Triune God through all our relationships.
Just as God is God in a Trinitarian relationship, we can be fully human only in the context of relationships. We need to acknowledge God as the source of our strength and courage. We need to live in an atmosphere of mutual and self-respect in our homes and society as it is with the Holy Trinity! May the Holy Trinity bless us all..!