Trinity Sunday (Year C)

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES

Trinity Sunday – Based on the Gospel

Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

John 3:16-18

Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp

Like God, Like Worshippers

The story is told of St Augustine of Hippo, a great philosopher and theologian. He was preoccupied with the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. He wanted so much to understand the doctrine of one God in three persons and to be able to explain it logically. One day he was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this matter. Suddenly, he saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a whole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup with sea water, ran up and emptied the cup into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine drew up and said to her, “Little child, what are you doing?”
She replied, “I am trying to empty the sea into this hole.”
“How do you think,” Augustine asked her, “that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?”
She answered back, “And you, how do you suppose that with your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?” With that the child disappeared.

The doctrine of the inner relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in such a way that each of them is fully and equally God, yet there are not three Gods but one, cannot be fully comprehended by the human mind. It is a mystery.

If we expected today’s readings to give us a clear and elaborate presentation of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, we have found out that they simply do not. The doctrine of three persons in one God, equal in divinity yet distinct in personality, is not explicitly spelt out in the Bible. In fact the very word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. Early Christians arrived at the doctrine when they applied their God-given reason to the revelation which they had received in faith. Jesus spoke about the Father who sent him (the Son) and about the Holy Spirit whom he was going to send. He said that the Father had given him (the Son) all that he has and that he in turn has given to the Holy Spirit all that he has received from the Father. In this we see the unity of purpose among the three persons of the Trinity.

In the story of salvation we usually attribute creation to the Father, redemption to the Son and sanctification to the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, though they are distinct as persons, neither the Father nor the Son nor the Holy Spirit ever exists or acts in isolation from the other two persons of the Godhead.

Like Augustine we may not be able to understand the how of the Trinity but I think it is very important to understand the why. Why did God reveal to us this mystery regarding the very nature of the Supreme Being? The importance of this doctrine lies in this: we are made in the image of God, therefore, the more we understand God the more we understand ourselves. Experts in religion tell us that people always try to be like the god they worship. People who worship a warrior god tend to be warmongering, people who worship a god of pleasure tend to be pleasure-seeking, people who worship a god of wrath tend to be vengeful, and people who worship a god of love tend to be loving. Like a god, so the worshippers. Therefore, the more important question for us to ask today is: What does the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity tell us about the kind of God we worship and what does this say about the kind of people we should be? On this, I have two points to share with you.

(1) God does not exist in solitary individualism but in a community of love and sharing. God is not a loner. This means that a Christian in search of Godliness (Matthew 5:48) must shun every tendency to isolationism. The ideal Christian spirituality is not that of flight from the world like that of certain Buddhist monastic traditions where the quest for holiness means permanent withdrawal to the Himalayas away from contact and involvement with people and society.

(2) True love requires three partners. You remember the old saying “Two is company, three is a crowd.” The Trinity shows us that three is community, three is love at its best; three is not a crowd. Taking an example from the human condition we see that when a man A is in love with a woman B they seal the loving by producing a baby C. Father, mother and child — love when it perfected becomes a trinity.

We are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only in a relationship of three partners. The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with others and a vertical relationship with God. In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. Then we discover that the so-called “I-and-I” principle of unbridled individualism which is acceptable in modern society leaves much to be desired. The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity challenges us to adopt rather an I-and-God-and-neighbour principle. I am a Christian insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and other people. May the grace of the Holy Trinity help us to banish all traces of self-centeredness in our lives and to live in love of God and of neighbour.

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Sunday:       Trinity Sunday
Date:         June 3, 2007
Year:         C
The readings: [Prov. 8:22-31; Rom. 5:1-5; Jn. 16:12-5]
The message:  Honouring the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Prepared by:  THE CATHOLIC DOORS MINISTRY
Total words:  1353

The readings follow the sermon.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in recognition of your presence here today to celebrate the Feast of Trinity Sunday, may the grace of God shine on you abundantly.

First of all, in order for you to understand the First Reading from the Book of Proverbs, it is necessary to understand the origin of Trinity Sunday in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.

“Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, was instituted to honour the Most Holy Trinity. The early Church did not honour the Trinity by a special Office or day. When the Arian heresy was at its height, an Office with canticle, responses, a Preface, and hymns was composed by the Fathers, and recited on Sundays.” (Source: “The New Catholic Dictionary”, Copyright 1929.)

“Bishop Stephen of Li‚ge (903-20) wrote an Office of the Holy Trinity which was recited in some places on the Sunday after Pentecost, in others on the Sunday preceding Advent. St. Thomas Becket, consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on the Sunday following Pentecost, obtained for England the privilege of honouring the Holy Trinity on that day, and Pope John XXII (1316- 34) made this practise universal. A Plenary Indulgence is gained by those who receive the Holy Eucharist on this day. The Gospel of the Mass (in Cycle B of the Liturgical Calendar) is the charge of Christ to His Apostles to teach all nations ‘baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.'” (Ibid.)

“Trinity Sunday is the last day in the United States for the observance of what is known as the Easter duty, so called because it is of obligation for all Catholics to confess and partake of Holy Communion once a year, usually between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday.” (Ibid.)

Regarding the Arian heresy, known as “Arianism,” it was a heresy propagated by Arius who denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. He regarded the Son of God as standing midway between God and creatures; not like God without a beginning, but possessing all other Divine perfections, not of one essence, nature, substance with the Father and therefore not like him in Divinity. In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicea adopted the Doctrine of the Divinity of Christ which expressed the identity of the Son in essence, nature, substance with the Father. (Ibid.)

In view of all this, Trinity Sunday is celebrated once a year, during which time the readings from the Holy Scriptures place emphasis of the Three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

Today’s First Reading from the Book of Proverbs occasioned serious difficulty with the Arians who used this text to support the created nature of Jesus as the Word of God. While the author of the Book of Proverbs did use the word “create” to explain the eternal existence of the Wisdom of God, in all truth, he did not do so for the purpose of identify a beginning of Wisdom. Expressing himself the best way that he could, the author was trying to assert the absolute priority of Wisdom and her origin from God before all creation. The author strived to assert that Wisdom was with God prior to the creation of the visible universe. By placing Wisdom first, before creation, this acknowledges the superiority of Wisdom over and above all created things.

For God to create the order of all what is seen and unseen, He had to possess infinite Divine Wisdom that included knowledge and understanding. For nothing can be created prior to being known and understood. Nor can creation take place without the Wisdom that places each thing in its order and knows the long-term outcome of each creation as it relates to the next one.

As such, Wisdom came first before creation.

During today’s Second Reading from The Letter of Paul to the Romans, we heard that God justifies man through faith in Jesus Christ, this leading to the salvation of the upright man. When viewed in context with the entire Scriptures, we come to perceive that justification not only requires faith in Jesus Christ, but also the Sacrament of Baptism.

By emphasizing that we are justified through Jesus Christ, St. Paul is telling us that in the plan of salvation, the Heavenly Father has appointed Christ as our Mediator.

St. Paul also tells us that the reconciled Christian who will be saved, he will share with hope in the risen life of Christ. The first effect of justification is the Christian experience of peace. This is a peace that anxieties cannot upset, a hope that knows no disappointment, and a confidence of salvation of which the Christian can truly boast.

As Christians, we boast in the hope of the glory of God. We put our boast in something that is wholly beyond our ordinary natural powers – in hope. This hope is a free gift to us from God just like faith itself. And in the long run, our boast relies on God. What we hope for is the communicated glory of God, still to be attained, even though we have already been introduced to the grace of God.

St. Paul tells us that through sufferings, endurance, the forming of character and hope, God’s love is poured into our hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This love of God, it is not “our love of God” but rather, “God’s love of us.”

All the gifts that we receive from God, be it His grace, faith, hope, peace, justification, they are bestowed upon us through the Blessed Trinity. It is by the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in the Most Holy Name of Jesus that God manifests His love in us, with us and through us so His light may shine in the world.

Today’s Gospel Reading from the Gospel of John reaffirms the three fold action of the Blessed Trinity in our lives. Both, the Father and the Son have sent the Holy Spirit in the world as the Spirit of truth to guide us into the truth. As Jesus did not speak of His own, but spoke of what He heard from the Father, the Holy Spirit also will not speak on His own, but he speaks of what He hears.

During the Gospel Reading, we heard Jesus say, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” From these words, we learn that while “Revelation is already complete in Jesus Christ, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.” (C.C.C. # 66)

As we are able to grasp the truth, depending on our age and our openness to the knowledge and understanding of Scriptures, the grace of God shines on us according to our need and our desire to grow in Christ. Such a grace may be manifested by the Holy Spirit who may choose to inspire us, guide us to written teachings of the Catholic Church, or possibly put on our path a loving teacher who will explain to us what we seek to learn for the glory of God.

My brothers and sisters, before proceeding with the celebration of the Holy Mass, I would like to ask you to take the time this week to reflect upon the Blessed Trinity. Take any event in your life, be it related to your faith, your marriage, your employment, or even the birth of a child, and ask yourself the following question. “How was the love of God manifested in this event through the Blessed Trinity?” “What was the role of the Heavenly Father?” “What was the role of Jesus?” “What was the role of the Holy Spirit?” And when you come to perceive the individual roles of each Person of the Blessed Trinity, take a moment to thank God for His priceless involvement in this event of your life.

May the grace and peace of God be with you this week.

The readings…

[The readings were taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (C) 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America.]

 First Reading…

“Thus says the wisdom of God: ‘The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I as set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.

Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth – when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.

When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.'” [Prov. 8:22-31]

 Second Reading…

“Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” [Rom. 5:1-5]

 Gospel Reading…

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” [Jn. 16:12-5]

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Is Trinity True or False

 First and for most, trinity has no biblical basis, even the Catholic Church have doubt about this. more over the mathematicians.. 1+1+1=1??? just think about it..

Why did i mentioned that it is not unbiblical? Jesus didn’t teach this doctrine, the apostles didn’t teach it also..

There is only One Almighty God (Isa: 44:8, 46:9, Rev: 1:8). The TERM of word TRINITY, is not to be found in the Bible (K.J.V.) anywhere. The TRINITY is a THEORY, a PHILOSOPHY, that was made up by very superstitious men that lived in the Dark Ages (Deut: 4:2, Rev: 22:18-19, Col: 2:8-9, Gal: 1:8-9, II Tim: 4:2-4). These men were full of pride, and as time passed by they began to call themselves “FATHER” even though Christ commanded them not to, (Matt: 23:1-10, Eph: 4:5-6, Mal: 2:10). These men also believed in talking or praying to stone, metal, and golden images, Hades, or Purgatory, and many more MYTHS that are not the TRUTH, LOGICAL, or BIBLICAL FACT.

the question is that ‘when was this doctrine started or made?’

“Emperor Constantine on May 20, 325 AD. called for a meeting of his 318 Bishops at Nicea. These men were on the Emperor’s pay-roll and dared not disagree with him, for fear of losing their heads. Together they formed a new Imperial State Religion, The Roman Catholic Church. This church was not the only legal State Religion. At this council meeting the TRINITY-THEORY was made the Official Doctrine of the Catholic Church, later in 381 AD. at the Council of Constantinople the Catholic Church reconfirmed the State Official doctrine of the TRINITY, and made it more complete.”

SEE, A man-made Doctrine

coolsam,

I’m afraid that you have missed something here.

There are many referances to the Angel of God which is how Christ was refered to before His birth. When Christ was here He was baptisd by his Cousein John,a prophet of God. People asked if he was the chosen one,he answered them that he wasn’t and then added that that the one to come;was to be one that he was not worthy to untie His sandles. Now why did he say that.

One day Christ came and He was baptised in accordance with Jewish law. At that time people saw Him rise up out of the water and a white dove appeared over His head a voice out of Heaven said”listen to Him for He’s my beloved Son”. He then went out to the desert and was tempted. At one point He was offerd the world if He would fall down and worship him. Then with the authority of God He told him to begone that there is one God and there is no other God but him.

In nature most items you have are made up of three basic parts,sure there are other parts to make it up, But take a simple leaf,a maple leaf for example has three main parts which connect to a whole(leaf stem),there aren’t three leaves,just the one. Try a tree, there’s the leaves,the bark, and then you have the wood itself.

Also Christ refered to the Holy Spirit as comming to baptise them. He often said that “unless you are batistisd again you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He then said that all had been baptised with water,but unless you are baptised by the Holy Spirit(1),you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Also on the Cross Christ(2) called out to His Father(3) saying “forgive them for they know not what they do”.

Sure it’s not an easy thing to understand,but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Still there is only one God. How can that be? You need a little faith. Just because some don’t believe, doesn’t mean it isn’t so. I think if you look again,you’ll find even more interessting things.

I once read the Bible from cover to cover three times,I’d read one chapter from the Old and one from the New. It took about a year or more to complete the task. Before each reading I’d pray for His wisdom and not my or anyone elses. This how the Bible opened up new understanding for me.
If you can do that, then I’d say your on the right track. Anyone even me can make mistakes, that’s why I chose this approach. Everone who I know who has done this has come away with a new understanding. Sometimes they even find things that I never knew were there.

The word trinity cannot be found in the bible.But one God in three persons,meron po.God is infinite while we are finite.To attempt a philosophical explanation of the tri-unity of God is an attempt to put the facts of the infinite in finite terms. ISAIAH 55:8,9 teaches us that human reason has no bearing in the study of God…..”My thoughts are completely different from yours”,says the Lord.”And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts”.(NLT) ONE SAMPLE OF THE TRINITY ACTING IN UNITY: IN CREATION: God the Father spoke,Genesis1:3 “Then God said,”Let there be light”,and there was light. God the Son was the Word spoken,John1:1-3 “In the beginning the Word already existed.He was with God,and he was God.He created everything there is”. God the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters,Genesis 1:2 “And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface”.(NLT)

DEFINITION: Trinity is the central doctrine of religions of Christendom. According to the Athanasian Creed, there are three divine Persons (the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost), each said to be eternal, each said to be almighty, none greater or less than another, each said to be God, and yet together being but one God. Other statements of the dogma emphasize that these three “Persons” are not separate and distinct individuals but are three modes in which the divine essence exists. Thus some Trinitarians emphasize their belief that Jesus Christ is God, or that Jesus and the Holy Ghost are Jehovah.

THIS IS NOT A BIBLE TEACHING.

What is the origin of the Trinity doctrine?

The New Encyclopedia Britannica says: “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ (Deuteronomy 6:4)…The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies…By the end of the 4th century…the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.”—1975, Micropedia, Vol. X, p. 126.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title THE TRINITARIAN DOGMA. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.”—(1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299.

In The Encyclopedia Americana we read: “Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.”—(1956),Vol. XXVII, p. 294L.

According to the Nouveau Dictionaire Universel, “The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches…This Greek philosopher’s [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity…can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions.”—(Paris, 1865-1870), edited by M. Lachatre, Vo. 2, p. 1467.

John L. McKenzie, S. J., in his Dictionary of the Bible, says: “The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of ‘person’ and ‘nature’ which are Greek philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The Trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as ‘essence’ and ‘substance’ were erroneously applied to God by some theologians.”—(New York, 1965), p. 899.

am not JW,Catholic and i do not belong to any
sects,i am a CHRISTIAN
Trinity is a man made doctrine.
Father,Son and Holy spirit does
exist,but:
Father Is God – Almighty
Jesus – Son of God,our Lord and God – but he has a begining
Holy spirit is a part of God,some kind of a force
that Jesus and God use.
Thats it.
To say that ONE GOD iS in 3 gods is not sane.
If ONE GOD is in 3 persons then those 3
persons cannot be gods.
If ONE GOD is in 3 almighty,no beginning or end
persons-Gods, then you have a total of 4 gods.
1=1+1+1=1 C’mon
P.S Catholics are also a christian sect
that was founded in 4th century by a PEGAN emparor Constantin.
Christians ware founded in 33.n.e by Jesus Christ

Let’s compare what you have:
C=unbroken lineage of the Popes since Peter:
32-67 AD To Simon Peter, Jesus had earlier stated that he would entrust to him the keys to Heaven and that upon the rock of Peter he would found his Church. The Catholic Church sees its history as beginning at this point, with Saint Peter as the first Pope………..
•October 28, 312: Emperor Constantine leads the forces of the Roman Empire to victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. According to Church tradition, the night before the battle Constantine had a vision that he would achieve victory if he fought under the Symbol of Christ. After winning the battle, under which his soldiers had bore the Christian Cross on their shields, Constantine converted to Christianity.

Church of the Roman Empire (313 AD – 476 AD)
Key Dates
•313: The Edict of Milan declares the Roman Empire neutral towards religious views, in effect ending the persecution of Christians.
•314-35 Pope St Sylvester
•c 325: The Arian controversy erupts in Alexandria, causing widespread violence and disruptions among Christians, inspiring Constantine to evoke
•325: The First Council of Nicaea, which establishes the Nicene Creed, declaring the belief of orthodox Trinitarian Christians in the Holy Trinity. • 336 – St Marcus
•337-52 St Julius I
•352-366 Pope Liberius
•366-383 Pope St Damasus
•November 24, 380: Emperor Theodosius I is baptised a Christian and declares Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.
•382: The Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I sets the Canon of the Bible, listing the accepted books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. No others are to be considered scripture. See also Biblical Canon.
•391: The Theodosian decrees outlaw most Pagan rituals still practiced in Rome, thereby encouraging much of the population to convert to Christianity.
•400: Jerome’s Vulgate Latin Bible translation is published. This is a highly influential compilation of Old Testament and New Testament bible books that become the basis for the Bible which is known today.
•431: The Council of Ephesus declares that Jesus existed both as Man and God simultaneously, clarifying his status in the Holy Trinity. The meaning of the Nicene Creed is also declared a permanent holy text of the early church.
September 4, 476: Emperor Romulus Augustus is deposed in Rome, marked by many as the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The focus of the early Church switches to expanding in the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, with its capitol at Constantinople. Eventually the Church splits into Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism …………

To correct and clarify your data:
October 28, 312: Emperor Constantine won the war with Cross and converts to Christianity.
Constantine was a christian convert just like the original followers of Jesus, the gentiles.
November 24, 380: Emperor Theodosius I is baptised a Christian and declares Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. It was Theodosius who declared Christianity as state religion of the roman empire.

Thank you for posting in this thread … while accusing the catholics of inventing 1+1+1=1 … which unfortunately is not from catholic at all … but the source of this equation is from an skeptic

rather … on my part I apply

1 LOVE
1 MERCY IS 1 GOD
1 TRUTH

We dont put the “+” sign because this makes the equation illogically human.

Care to visit a seperate thread in this forum … entitled … IISANG DIYOS … TATLONG PERSONA …

that is, if you know tagalog …

most of us catholics agree … GOD is really infinite … you cannot put the sign (+) making GOD … finite.

I agree with you though .. that some catholics doubt this … especially those who counts by their fingers. Most non-catholics here do that same manner of counting.

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DOMINUS TECUM
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yup…thst is true…trinity is true!

the plus sign will surely make God finite, try using “ANDING” if you are famili@r with boolean logic.

Father and Son and Holy Spirit = ONE GOD
1 and 1 and 1 = 1
1 X 1 x 1 = 1

in the name of the Father, and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT

not…in the name of the Father plus the SON plus THE HOLY SPIRIT because this will result in three GODS which will violate the first commandment.

if Jesus is not God and the Holy spirit is not God why the write the name of The SON and The Holy Spirit together with the name of The Father?

TRINITY…believe it or not, it is your choice but catholics and mainstream protestants believes in the bible and the testimonies about the holy trinity.

I truly did not understand the Trinity until i found this article:
1. The deity of Christ is taught in Scripture.
In Matthew 1:23, Christ is called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”
When Thomas touched Jesus’ wounds, after the resurrection, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). There is no basis whatsoever for saying, as some JW’s say, that Thomas was referring to Christ when he said “my Lord” but was referring to God (Jehovah) when he said “my God.” Instead, Thomas called Christ both his Lord and his God. And Christ did not correct him! Colossians 2:9 clearly confirms the deity of Christ when it states that in Him “all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily” (New World Translation). Stephen called Jesus “Lord” (Acts 7:59,60), and we are to confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9; I Cor. 12:3). “Lord” in these verses is Kurios, which is the Greek word for Jehovah in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament. It is evident from this that Christ the Lord (kurios) is Jehovah God.
2. Attributes of Christ show that He is God.
Jesus Christ knows all things (John 1:48; 2:25; 6:64; 14:30; 21:17). He is all-powerful (Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:3), sinless (John 8:46), eternal (Mic. 5:2), and unchanging (Heb. 13:8). Since only God possesses these attributes, Christ must be God.
3. Certain works of Christ show that He is God.
Jesus Christ has the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7; Eph. 1:7), give eternal life (John 10:28; 17:2), judge the world (John 5:22, 27), and control nature (Matt. 8:26). Since only God can do these things, Christ must be God.
4. Christ received worship as God.
Jesus is worshipped by the angels (Heb. 1:6) and by man (Matt. 14:33), and yet only God is to be worshipped (Ex. 34:14). Christ Himself said that worship is due to God alone (Matt. 4:10), and yet He accepted worship. If Jesus in His pre-existent state were the archangel Michael, how could He have received worship, since angels are not allowed to receive worship (Rev. 19:10)? If Christ were not God, then worshipping Him would be idolatrous.
5. Jesus Christ is called “the mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6.
JW’s have a ready answer for this verse. They explain that Christ is “the mighty god” but not “the almighty.” They say that Christ is the mighty, never the almighty and that Jehovah is the almighty God, never the mighty. However, Jeremiah 32:18 shows that Jehovah is the mighty One. Therefore, since Christ is the mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) and Jehovah is the mighty God (Jer. 32:18), they are both God. They both possess full deity.

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SHOULD YOU BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY?

 My SOURCE in this thread and in others that I post is a Watch Tower publication which adheres to the BIBLE as its AUTHORITY. As you will see, every claim and/or expose’ the Watch Tower makes is heavily supported with the HOLY SCRIPTURES, the Living Word of JEHOVAH GOD. To distinguish what is copy/paste from Watchtower.org, I will place my personal comments in these symbols: {my comments}. Unless there are questions from those genuinely seeking the truth, you’ll probably see very little of it. Thanks for reading.

TRINITY

Definition: The central doctrine of religions of Christendom. According to the Athanasian Creed, there are three divine Persons (the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost), each said to be eternal, each said to be almighty, none greater or less than another, each said to be God, and yet together being but one God. Other statements of the dogma emphasize that these three “Persons” are not separate and distinct individuals but are three modes in which the divine essence exists. Thus some Trinitarians emphasize their belief that Jesus Christ is God, or that Jesus and the Holy Ghost are Jehovah. THIS IS NOT A BIBLE TEACHING.

HOW DID THE TRINITY DOCTRINE DEVELOP?

At this point you might ask: ‘If the Trinity is not a Biblical teaching, how did it become a doctrine of Christendom?’ Many think that it was formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. That is not totally correct, however. The Council of Nicaea did assert that Christ was of the same substance as God, which laid the groundwork for later Trinitarian theology. But it did not establish the Trinity, for at that council there was no mention of the holy spirit as the third person of a triune Godhead.

{You are invited to visit the thread: APOSTASY: CONTRASTING CHRISTENDOM AND FIRST-CENTURY CHRISTIANITY. Next will be: Constantine’s Role at Nicaea. Please don’t miss it.}

The word Trinity is not in the Bible

Some critics of the Trinity doctrine claim that since the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible, it isn’t true. Furthermore, some assert that if God wanted us to believe in the Trinity He would have stated the doctrine clearly.

First of all, it is illogical to claim that since the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible that its concept is not taught therein. This kind of objection usually demonstrates a prejudice against the teaching of the Trinity. Instead, the person should look to God’s word to see if it is taught or not.

Second, there are many biblical concepts that people believe in that don’t have a specific word describing them used in the Bible. For example, the word “bible” is not found in the Bible, but we use it anyway to describe the Bible. Likewise, the words “omniscience,” which means “all knowing,” “omnipotence,” which means “all powerful,” and “omnipresence,” which means “present everywhere,” are words not found in the Bible either, but we use them to describe the attributes of God. We don’t have to see a specific word in the Bible in order for the concept it describes to be true.

Following are other words that the Bible does not use but the concepts are mentioned.

Atheism is the teaching that there is no God.”The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

Divinity which means divine quality or godlike character. Yet, we speak of the godlike quality of the Lord God. See Psalm 139.

Incarnation which means the word (God) who became flesh. Yet, this is definitely taught in the Bible (John 1:1,14).

Monotheism is the teaching that there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:8).

Rapture is the teaching that the Christians who are alive when Jesus returns will be caught up to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-18).

So, to say that the Trinity isn’t true because the word isn’t in the Bible is an invalid argument. Furthermore, to say that if God wanted us to believe in the Trinity He would have clearly taught it in scripture, is also an invalid argument. Something does not have to be clearly formulated in the Bible to be valid. Not all things taught in the Bible are perfectly clear. Take a look at the book of Revelation. It contains many things that are cryptic that must be interpreted after examining all of the Bible.

Even then, there are disagreements as to what some things mean. Yet, we know that the truths there are true whether or not we discover them.

Nevertheless, there are scriptures that demonstrate a Trinitarian aspect.

Matt. 28:18, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

2 Cor. 13:14, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

Eph. 4:4-7, There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

jude 20-21, “but you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the holy spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of god, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our lord jesus christ to eternal life.”

SHOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?

DO YOU believe in the Trinity? Most people in Christendom do. After all, it has been the central doctrine of the churches for centuries.

In view of this, you would think that there could be no question about it. But there is, and lately even some of its supporters have added fuel to the controversy.

Why should a subject like this be of any more than passing interest? Because Jesus himself said: “Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” So our entire future hinges on our knowing the true nature of God, and that means getting to the root of the Trinity controversy. Therefore, why not examine it for yourself?—John 17:3, Catholic Jerusalem Bible (JB).

Various Trinitarian concepts exist. But generally the Trinity teaching is that in the Godhead there are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet, together they are but one God. The doctrine says that the three are coequal, almighty, and uncreated, having existed eternally in the Godhead.

Others, however, say that the Trinity doctrine is false, that Almighty God stands alone as a separate, eternal, and all-powerful being. They say that Jesus in his prehuman existence was, like the angels, a separate spirit person created by God, and for this reason he must have had a beginning. They teach that Jesus has never been Almighty God’s equal in any sense; he has always been subject to God and still is. They also believe that the holy ghost is not a person but God’s spirit, his active force.

Supporters of the Trinity say that it is founded not only on religious tradition but also on the Bible. Critics of the doctrine say that it is not a Bible teaching, one history source even declaring: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”—The Paganism in Our Christianity.

If the Trinity is true, it is degrading to Jesus to say that he was never equal to God as part of a Godhead. But if the Trinity is false, it is degrading to Almighty God to call anyone his equal, and even worse to call Mary the “Mother of God.” If the Trinity is false, it dishonors God to say, as noted in the book Catholicism: “Unless [people] keep this Faith whole and undefiled, without doubt [they] shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this: we worship one God in Trinity.”

There are good reasons, then, why you should want to know the truth about the Trinity. But before examining its origin and its claim of truthfulness, it would be helpful to define this doctrine more specifically. What, exactly, is the Trinity? How do supporters of it explain it?

HOW IS THE TRINITY EXPLAINED?

THE Roman Catholic Church states: “The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion . . . Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: ‘the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.’ In this Trinity . . . the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Nearly all other churches in Christendom agree. For example, the Greek Orthodox Church also calls the Trinity “the fundamental doctrine of Christianity,” even saying: “Christians are those who accept Christ as God.” In the book Our Orthodox Christian Faith, the same church declares: “God is triune. . . . The Father is totally God. The Son is totally God. The Holy Spirit is totally God.”

Thus, the Trinity is considered to be “one God in three Persons.” Each is said to be without beginning, having existed for eternity. Each is said to be almighty, with each neither greater nor lesser than the others.

Is such reasoning hard to follow? Many sincere believers have found it to be confusing, contrary to normal reason, unlike anything in their experience. How, they ask, could the Father be God, Jesus be God, and the holy spirit be God, yet there be not three Gods but only one God?

“BEYOND THE GRASP OF HUMAN REASON”

THIS confusion is widespread. The Encyclopedia Americana notes that the doctrine of the Trinity is considered to be “beyond the grasp of human reason.”

Many who accept the Trinity view it that same way. Monsignor Eugene Clark says: “God is one, and God is three. Since there is nothing like this in creation, we cannot understand it, but only accept it.” Cardinal John O’Connor states: “We know that it is a very profound mystery, which we don’t begin to understand.” And Pope John Paul II speaks of “the inscrutable mystery of God the Trinity.”

Thus, A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge says: “Precisely what that doctrine is, or rather precisely how it is to be explained, Trinitarians are not agreed among themselves.”

The disciples of Jesus were the humble common people, not the religious leaders.

We can understand, then, why the New Catholic Encyclopedia observes: “There are few teachers of Trinitarian theology in Roman Catholic seminaries who have not been badgered at one time or another by the question, ‘But how does one preach the Trinity?’ And if the question is symptomatic of confusion on the part of the students, perhaps it is no less symptomatic of similar confusion on the part of their professors.”

The truth of that observation can be verified by going to a library and examining books that support the Trinity. Countless pages have been written attempting to explain it. Yet, after struggling through the labyrinth of confusing theological terms and explanations, investigators still come away unsatisfied.

In this regard, Jesuit Joseph Bracken observes in his book What Are They Saying About the Trinity?: “Priests who with considerable effort learned . . . the Trinity during their seminary years naturally hesitated to present it to their people from the pulpit, even on Trinity Sunday. . . . Why should one bore people with something that in the end they wouldn’t properly understand anyway?” He also says: “The Trinity is a matter of formal belief, but it has little or no [effect] in day-to-day Christian life and worship.” Yet, it is “the central doctrine” of the churches!

Catholic theologian Hans Küng observes in his book Christianity and the World Religions that the Trinity is one reason why the churches have been unable to make any significant headway with non-Christian peoples. He states: “Even well-informed Muslims simply cannot follow, as the Jews thus far have likewise failed to grasp, the idea of the Trinity. . . . The distinctions made by the doctrine of the Trinity between one God and three hypostases do not satisfy Muslims, who are confused, rather than enlightened, by theological terms derived from Syriac, Greek, and Latin. Muslims find it all a word game. . . . Why should anyone want to add anything to the notion of God’s oneness and uniqueness that can only dilute or nullify that oneness and uniqueness?”

“NOT A GOD OF CONFUSION”

HOW could such a confusing doctrine originate? The Catholic Encyclopedia claims: “A dogma so mysterious presupposes a Divine revelation.” Catholic scholars Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler state in their Theological Dictionary: “The Trinity is a mystery . . . in the strict sense . . . , which could not be known without revelation, and even after revelation cannot become wholly intelligible.”

However, contending that since the Trinity is such a confusing mystery, it must have come from divine revelation creates another major problem. Why? Because divine revelation itself does not allow for such a view of God: “God is not a God of confusion.”—1 Corinthians 14:33, Revised Standard Version (RS).

In view of that statement, would God be responsible for a doctrine about himself that is so confusing that even Hebrew, Greek, and Latin scholars cannot really explain it?

Furthermore, do people have to be theologians ‘to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent’? (John 17:3, JB) If that were the case, why did so few of the educated Jewish religious leaders recognize Jesus as the Messiah? His faithful disciples were, instead, humble farmers, fishermen, tax collectors, housewives. Those common people were so certain of what Jesus taught about God that they could teach it to others and were even willing to die for their belief.—Matthew 15:1-9; 21:23-32, 43; 23:13-36; John 7:45-49; Acts 4:13.

Does the Watchtower say
the Bible teaches the Trinity?

The Watchtower organization claims to be the Faithful and Discreet Slave spoken of in Matthew 24:45.

“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.” (the watchtower, feb. 15, 1981.) (see the quote in context.)

all who want to understand the bible should appreciate that the “greatly diversified wisdom of god” can become known only through jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave. the watchtower; 10/1/1994; p. 8.

this watchtower organization, the faithful and discreet slave, claims to the means by which god communicates his truth to us in this world. therefore, by deduction, what the watchtower says is truth. alright, let’s take a look at one quote from the watchtower.

“from time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of jehovah’s people those, who, like the original satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude…they say that it is sufficient to read the bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. but, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,’ they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago…” (The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, p. 29). (See the quote in context.)

The Watchtower says that the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the physical resurrection of Christ are all false doctrines. Yet, the Watchtower says that if you read the Bible by itself you will end up believing these doctrines. In other words, if you read the Bible by itself, then you will become a Trinitarian, believe that Jesus is God, and believe that Jesus rose from the dead physically. Why is that? Could it be because the Bible teaches these things? So I ask the Jehovah’s Witnesses, what is it in the Bible that would lead someone to this conclusion? Again, what is in the Bible that reading it by itself would lead you to believe in the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and His physical resurrection?

This quote from the Watchtower is proof that it is teaching contrary to the natural reading of the Bible and that it is controlling the beliefs of those who follow it.

Dear Agwanta,

I ask an apology if I have to make my comment without fully reading your posts because they are too lengthy. But don’t worry. One time I will go one by one with your point.

But for now, let me quote some verses that will support the Triune God, the Three-Godhead, or the Trinity.

Let us examine how God showed Himself in three manifestations.

THE FATHER THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

1 John 5:7-8 (king james version)

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

1 John 5:7-8 (New international version)

7For there are three that testify: 8the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

Footnotes:

1 John 5:8 Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)

BAPTIZING IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

THE FATHER, THE WORD (JESUS), AND THE HOLY SPIRIT (THE COUNSELLOR)

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

John 16:7-8

7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:

THE FATHER AND JESUS ARE ONE

John 14: 8-10

8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

THE PERSONS DURING THE CREATIONS:

Genesis 1:2

1. The Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2)

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

2. God the Father (Genesis 1:3 and so on)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness….

3. Jesus (Genesis 1:3 and so on)

And God “”””said””””, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the ”
darkness.

The very Word of the the Father was Jesus who encarnated as Man (in John 1:1-3&14)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[d] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, …..

TAKE NOTE OT THE WORD “LET US”

GOD SHOWS HIMSELF IN THREE MANIFESTATIONS.

THIS IS THE MYSTERY OF GOD AND WE CANNOT FATHOM IT.

IT IS HIS DIVINE PREROGATIVE TO SHOW IN SUCH A WAY… AND WE SHOULD NOT QUESTION THAT…

THERE IS ONE GOD IN THREE GODHEAD… THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE EQUALITY OF JESUS WITH GOD

Philippians 2:5-7

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

Footnotes:

Philippians 2:6 Or in the form of
Philippians 2:7 Or the form

This verse will show us that, indeed, Jesus is in His very nature, God and in equality with God. However, for the purpose of redemption, by which He had to wear the human form, He did not consider himself equality with God, instead, He made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

After reading all the references in the Bible of the existence of the Truine God, Jesus as God, The Holy Spirit as God, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as one, this is my conclusion.

The completeness of God will be found in these three manifestations: God being the Father, God being the Son (which is actually His Word which encarnated as His Son), and God being the Holy Spirit. That, if you take away one of them, or you put one of them in lower rank, you are mutilating the wholeness of God. Just like a body with its head, torso and lower abdomen down. You will not live without one of it. They are equally important to live.

But of course, God is powerful, He can do anything in any form (But the Word of God clearly manisfested in these).

I do believe that in His infinite wisdom, He has to manifest in such that way, in order to reach out the sinners. Each of His three manisfestations will have their own functions.

Him sitting on His throne so that Satan cannot get it.

Jesus to reach out the sinners. God the Father is Holy. He cannot cannot directly mingle with us. Sin has separated us from Him. How could He reach out people into Him? So, He needed to come up with the grand plan of salvation by sending His own Son in human form, in order to reach out human race. He had been later on, became the sacrificial lamb.

The function of the Holy Spirit is clear and is also equally important. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to serve as the Counsellor of the believers. He is the one who convict the believers of their sins and gives them the Godly inspirations. He is the one who commune with the our spirit.

So because of the Son and the Holy Spirit, it is now possible for God the Father to reunite us to Him, to communion with the believers. And to let His love be felt by those who love Him. And forgiveness had been very possible.

This statement is only my opinion: that the Holy Spirit represents the power of God which is omnipresent (God is everywhere), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipotent (powerful and responsible for miracles of God). I hope a reader can help me clear my conscience for this statement.

There is a parallelism of this to our personal life.

I am a father to my kids

I am a husband to my wife

I am a son to my parents

For each of these, I do various functions and wear different personalities. But the fact is, there is only one I am.

ANOTHER:

You will feel my existence in three ways:

By my words (be it it spoken, written, sign language)

By my presence

By what I do (action)

SO, TRINITY, WHILE THE WORD IS NOT WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE, THE SPIRIT OF THE IDEA IS CLEARLY WRITTEN.

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Homily – Trinity Sunday – Year C

Buzzword – “To believe or not to Believe” – with apologies to Shakespeare! Science v Faith! Can they coexist? Religion draws its strength by answering “Yes”. Both are directed to finding the truth, and each should concern itself with its own province. Science relates to the physical world, whilst religion seeks to deal with the spiritual needs of creation. Today’s feast of the Trinity focuses our attention upon this aspect of “mystery” in our belief

– Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three Persons, but One God.

Proverbs 8:22-31 – The author looks at the universe in all its majesty, harmony and beauty to draw conclusions about the Creator of this wonder.

Romans 5:1-5 – Whatever the trials and disappointments we encounter in life, we need to draw on an unswerving faith in God’s love for creation of which we humans are the elect.

John 16: 12-15 – The visible expression of this Divine Love became present in the person of Christ called Emmanuel – God with us; through Him, the Father speaks to all who will listen. Our insight into this unity of the Father and the Son is deepened under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Introduction: During the week, a fair amount of publicity has been given to a visiting American Episcopalian bishop with the head line – Christianity must change or it will die! In addition to several particular hobby horses such as homosexuality and women priests, the good Bishop maintains that the Divinity of Christ, the Resurrection, and the Virgin Birth, are due for revision because they are “unreasonable”. Now, it may well be argued that certain perceptions of Christianity, as it has come to be interpreted, may need to change; but to change beliefs on which Christianity has been founded is to set the stage to make it irrelevant to the major concerns of the day. By turning what the writers of the Gospels and creeds considered to be statements of fact into “unreasonable” demands on human credulity, is to marginalise the role of “Faith” as a stepping stone to “Truth”. Faith and Science are not exclusive of each in the quest for Truth. They complement each other where it is recognised that so much of life and living cannot be put under the microscope or reduced to scientific formulae. It is to such areas of relationships that religion can, and does, bring new insights. The relationship of Creator and creature – made in the image of God to know love and to serve so as to enjoy eternal union with the Author of Life; the relationship of person to person – do unto others!; creature to creation – to use and not to abuse.

Watering down these basic tenets of Faith is not the answer to today’s problems any more that it has been in the past when the same objections were made, and believers such as Justin the Martyr in the 2nd century, Origen in the 3rd century, Augustine in the 4th lifted their voices in defence of the meaning of the Scriptures. Or again when St. Thomas Aquinas established the respective roles of the Theologian and the Philospher. Certainly mistakes have been made when one discipline sought to intrude into the other’s province – the classical example being that of Galileo; or, the other side of the coin, the increasing number of scientists who, despite incredible advances, now recognise the limitations of “pure” science to deal with life in its fullness.

Today’s celebration is to remind us that at the heart of the Christian Faith is God’s love visibly shown in the person of Christ, who called God “Abba” Father, and claimed unity with the Father, and assured those who accepted Him that they would be constantly strengthened by the influence of the Holy Spirit, until that day when, through death, they would be caught up in the fullness of that love.

Scriptural reference: [John 5:24] Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

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Homily for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity – Year C – Jn. 16:12-15

by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

” Jesus said to his disciples: «I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.» “

Homily:

” Jesus said to his disciples: «I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.» “

Each time we make the sign of the cross, as we did at the beginning of this celebration, we say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” But do we truly understand what we are saying? I do not believe so… The reason for this is that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we invoke constitute what we must call a Mystery: the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Now, a mystery is precisely something that one does not understand. This does not mean that we are unable to express anything at all concerning this reality; on the contrary, we are able, thanks to what Jesus told us, to describe this mystery a little and to grasp it through comparisons and images.

The Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, which we celebrate today, consists of this: the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three gods, but only one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the Mystery of the Trinity of Persons in the one God. If one were to seek for a comparison in order to try to grasp a little of this mystery, the only one that is completely adequate is that which Jesus himself gave us, when he said: “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.” (Jn. 6:57) This is a comparison between the Most Holy Trinity and the union of the various persons who make up the Mystical Body of Christ.

” «For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.» “

The Father is at the origin of the Most Holy Trinity: he is its principle. The Father gives life to his Son: from all eternity, the Father begets his Son. The Son continuously receives life from his Father: “I live because of the Father.” (Jn. 6:57) The Son is begotten by the Father and thus he is God, like him. Now, to be God is to be perfect and to lack nothing: it is to have everything in perfection. So, when the Father begets his Son, he gives him all that he has, as God: “All that the Father has is mine.” (Jn. 16:15) But the Son is not the Father, and the Father is not the Son; and yet both are but a single God.

The same applies to Eucharistic communion. Jesus gives us his life, under the form of food, and we become sons of God by participation: the Body of Christ which enters into us makes us into the (mystical) Body of Christ. But Jesus is not us, and we are not Jesus; and yet we are all but one Mystical Body.

When the Son receives everything from the Father, he becomes similar to the Father, sharing what is proper to his Father. This is why Saint Paul says of the Son that he is the Image of the Father (cf. Col. 1:15). But then, the Son can do nothing other than imitate his Father and render to him all that the Father gives him in begetting him. This is what we do in Eucharistic communion when we give thanks (render grace) to the Lord who enters into us: the graces that come from him, we render to him!

In rendering to the Father what comes from him, the Son should be able to imitate the Father by, he too, begetting a divine Person. If the Father begets the Son by giving him all that he has, then the Son, for his part, should also beget a divine Person by giving back to the Father all that he has received from him. As the Father exists, this divine Person begotten by the Son cannot be the Father: in all truth, it is the Father who begets the Son, and not the Son who begets the Father. Also, the divine Person that the Son would be able to beget is, in reality, begotten by the Father, through his Son. This divine Person is similar to the Father to some extent, and it is said to be spirated by the Father and the Son. This divine Person is called the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father” (Jn. 15:26). The Holy Spirit is not the Father and he is not the Son, but all three are a single God.

In Eucharistic communion, when we give thanks (render grace) to the Lord Jesus, we cannot beget Christ. But the Lord allows this grace to benefit the growth of his Mystical Body, and thus produce the birth of a new member of the Church. Here too, another person is born, another person who, with Christ and with us, forms the one Mystical Body of Christ.

Finally, if there is a spirit that presides over the whole of this Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, it is the spirit of love, for it is truly love that leads the Father to give to his Son all that he has, and similarly, it is love that leads the Son to give back to his Father what he had been given by him. This is why the Holy Spirit is nothing other than the Love of God personified.

We, too, when we give thanks (render grace) to the Lord when it enters into us under the species of the bread and wine, we prove to him all of our love, and the grace of God becomes, for us, “charity”! All of us are then but one Body of Christ in the Love of God! As Saint Paul says in today’s epistle: “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Rm. 5:5)

With the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church, let us give thanks to the thrice holy God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! May we all, through Mary and with Her, have in our hearts some of the joy and love of God the Trinity!

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Experiencing the Triune God

 By Fr. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

LOURDES, France – The story is told about how Augustine (354387 AD, Africa), then a bishop, was grappling with the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. This happened after his conversion from a playboy life and after he bantered: “Lord, make me chaste but not yet.”

Absorbed in thought one day, the brilliant bishop was walking along the seashore and saw a lad scooping water from the sea and filling up a little pit.

* * *

Augustine asked the boy what he was doing. To which he replied, “I am transferring the ocean into this hole.” Augustine laughed aloud, and said, “Transferring the vast sea into such a hole, that’s impossible!”

And the boy, who was actually an angel, said, “And that’s what you are doing. In trying to unravel the mystery of the Holy Trinity, you’re like transferring the ocean into a hole.

* * *

Tomorrow is the feast of the Holy Trinity, the doctrine that there are three distinct Persons but only one God.

How can we say that there are three distinct persons but only one God? Or, how can we explain that the Father and the Son are so close that their love is a person – the Holy Spirit?

* * *

We may try to illustrate this by concrete symbols like a triangle having three corners but is only one figure or a three-in-one coffee but, by no means, can we do justice to the mystery.

The Church teaches this doctrine because Jesus Himself revealed it as recorded in the Bible. He said: “The Father and I are one.” Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus commanded His apostles: “Go to the whole world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.”

* * *

Knowing the doctrine of the Trinity helps us to understand who God is.

However, what is far more important is a knowledge that leads us to a closer personal friendship with God and a Christ-like relationship with our fellowmen.

There are brilliant minds who can prove the existence of God as an Unmoved Mover, but can be unmoved by the plight of their suffering neighbors.

* * *

Helen Keller, the American Catholic author and lecturer who was deaf and blind from infancy, once remarked, “I find life an exciting business–and most exciting when it is lived for others.” Keller is saying, we experience God when we reach out to others.

A businessman once wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper, thanking a certain TV personality for having helped him when his car stalled somewhere along Katipunan Road, Quezon City.

* * *

According to him, the man, who looked well-dressed, stopped and asked what was wrong. “When I couldn’t start my car after several attempts, the Good Samaritan offered to tow it to the nearest shop with his own car which was brandnew!

“After the kind gesture, I asked for his name to thank him,” the businessman said. “I couldn’t believe it, but it was Pepe Pimentel, that long-time host of the TV program, ‘Kwarta o Kahon’!”

* * *

Acts of kindness may not be in the form of towing a car only. It could be sympathetic listening to a troubled officemate or relative, a sincere praise, compliment or a kind word, an unsolicited material help (with no strings attached!), or condoling with a bereaved family.

* * *

We can experience the Triune God, too, by living together in peace and harmony. In other words, where love, caring and unity reign, God is there.

Let’s ask ourselves: Are our families and society genuine communities of love reflecting the Trinitarian family?

Are we aware that what counts in the end is not so much intellectual knowledge of the Holy Trinity or even wealth and fame as a faith that’s active in love?

May the feast of the Holy Trinity serve as a reminder and our guiding Light.

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Feast of the Holy Trinity: The mystery of the communion of three persons in love

 TODAY, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. Every Sunday is, in a very real sense, dedicated to God and, therefore, every Sunday is Trinity Sunday. But since the 1300s, the Christian Church has celebrated, on the Sunday immediately following Pentecost, a feast dedicated to the Holy Trinity, to help all believers focus more explicitly on who God is.

One thing that can be said about the Holy Trinity is that it is a mystery we cannot ever fully comprehend. This is one of the messages that Pope Benedict XVI has preached through symbol since the beginning of his papacy. His papal shield prominently features a sea shell which comes from a story in the life of St. Augustine, on whom our Holy Father did his doctorate 50 years ago. St. Augustine, the great North African convert, bishop, and theologian of the 5th century, was trying to come to grips with the Trinity for what later on became his multi-volume work “De Trinitate.” As he was walking along the beach, trying to take in God’s infinity through the infinite horizon of the sea, he saw a young girl going back and forth into the sea, filling a scallop shell with water that she proceeded to pour into a hole she had dug in the sand. “What are you doing,” Augustine asked her. “I’m trying to empty the sea into his hole,” the child replied. “How do you think that with a little shell,” Augustine retorted, “you can possibly empty this immense ocean into a tiny hole?” The little girl countered, “And how do you, with your small head, think you can comprehend the immensity of God?” As soon as the girl said this, she disappeared, convincing Augustine that she had been an angel. St. Augustine, as erudite as he was, and our new Holy Father, as great a theologian as He is, both recognize that before the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, one can never understand everything.

Nonetheless, this does not mean we cannot understand anything about the Holy Trinity. Over the course of human history, most people have believed in some form of God, some form of Creator, some form of supernatural agency in the world. God has graced the Jews with the revelation that there is truly only one God. Jesus, for his part, further revealed the true nature of God: That while God is one and there is no other God but Him, God is likewise a mystery of the communion of three Persons in love – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This Trinity Sunday is a chance for us to once again hear God calling us to live up to our dignity as His children and enter more deeply into communion with Him and with other persons. Out of love, God has created us in His image, made us capable of receiving His own love and life within, and given us the joyful privilege of sharing it with others.

Today we thank God for that gift and that calling, and ask Him for all the help He knows we need so that we might truly be men and women in a communion of love and say, by words and deeds, “Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end.” Amen.

MB 6-3-2007

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Trinity Sunday Based on the Epistle

Proverbs 8:22-31

Romans 5:1-5

John 16:12-15

Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp

Life In the Trinity

 The Easter season is over. It was concluded last Sunday with the Pentecost. Today we return to Sundays in Ordinary Time. If there is one theme that marks the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year, it is the theme of growth in Christian living. The liturgical colour green symbolizes life and growth, as we know from nature. Ordinary Time will take us to the end of the liturgical year. If the theme of the Ordinary Time is growth, why then does the church choose to come back to it with the solemnity of the Blessed Trinity? Growth is a practical, everyday concern but the Trinity seems to be high up there, a matter of theological and philosophical profundity.

The best explanation I can find why the church brings us back to the ordinary time of the year with the feast of the Holy Trinity is in the words of the French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” The church is presenting us with the big picture of the “endless immensity of the sea” we call God. When we are personally caught up in the mystery of the love of God, then we shall find the rationale and the motivation to work for our personal growth in Christian living.

Our second reading from Romans 5:1-5 links belief in the Trinity with the daily practice of Christian living. In this passage Paul speaks of the whole business of our justification and salvation as having peace with God. Being in right relationship with God our Father is the whole point of the Christian life. Paul is quick to add that the way to achieve this is through Christ.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

Our goal is to be at one with God. This is attained through Christ in whom we have access to the Father. Our hope is to share in God’s glory. This hope is nourished by our faith in Christ which justifies us.

Our hope to share in God’s glory in the future is not based on wishful thinking. It is based on the fact that even now God has already given us the surety or assurance of what is to come by pouring out the love of God into our hearts:

And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Note that the love of God is poured into our heart through the Holy Spirit. Christian life is, therefore, not possible without a relationship with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and his Holy Spirit. This is one big difference between the Christian religion and other religions. Whereas other religions present salvation and godliness solely as a matter between the individual believer and God, the Christian religion agrees that it is indeed a matter between the individual and God and adds that we have two heavenly advocates on our side. First we have our Lord Jesus Christ who redeems us and reconciles us to the Father. And then we also have “another advocate” who carries on the work of our sanctification.

The business is not over the moment we believe in Christ and are justified before God. In fact the business of being a Christian has only begun. From then on, the rest of our lives should be devoted to the business of sanctification, the process of being holy as God is holy. This is where the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of whom we celebrated last Sunday, becomes the guiding principle of our lives. Through the Spirit God’s love is poured into our hearts, through the Spirit we learn to love God and our neighbour as Jesus teaches us. As we return to Ordinary Time and to the daily challenges of living the Christian life, let us know that we are not alone in the struggle. God the Father is on our side, Jesus Christ the Son of God is on our side, the Holy Spirit the Power of God Most High is on our side. Now this is hope, this is hope that never disappoints.

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle C

 Homily # 1

Three, and the first session was simply wonderful.   Our professor gave an impassioned presentation on the nature of mystery, our human inability to comprehend it, our call to be humble before God, and a number of other things I can’t remember, every one of them generating awe and gratitude at being allowed to seek God at all. However, in every class after that we were expected to read the books, understand the texts and the Councils and give back to the professor all and only RIGHT answers.    Whatever sense of mystery we began with was now swallowed up in grades and evaluations of our abilities to get the Trinity “right.”

How different is the genius of liturgy, the yearly change in choice of prayers and readings and music and decoration.   Of course, the liturgy is meant to touch and bless our minds; even more, however, not unlike a weekly Pentecost, the liturgy is meant to spark and fire our spiritual imagination, drawing forth from the depths of our souls responses of awe, amazement, joy, gratitude, AND willingness to give our lives in service to our God and each other.

So, what about this year?    Proverbs, Romans, John . . . they’re all about “pouring out.”    God pouring Self out in Word; God and Word pouring forth creation,  the Spirit pouring forth faith and strength and character, God pouring out the Spirit, to help us pour ourselves out.    I think of the pouring of baptismal water, the pouring of the wine before Communion, the pouring of water when Jesus washed his disciples feet, the pouring of oil by the woman who anointed Jesus before his death.    All the pourings lavish and rich and abundant.

And, indeed, is this the very nature of God, One and Three?    One God Who is Full Relationship.   God pouring out Self, pouring out abundance, pouring out love, pouring out creation, pouring out salvation. Jesus pouring out his blood, pouring out his teaching, pouring out his love.     Not a God who hoards, who holds back, but a God whose very essence and being is to generously pour out . . .

The great American dream is vacation, time off, retirement, as if saving is the most important dimension of a person.     In much of the pop psychology and theology of the day, we are warned to take care of ourselves . . . even if it means to neglect others.    We are taught to hoard and self protect; but, when did you ever feel as good about yourself as when you’ve been generous.   Isn’t it true that your best moments, your moments of greatest satisfaction are when you have been generous, self sacrificing, helpful, caring for others?     Do you think you learned that from God, from Jesus, from the fact that it is written into your nature by creation that pouring out is God’s way?

At a time when Jesus was proclaiming the blessedness of carrying one’s cross and following in his footsteps, he said “any one of you who would preserve your life, cling to it, hoard your blessings and gifts, you will lose it.    On the other hand, any one of you who would pour yourself out for me, for your brothers and sisters, you will find and save yourself.”

The week ahead . . . be mindful of all the different kinds of pourings you do:    water, coffee, wine, etc.    Watch the flow, enjoy the spills.    Open your own cup/self to the receive the outpourings of God’s love, hope, peace, courage.    And, then pour out your own life in service, in justice, in compassion, in love.


Homily # 2

There is no prayer used more frequently than the sign of the cross, and it often comes as a surprise to the Christian that it took several hundred years for the Church to arrive at a knowledge about the Trinity stable enough to define the Trinity as a dogma requiring belief.

The Trinity is a mystery – probably the most profound mystery of Christianity. Yet there would be no point in God revealing mysteries to us unless there is at least some aspect of them that we can understand.   And we do find two key elements in this mystery that the human mind can grasp.

The first is the fact that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct, different from one another. They are unique individuals. To help us understand that uniqueness, God has revealed to us three separate functions that are carried out by the three persons.  He has told us that it is proper to attribute to God the Father the work of creation; to God the son, the work of Redemption, of reconciling, of healing. And to the Holy Spirit, the work of guidance in truth, the work of teaching. The second feature about the Trinity that is understandable, is that while each person is different from the other, those three persons live in community. God is a family.

Sacred Scripture says that you and I are made to the image and likeness of God. And so it is not surprising that you and I have the same two qualities of God that we just described. First, we have a craving to be unique, to be ourselves, to be different, to make our own special imprint on history. We don’t want to be clones. We want to be seen and accepted as special individuals. Second, like God we have the tendency to want to be in community. It is not good for man to be alone. No one is an island; we are all part of the main. We resist isolation. We are social beings; we want to live with others.

And so fundamentally, in the core of our being, we are like God, for the simple reason that the same qualities which exist in God are found in us. We have a drive to be unique, and we have another drive to be in community with others.

Beyond these basic likenesses, each of us is called to become more like God throughout our lives. Like God the Father, we are called upon to be productive, creative persons. To contribute to the building up of the fabric of our family, our church, our community and our nation. We do not imitate God when we destroy, shred, unravel, whether we are talking about our neighbor’s reputation, or the social order to which he belongs. Like God the Son, we are called upon to reconcile, to be peacemakers, to put back together that which has been broken, to restore what has been shattered. And like God the Holy Spirit, it is our task to uncover truth, to dispel ignorance, to teach.   And when we teach, to do so in an encouraging way, not with force and not with an air of superiority.

When I do these things, when I am productive, when I reconcile, when I teach, then I am imitating God and that means I am becoming holy.

Today’s readings are a little surprising. They don’t spell out the doctrine of the Trinity, as do the readings for the A and B Cycle. Instead they summarize the effects of the Trinity in our daily lives. The Book of Proverbs reflects on Wisdom, a quality which that book identifies with God the Father. St. Paul gives some practical thoughts about salvation history; and St. John tells us what the Holy Spirit is going to do for us as we go about our daily tasks.

But to me the most fascinating of the selections today is not the 3 main readings, but the responsorial psalm, Psalm 8. It is a magnificent poem of praise. The psalmist looks at God, sees the incredible mystery of the Trinity, reflects on the work of God in the Universe, especially his creation, then he draws a wonderful word picture of the power of God. And this is how he does it. He looks at the billions of stars, sprinkled in unbelievably huge galaxies throughout the heavens, then says that God created them and put them into place – and God did this, not with his arm or even with his fist or with his hand, but WITH HIS FINGERS, as if to describe how easy it was for God to create this vast universe of ours. He pictures God as a artist, sketching in tiny details of his canvas with the very tip of his brush. Listen to his words: “Lord, how wonderful your name in all the earth; when I behold the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars which you set in place, then how wonderful that someone like you should be mindful of mankind, even more astonishing that you should care for us. Wonderful, O lord, is your name in all the earth.  That is a psalm to remember.


Homily # 3

We have all envisioned what the heavenly Father looks like, he has been depicted in many fashions in paintings.  But generally we see him as an old fatherly figure, possibly resembling our own earthly father.  You see it isn’t hard to envision him because we all understand somewhat what a father is supposed to look like.  And Jesus, the Son of God is also easy for us to see since he became human to suffer and die for us.  But for some reason, it is hard to put a face to the Holy Spirit. The church at times has depicted it as a dove or flames of fire, but it is very hard to describe something that is a spirit that we have never seen.  We heard in the letter for Paul today how “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us”.  The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Most Holy Trinity, is the love that exists between the Father and the Son for us.  It is hard to describe love, much less see it physically.  No wonder then that it is difficult for some ‘humans’ to understand how God can be one, yet three at the same time.  Lets see if we can describe the trinity using human terms to help us to understand haw God is one: yet three.

From the most read verse in scripture (John 3:16) we hear that ”God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”.  This verse gives us the famous Father-Son relationship.  If God has a Son, then He must be the Father.  Therefore God is made up of at least two persons.  And we heard today in the reading to the Romans how their love is poured out to us through the Holy Spirit.  Now we have added a third person to God, that of the Spirit.  And of course in today’s gospel we heard how “when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide us to all truth”.   Therefore, scripture tells us that there is but one God, yet made up of three persons.

What are we as Christians suppose to believe about the Trinity?  From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#253) we read, “We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons.  The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: ‘The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e., by nature one God’”.  And in #254 we read, “The divine persons are really distinct from one another.  God is one but not solitary”.

For some of us mere human beings this can be hard to truly understand.  You see, we might ‘believe’ through faith, but truly understanding three in one can be difficult.  Do we know of anyone who is one, yet is made up of three persons?  We all know in math that three can’t equal one.  Therefore, it is not an easy concept to grasp.  I found a relatively easy-to-understand comparison to use though in a child’s storybook titled “Three in One: a picture of God” by Joanne Marxhausen.  In the book she explains the Trinity using an apple, so I thought I would try to explain the three persons of the Trinity to you today by using an apple.

We all know what an apple is and what an apple isn’t.   It is a tasty fruit that is quite recognizable.  There is even a saying about an apple, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  Well I like to think that an apple is made up of 3 parts: the skin, the meaty fruit and the core.  It takes all three parts to make up an apple, yet each part alone is apple.  If someone was to peel an apple, and you saw the peelings on the counter you would know it was apple, not something else.  If you tasted the delicious meat of the apple you would know that is apple and not something else.  And if you saw an apple core lying on the ground, you would know that it is an apple core and not something else.  All three parts are uniquely apple all on their own; yet all three make up one apple.

So it is with the Trinity: God is one, yet three unique persons, who individually are all God.

I like to compare the skin of the apple to God the Father.  An apple can never outgrow its skin: when the apple starts out small the skin is small, but it continues to grow and stretch, as the apple gets bigger.  So it is with the love that God the Father has for us.  He loves us so much that He sent his only Son for our salvation.  The Father’s love for us stretches, much like the skin of an apple, to totally envelop us.  We can never outgrow the Father’s love for us, His love is like a protective skin that we wear every day.

I like to compare the sweet meaty fruit of the apple with God the Son, Jesus.  Just as the tasty apple is good for our livelihood and nourishment, so was the Son of God sent to us.  He came for our livelihood, our eternal salvation.  And we have the opportunity to be nourished with his body and blood every day in the Eucharist.  Just as an apple a day will keep our body healthy, the Eucharist will keep us spiritually healthy as well.

I like to compare the core of the apple to God the Holy Spirit.  The apple gets its livelihood and strength from the core, which is constantly feeding it.  In the same way the Holy Spirit is constantly giving us strength and help every day of our lives.  Just as the seeds from that core can start a new apple tree, so the Holy Spirit can enkindle within us life anew.

So, just as one apple is made up of the three parts, all uniquely apple, so our one God is made up of the three persons: Father, Son and Spirit.  Each of them is uniquely God, and each of them has a purpose for us.

I think God is made up of three unique persons to show how he shares his love with us in many ways.  God the Father loves us so much that he sent us His only Son for our Salvation.  God the Son loved us so much that he gave of His own earthly life so that we may have eternal life and shares that love with us in the Eucharist every day.   God the Holy Spirit shares His love with us each day by guiding us and giving us strength.  So we have one loving God sharing His love for us in many ways.

Just as an apple can be shared with others, and God shares His love with us, so we must also share His love with others.

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Word Alive

A mystery to be lived

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

May 28, 2010, 5:27pm

A teacher in religion asked her class what the name of the First Person of the Holy Trinity was. A pupil promptly raised his hand. Expecting him to answer “God the Father,” the boy instead said: “Harold.”

* * *

Taken aback, the teacher replied, “Hmm… How come you call Him Harold?”

The pupil said: “Ma’am, because when we pray, we say: “Our Father who art in heaven Harold be they name… See, Harold is His name!”

* * *

If there’s any consolation, that funny story shows how mysterious the Holy Trinity is. This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. The Catholic doctrine teaches that there are three divine Persons – God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. All Three are distinct but only one.

* * *

We have modern analogies which can bring us closer to the truth. For instance, ice, water, and steam are three distinct forms of the same substance, H2O. Then we have the three-in-one coffee (milk, sugar, coffee in one cup).

* * *

Why do we believe God as Trinity? For the simple reason that Christ revealed it to us. In St. John’s gospel, the Lord said: “When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth… whom I Myself will send from the Father, He will bear witness on My behalf” (Jn 14,16).

* * *

Then there is Christ’s final mandate:

“Go, therefore, into the whole world, teach all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28,19). Thus, we invoke the triune God when we make the Sign of the Cross. Are we aware of the Triune God when we sign ourselves? Or do we do it mechanically?

* * *

How does the mystery fit into our day-to-day life as Christians? To paraphrase an existentialist philosopher, the “Trinity is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.”

Unraveling the puzzle of the Trinity is not so important as living out its message in practical life.

* * *

In pondering the Holy Trinity, what comes out distinctly is: COMMUNITY.

If there are three Persons in one God, then there has to be a community intimately united by the bond of love. And they don’t need a cellular phone or e-mail to communicate with one other!

* * *

Do we reflect the Trinitarian love in our communities? For instance, if we are aware that our families are images of the Trinitarian Family, it would help married people, for instance, to overcome the difficult moments of their lives.

* * *

I remember how my father and mother would quarrel bitterly. My mother was naturally patient but when my Papa became unbearable with his nasty temper, Mama would leave us and cool off with her spinster aunts some blocks away from our house in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. The five of us kids would feel very sad.

* * *

Papa was a strict authoritarian aggravated by his Spanish blood… and high blood! A double trouble. But after a couple of days, Papa would regret his mistake and would sheepishly ask Mama to return home. Mama’s homecoming was always a happy event. Looking back, the spirit of forgiveness from both sides somehow kept our family intact despite the bitter quarrels.

* * *

I would not be a priest now if my parents didn’t know how to forgive one another. How about our prayer communities, our schools, our offices, and workplaces? Do they reflect the Trinitarian community in regard to unity, justice, and love?

* * *

Obviously we can – and will never – achieve a perfect unity, a perfect family, or a perfect community, but the most we can do is try to reach for the ideal.

We do it because it’s not only God’s will but it’s also for our own good.

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Moments
Unity

By Fr. Jerry Orbos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:05:00 05/29/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The story is told about two long-lost classmates sharing stories about their lives and loves. One of the ladies said: “I married a librarian and a vegetarian. Everything was fine, till he became ‘trinitarian’—me, him and another woman. That’s when he became mysterious, hard to catch and understand. That’s when all our troubles began.”

* * *

Today is Trinity Sunday. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 16, 12-15) Jesus tells us: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when He comes, the spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth.” There are many truths we cannot fathom nor understand with our minds. The mystery of the Trinity is one of them. But then, a lot of truths need not be understood by the mind but with the heart, and with faith like that of a child.

* * *

There are a lot of unknowns and question marks we encounter in life. If so, do we give up, and conclude that life is incomplete and absurd, and open ourselves to cynicism and doubts? Precisely because life is incomplete, we need faith. We need belief. We need commitment. We need trust.

* * *

Even if the Trinity is a mystery that is hard to understand, it is a beautiful mystery! It invites us to a life of union and love with God. Other religions speak of a God who commands homage, but the Christian God invites people to a personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

* * *

The best way to approach the mystery of the Trinity is by way of humility. That is the starting point. As we go deeper into the mystery, may we meet gratitude along the way. And as we take the road of gratitude, may it lead us to love. As we encounter and experience deeply the Trinity, may we become more humble, more grateful and more loving persons!

* * *

Speaking of “mystery,” I must admit that there are still a lot of “mysteries” in my mind regarding automation in our last elections. Like you, it is my hope that nobody or no group made a fool out of any one of us. Having said that, we must move on as a nation, and focus on unity. Let not fear nor doubts cripple us. Yes, to use an overused cliché, let us give peace a chance, and let us give democracy a chance.

* * *

Let the Trinitarian spirit of reaching out and self-giving guide the new leaders of our land. We all must go out of our comfort zones. We all need to cooperate for our country to operate. For us to move on, we must cross over from “us” and “they,” toward “we.”

* * *

There is a Korean proverb I learned when I was a missionary to South Korea: “When the whales fight, it is the small shrimps that die.” Let us not forget the lost, the least and the last among us who get affected most by our quarrels and fights. Why focus on unity? It is because the poor, the children and the “little ones” need to live and survive. It can happen that we become so focused on what is on our side, that we forget the little people whose only wish is to live, and to have a life.

* * *

It has been a long hot summer, but the rains have finally come. This should make us realize that there are factors and elements greater than us. For those who thought or who think they are greater than us because they have more in life, think again: There is a season for everything and for everyone. No one can escape the tides and seasons of life. And definitely, no one can escape the reality of death. Pity those who did not use their talents, their wealth and positions for something or someone greater than themselves and missed their chance for greatness and generosity.

* * *

Public officials who leave their position and office bringing along with them a lot of public funds should not be called public servants. The more appropriate term for them is public thieves. The greatest source of disunity among us is money. The devil knows how to use money to divide and destroy us.

* * *

A good question for all of us to ask ourselves today is: Am I a source of peace and unity? By my words and life, am I a plus or a minus factor toward peace and unity? Corollary to this is the question: Am I a blessing or a burden for others? In other words, we must raise again the question whether this world became a better place because we passed by.

* * *

Presumptive President-elect Noynoy Aquino has a big task ahead of him of uniting our nation so wounded with so much corruption and division. Let us all help him and give him a chance. The place to start is within each one of us. Let us pray for him. And let us believe again the goodness within us, and believe in a better tomorrow for our people and for our motherland.

* * *

May 31 is the Feast of the Visitation, and the last day for the Flores de Mayo celebration. You are invited by the Perpetual Rosary Movement to a special Marian celebration at the Shrine of the Divine Word, Christ the King Seminary (1101 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City) starting at 5:30 p.m. with the Holy Rosary, with a 6 p.m. Mass by Fr. Arlo Yap, SVD. Mama Mary, Queen of peace and unity, pray for us!

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to be an instrument of peace and unity. Amen.

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The Trinity in our families

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Published: May 25, 2013

There’s a joke about a woman whom a priest found bringing a bunch of novena-booklets to church. He asked, “Who is your favorite saint?” “Of course, I like the Blessed Virgin Mary best! But I also like her sister!” the woman replied.

* * *

“Sister? Who is she?” asked the priest. “Santa Trinidad, of course!”

The Virgin Mary had no sister and the funny story only proves how difficult it is to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

* * *

This Sunday is the feast of the Triune God – the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit – only one God but three divine Persons. In arithmetic we say 1+1+1 equals 3 but with the Holy Trinity it’s 1+1+1 equals 1! It is because the three Persons are distinct but have only one divine nature.

* * *

There are modern analogies which can bring us closer to the truth. For instance, ice, water, and steam are three distinct forms of the same substance. One person can be a father, a son, and a husband.

* * *

Why do we believe God as Trinity? For the simple reason that Christ revealed it to us. In St. John’s gospel, the Lord said: “When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth… whom I Myself will send from the Father, he will bear witness on My behalf” (Jn 14:16).

* * *

Then there is Jesus’ final mandate: “Go, therefore, into the whole world, teach all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). There you have the Triune God in a capsule.

* * *

How does the mystery fit into our day-to-day life as Christians? To paraphrase an existentialist philosopher, the “Trinity is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.”

* * *

Love is the bond that unites the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If there’s ever a most appropriate place where the Trinitarian love can be reflected, it is in the family. The family becomes a little Holy Trinity when family members love, care, and respect one another.

* * *

In the novel made into a movie, “Love Story,” the author Eric Segal made popular the statement: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Some people, however, have objected to it, saying that in real life spouses do bitterly quarrel and hurt one another.

It will help to remember the fact that no marriage is perfect. But marriage as envisioned by God is a high ideal.

* * *

When a wound or hurt has been inflicted, it is important that the wound be treated with real sorrow, which goes with a resolve to reform; otherwise it leaves a permanent scar.

Too many scars destroy the beauty of the relationship and lead to separation or to the marriage tribunal. But loving someone deeply, completely demands a bigness, a bigness that can say “I’m sorry” – and really mean it!

* * *

Obviously, we can and will never achieve a perfect family much like the Trinitarian Family, but the most we can do is to keep on trying. Besides, there is value in FIDELITY. It outweighs the difficulties of married life. As the Lord said: “He who is faithful until the end will receive the crown of glory.”

mb.com.ph/article.php?aid=13722&sid=1&subid=4#.UaEtfKwwjV4

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Moments

The Trinity and us

By Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, SVD
Philippine Daily Inquirer

9:22 pm | Saturday, May 25th, 2013

The story is told of three senior citizens, who were a bit hard of hearing, having a conversation. The first one said, “Today is windy, isn’t it?”

The second one said, “It’s Thursday!”

And the third one said, “Me, too, I’m thirsty. Let’s drink!”

* * *

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Three persons in one God, with perfect understanding, love and unity! The Father, Son and Holy Spirit teach us to be united with them, and to be like them in thought, word and deed.

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Jn.16, 12-15), Jesus Himself teaches us the perfect unity and continuity of the life and mission of the Trinity. Within the Trinity, there is a perfect essence, a perfect presence, and a perfect assist. There is no one higher than the other, there is no one more present than the other. There is no one more needed than the other. Let us examine today what kind of a person, and a presence, we are to one another.

* * *

It was a beautiful experience to visit and pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Corps, France, where Our Lady appeared to two shepherds, Maximin, 11, and Melanie, 14, on Sept. 19, 1846. La Salette is about 5,800 feet above sea level (still snowing in May!) and here, the “Beautiful Lady” sat and wept, asking the whole world to repent, with a warning of a foreseen punishment. Mary is the reconciler of sinners with the Trinity. She showed us our mission to become instruments ourselves of peace and unity with the Trinity.

* * *

In the La Salette crucifix which Our Lady was embracing when she appeared, we see on one side the hammer, and on the other side the pincers. The message is that we must stop using the hammer to hurt God and other people, and start removing sin with the pincers.

Our reflection and resolve as a pilgrimage group when we left La Salette was to try not to make Mama Mary cry from now on. Borrowing the lines from a song, all of us pilgrims sang, “Don’t cry for me, Mama Mary. The truth is, I’ll never leave you. I’ll keep my promise…”

* * *

We stayed at the two-star hotel Napoleon in La Salette, but what made it five-star was the hospitality and warmth of the family that owned and operated it. Husband and wife and their three teenaged children worked together as a team in the kitchen and the dining room as well as in the upkeep, harmoniously and joyfully. For me, it was a beautiful picture of the Trinity. It was an experience of the Trinity when we of different cultures shared and interacted with one another in mutual respect and friendship.

* * *

More and more we realize that the way to the Trinity is not only the straight way (daang  matuwid), but also the humble way (daang  mapagkumbaba). St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Cure D’Ars, the patron saint of priests, has shown us that it is possible to live a simple, humble, and dedicated life as a parish priest. He spent a great part of his holy life preaching powerful sermons, and up to 20 hours a day in the confessional, sleeping only two hours a night.

* * *

The road to “hiddenness” is also the way to the Trinity. St. Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes, chose to go to a convent in Nevers, France, and spent the rest of her earthly life in silence and anonymity. Instead of basking in the spotlight, she chose to be in the presence of the Trinity in prayer, in penance, in silence, and in solitude. Sooner or later we all must learn to “fade away.” The sooner we learn that, the better for ourselves and for others as well.

We are on a journey to the Trinity and with the Trinity. We are pilgrims, not tourists, in this world. We are reminded in the Opus Dei Shrine in Torreciudad, Spain, that we are the work of God in progress, and that we all should be involved in the work of God. What work of God are you involved in?

* * *

Our Spanish driver, Larson, commented how different it is to have pilgrims, and not tourists, in his bus. He said that aside from the prayerful atmosphere, pilgrims are more joyful and more patient. Yes, we all must make the Trinity present wherever we go, whatever we do.

* * *

We pray that the elected leaders of our country are those who provide like God the Father, who work like God the Son, and who inspire like God the Holy Spirit. May we be blessed with leaders who are Trinitarian in spirit and in action!

* * *

Sharing with you a text message that gives us hope as long as we hold on to the Trinity: “Someday, everything that is happening in our lives will make perfect sense. So for now, let us laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason.”

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Oh, Most Holy Trinity, be with us and bring us home safely to eternity. Amen.

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GOOD THINGS COME IN THREE: Reflection for the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity Year C – May 26, 2013 – YEAR OF FAITH

May kasabihan tayo sa ingles na “All good things come in three!”  Siguro nga. Kaya siguro kapag nagbigay ka ng rosas sa taong mahal mo ay nagbibigay ka ng tatlo. Kapag nagbigay ang “genie” ng kahilingan ay dapat tatlo lang! Kapag nagbilang ka upang simulan ang isang bagay ay “One… two… three… GO!!!” Nagbibigay din ng kaligayahan ang “tatlo”. Naririyan ang grupo ng “Three Stooges” nung kapanahunan ng mga lolo at lola natin. Sumikat din ang Big Three Sulivans, (nakakarelate ba kayo?), Apo Hiiking Society, Tito, Vic & Joey (ayan kilala n’yo na siguro!). Sa “numerology”, ang numerong 3 ay sumasagisag sa kahulugang “all is given!” sapagkat tinataglay nito ang simula, gitna at katapusan. Kaya nga’t ginagamit ito sa pagsasalarawan ng maraming katotohanan: halimbawa ay 1) heaven, earth and water, 2)body, soul and spirit, 3) birth, life and death, 4) past, present and future. Kahit sa Bibliya ay makikita ang paggamit ng sets of three: 3 gifts of the Magi, 3 temptations of Christ, 3 denials of Peter, 3 crosses in Calvary, 3 days of Christ’s death, 3 appearances of the Resurrected Christ, 3 Mary’s, 3 theological virtues, etc… at syempre ang tampok sa lahat ay ang 3 Persona ng Iisang Diyos o tinatawag nating Holy Trinity. Ngayon ang ang kapistahan ng Banal na Santalo: Ama, Anak at Espiritu Santo. Pagkatapos ng mahabang panahon ng pagpapahayag ng Diyos sa tao, masasabi natin na sa pamamagitan ng Misteryong ito ang pagpapahayag ng Diyos ay “All is given!” Natapos na at pinaging ganap na ang pagpapahayag ng Diyos. Bagama’t hindi diretsahan ay ito ang pilit na ipinapahayag ni Jesus katulad ng ating narinig sa Ebanghelo ngayon. Binanggit ni Jesus ang Ama, Anak at Espiritu Santo bilang pagpapahayag ng mga Misteryo ng Diyos bagamat hindi pa rin natin lubos na mauunawaan: “Marami pa akong sasabihin sa inyo, ngunit hindi pa ninyo kayang unawain ngayon.” (Jn. 16:12) Bagama’t hindi natin lubos na matatalos ang kahulugan ng Banal na Santatlo dahil ito’y “Misteryo”, hindi ibig sabihin na hindi na natin ito maaring makatagpo. Ayaw ng Diyos na pilit natin Siyang unawain bagkus mas nais Niyang Siya’y ating mahalin! Tanging ang mga taong marunong magmahal ang makakaunawa kung sino ba talaga ang Diyos! Kaya’t pansinin ninyo na ang mga taong mapagpatawad, mapag-aruga at mapagmahal ang mga taong tunay na masaya sapagkat nararanasan nila ang Diyos bilang pag-ibig. Samantalang ang mga taong puno ng poot, mapaghiganti, mapagsamantala sa kapwa ay mga taong walang saysay ang buhay at kailanman ay hindi makikilala ang Diyos. Kaya nga’t sa Kapistahang ito ng Banal na Santatlo ay inaanyayahan tayong iparanas ang pagmamahal ng Diyos sa ating kapwa. Hindi man natin maipaliwanag ng husto ang Misteryo ng Banal na Santatlo sapat ng maipadama natin ang Kanyang pagmahahal sa bawat taong ating nakakatagpo.  Ngayong Taon ng Pananampalataya ay hinahamon tayong gawin nating buhay ang mga misteryong hindi natin maipaliwanag.  Bigyang buhay natin ang mga katotohanang ating pinaniniwalaaan.  Ang Misteryo ng Banal na Santatlo ay mabibigyang buhay lamang natin kung tayo ay matututong magmahal.  Ibigin mo ang Diyos, ibigin mo ang iyong kapwa. mahalin mo ng tama ang iyong sarili at makikita kong ang misteryong ito ay magliliwanag sa iyong buhay at tatanglaw sa iba at magpapanibago sa mundong nababalot ng dilim ng pag-aalinlangan!

kiliti-ng-diyos.blogspot.com/2013/05/good-things-come-in-three-reflection.html

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See Today’s Readings:  Cycle C

Back to: Trinity Sunday (Year C)

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