Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday, on the Sunday after the Pentecost we celebrate the occasion of Trinity Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, celebrating one of the greatest mysteries of our Christian faith and one of its key and core tenets, that is our belief in the one and only True God, that is One and only One, and existing in a Godhood of Three distinct yet united Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is what makes us distinct from other monotheistic Abrahamic beliefs, that we believe that the true nature of God is indeed, as revealed fully by the Lord Himself, is that of the Holy Trinity.

Many of us may not even know fully what the Holy Trinity is all about, and we do not appreciate this unique relationship between the Three Divine Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is truly something that the members of the Early Church took decades and even centuries to understand better, which historically brought about many heresies and divisions just because some among the faithful and the leaders of the Church believed in a different nature of God, either in denying the divinity of the Son or the Holy Spirit, or in denying the distinct identity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, or in denying the existence of the Holy Trinity altogether.

Through the earliest Ecumenical Councils of the Church, those heresies had been addressed and outlawed, and the authentic teachings of the Lord and His truth were preserved as it was from the days of the Apostles. Thus, defeated were the heresy of Arianism that denied the equality of the Father and the Son, that upheld the view of the Son being merely the firstborn of Creation and as a created Being rather than Co-Eternal and Co-Equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning of time, as the Church has preserved in truth.

Then, through the faith and perseverance of the saints and the faithful Church fathers, were defeated the heresies of Nestorianism with their belief that the Lord has two distinct and separate natures in the Son, that the Divinity and the Humanity of the Son were separate and distinct, or the other extreme of Monophysitism believing that the Son has only one nature, rather than the truth which is that in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the two distinct natures of Divine and Man were united perfectly and inseparably through the bond of love.

All these showed us just how many among the faithful did not fully understand the tenets and the teachings of the Christian faith, particularly that regarding the nature of God and the Holy Trinity. That is why those divisions happened and threatened to destroy the Church and the faithful had it not been for the great efforts and perseverance from all those who had remained faithful and true to the teachings of the Lord and His Apostles, and defending the belief and truth of the Most Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Triune God.

How do we then understand the Holy Trinity better, brothers and sisters in Christ? There are in fact many ways that we can use to appreciate better the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, in a more understandable and appreciable way. For example, St. Patrick, the famous missionary and Patron Saint of Ireland was remembered for his symbol of the shamrock, or a three-leaf clover that he used in order to explain the nature of God in the Holy Trinity to the pagans throughout Ireland, that they might come to understand Him better.

The symbolism of the shamrock is one of the ways that we can understand the nature of the Holy Trinity. For if one of the three leaves of the shamrock is taken away, then it is no longer the shamrocks as it is, incomplete and no longer can be properly called a shamrock. Each of the three leaves of the shamrock are also connected to each other and not distinct from each other while at the same time, each of the three leaves can be distinguished clearly from each other. They are therefore representative of the Holy Trinity, Three Divine Persons, but one Godhead, and one God in perfect unity, all Three distinct yet inseparable.

We can also use the example of the burning flame as a way to represent the Holy Trinity in a more understandable way. The burning flame produces heat, which many people for a long time had been using as a way to fend off cold and keep themselves warm. They also provide light to the place and dispel the darkness, so that we can see even in the darkest of nights and in places without any illumination. This light is produced as a result of the reaction between the particles involved in the burning, and lastly, the flame itself, which has a discernible shape, because it is in fact heated air and matter, that when heated produce that hue and shape of the flame.

If any of these properties and parts of the burning flame are missing or are taken out, then it will no longer be a burning flame. For example, if a burning flame were to lose its heat then we can definitely say that it is not a flame, no? For which flame that can be seen and yet does not give any heat, or burn us when we get too close? And if there is no light in the flame that will also be impossible, as any reactions that produce heat in the burning process will also generate light. And if we feel the heat and can see the light but cannot see the shape of the flame, it is also not a flame right?

Therefore, using these analogies and metaphors, comparisons and otherwise we can see that there are actually quite a few ways and observations we see on things around us that can show us briefly a glimpse of what the Holy Trinity is all about. The Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit shows us that while we can see the distinctive Three Divine Persons, manifesting Themselves in different ways, but They are all together, constituting the same, inseparable unity of the One and only God, the Creator of all.

At the moment of Creation, we can see all the Three Divine Persons at work, as God the Father willed Creation and the entire Universe into being, while God the Son, the Divine Word of God, is the Word by which Creation came to be, through words like ‘Let there be light’ and others. And lastly, God the Holy Spirit existed since before Creation and time, as represented in the accounts of the Book of Genesis as floating above the nothingness before Creation, present everywhere and in all things.

And when God created man, He said that, ‘Let Us create man in Our image’, in a clear and obvious representation that while God is One, but He also exists in a Trinity, inseparable unity between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, when this ‘Us’ and ‘Our’ pronouns were used to describe God in this occasion. Then, when the Lord was baptised by St. John the Baptist at the Jordan, again we see the Holy Trinity in action, in Their three distinct Persons, the Father’s Voice speaking from Heaven, the Son, Jesus Christ, in the water being baptised, while the Holy Spirit, descending down to the world from the Father and to the Son, in the form of a Dove.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have listened and discussed today regarding the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all of us are now then called to remember our mission and calling as Christians to be the bearers of the truth of God, including the mystery of His Holy Trinity to all the peoples of all the nations, revealing this truth we ourselves have received from the Lord and passing the truth to more and more people that they too may come to believe in God.

The Lord has commanded all of us to go forth and baptise all the peoples of all the nations, in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, sealing them in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, believing in the same one God Who exists in the Triune unity of Three Divine Persons, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. This is our faith and this is what we believe in, and brothers and sisters, we have to stand fast by what our faith is about. We must deepen our understanding of the Christian faith, the nature of the Holy Trinity and other truth we have received through the Church.

Now, let us all therefore dedicate ourselves to the Lord anew this Sunday as we celebrate this great Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Through our common baptism, let us all proclaim our Lord, the One and only True God of all, as the One God, with Three Divine Persons, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, that all may come to know Him, through His love and through our knowledge of the truth, which we bear in our own lives from now on, if we have not done so yet.

Let us all be faithful and committed Christians through our lives, in our every actions and deeds, so that in everything that we say and do, we will show our Christian faith and truth to all, and everyone who sees us, hears us, and witnesses our actions and deeds, interacting and working with us, all may come to know that we belong to the Lord, and that hopefully they may also be touched by the Lord’s presence through us, and come to believe in Him as well.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He strengthen each and every one of us that we may always be firm in our faith and be genuine in living our lives daily with faith, from now on. May God, the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless us all in our every efforts, good works and endeavours, and be our Guide at all times. Amen.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 28 : 16-20

At that time, as for the eleven disciples, they went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed before Him, although some doubted.

Then Jesus approached them and said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptise them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. I am with you always even to the end of the world.”

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 8 : 14-17

All those who walk in the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God. Then, no more fear : you did not receive a spirit of slavery, but the spirit that makes you sons and daughters, and every time, we cry, “Abba! (this means Dad!) Father!” the Spirit assures our spirit, that we are sons and daughters of God.

If we are children, we are heirs, too. Ours will be the inheritance of God, and we will share it with Christ; for, if we now suffer with Him, we will also share glory with Him.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 6 and 9, 18-19, 20 and 22

For upright is YHVH’s word and worthy of trust in His work. YHVH loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The heavens were created by His word, the breath of His mouth formed their starry host. For He spoke and so it was, He commanded, and everything stood firm.

But YHVH’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving kindness; to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

In hope, we wait for YHVH, for He is our help and our shield. O YHVH, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Deuteronomy 4 : 32-34, 39-40

Ask of the times past. Inquire from the day when God created man on earth. Ask from one end of the world to the other : Has there ever been anything as extraordinary as this? Has anything like this been heard of before? Has there ever been a people who remained alive after hearing as you did the voice of the living God from the midst of the fire?

Never has there been a God Who went out to look for a people and take them out from among the other nations by the strength of trials and signs, by wonders and by war, with a firm hand and an outstretched arm. Never has there been any deed as tremendous as those done for you by YHVH in Egypt, which you saw with your own eyes.

Therefore, try to be convinced that YHVH is the only God of heaven and earth, and that there is no other. Observe the laws and the commandments that I command you today, and everything will be well with you and your children after you. So you will live long in the land which YHVH, your God, gives you forever.

(Usus Antiquior) Trinity Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White


Offertory

Tobit 12 : 6

Benedictus sit Deus Pater, unigenitusque Dei Filius, Sanctus quoque Spiritus : quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

English translation

Blessed be God the Father, and the only Begotten Son of God, and also the Holy Spirit, because He had shown His mercy towards us.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Sanctifica, quaesumus, Domine, Deus noster, per Tui sancti Nominis invocationem, hujus oblationis hostiam : et per eam nosmetipsos Tibi perfice munus aeternum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

By the invocation of Your holy Name, o Lord, our God, sanctify, we beseech You, the matter of this oblation, and through it make us ourselves a perfect offering forever. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Tobit 12 : 6

Benedicimus Deum caeli et coram omnibus viventibus confitebimur ei : quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

English translation

We bless the God of heaven, and before all living we will praise Him, because He has shown His mercy to us.

Post-Communion Prayer

Proficiat nobis ad salutem corporis et animae, Domine, Deus noster, hujus sacramenti susceptio : et sempiternae sanctae Trinitatis ejusdemque individuae Unitatis confessio. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May the receiving of this sacrament, o Lord, our God, and the confession of our faith in eternal, holy Trinity and undivided Unity, profit us for the health of body and soul. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Trinity Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White


Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 28 : 18-20

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Data est mihi omnis potestas in caelo et in terra. Euntes ergo docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti : docentes eos servare omnia, quaecumque mandavi vobis. Et ecce, ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem saeculi.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore, teach all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

(Usus Antiquior) Trinity Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Daniel 3 : 55-56 and Daniel 3 : 52

Benedictus es, Domine, qui intueris abyssos, et sedes super Cherubim.

Response : Benedictus es, Domine, in firmamento caeli, et laudabilis in saecula.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Benedictus es, Domine, Deus Patrum nostrorum, et laudabilis in saecula. Alleluja.

English translation

Blessed are You, o Lord, that beholds the depths and sits above the Cherubim.

Response : Blessed are You, o Lord, in the firmament of heaven, and worthy of praise forever.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Blessed are You, o Lord God of our fathers, and worthy of praise forever. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Trinity Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White


Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans

Romans 11 : 33-36

O altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei : quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et investigabiles viae ejus! Quis enim cognovit sensum Domini? Aut quis consiliarius ejus fuit? Aut quis prior dedit illi, et retribuetur ei? Quoniam ex ipso et per ipsum et in ipso sunt omnia : ipsi gloria in saecula. Amen.

English translation

O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who had known the mind of the Lord? Or who had been His counsellor? Or who had first given to Him, and recompense shall be made Him? For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Trinity Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White


Introit

Tobit 12 : 6 and Psalm 8 : 2

Benedicta sit Sancta Trinitas atque indivisa Unitas : confitebimur ei, quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

Domine, Dominus noster, quam admirabile est Nomen Tuum in universa terra!

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity. We will give glory to Him, because He had shown His mercy to us.

O Lord our Lord, how wonderful is Your Name in all the earth!

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui dedisti famulis Tuis in confessione verae fidei, aeternae Trinitatis gloriam agnoscere, et in potentia majestatis adorare Unitatem : quaesumus; ut, ejusdem fidei firmitate, ab omnibus semper muniamur adversis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Almighty, eternal God, by whose gift Your servants, in the confession of the true faith, acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and adore the Unity in the power of His majesty, we beseech You that in the firmness of the same faith we may ever be defended from all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.