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.