Sunday, 16 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday after the Solemnity of the Pentecost, the Universal Church again celebrates another great and very important Solemnity, one that is concerning the very centre tenet and distinctiveness of our Christian faith that is the belief in God Who exists in Three Divine Persons and yet, at the same time, is also One and Indivisible. And that is why on this Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

On this day, we focus our attention on Who we worship, God Who is ever loving, merciful and compassionate towards us, He Who is One, and only One, but existing in Three distinct Persons, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The true nature of the Most Holy Trinity has eluded many people and many among us the faithful throughout time, but all of us must realise and know Who is Our Lord Whom we worship, so that we can better appreciate our faith in Him.

We do not believe in three different Gods, as the most common misconception about the Most Holy Trinity is often about. We believe that even though there is distinction between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but they exist in perfect unity and harmony with each other, as the one and only True God. Three Divine Persons but One Unity in One Godhood. That is what the Most Holy Trinity is about.

Yet, throughout the history of the Church, particularly during the early days of Christianity, people constantly were conflicted on the nature of their God, and there had been many divisions, conflicts, disagreements and bitterness over the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, the relationship that the Father has the Son, and with the Holy Spirit, and the nature of the Son Himself, the relationship that He has with the Father, and also with the Holy Spirit.

And there were those who doubted and questioned the divinity of the Son in particular, those who doubted that Jesus Christ Our Lord is God as well as Man in the same person. And there were those, like the Arians, who considered Christ as being lesser than the Father. They regarded Him as a Being Who was created and therefore not equal with the Father, not co-eternal with Him. And therefore, they did not believe in the Most Holy Trinity in the way we believe today.

At that time, many people actually subscribed to the teachings and the faith of Arius, the one who propagated the Arian heresy. And there were bitter struggle for the belief of the faithful as those bishops and priests who remained true to the orthodox and genuine Christian teachings struggled with the many bishops and priests who embraced Arianism. And one of the most courageous and faithful defender of the true faith was St. Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria, whose defence of the faith in the Most Holy Trinity and the equality between the Son and the Father is memorialised in the now famous Athanasian Creed.

The Athanasian Creed was an expansion of the usual Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed we have always used, in which the Athanasian Creed is a much more detailed and clearer version of the Creed where in particular, the nature of the Most Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is explained clearly and succinctly against the heresies of the time that tried to diminish the Holy Trinity or mislead the people with wrong ideas and thoughts about the Trinity.

In the first part of the Athanasian Creed, it is clearly mentioned that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three equal parts of the One Godhood of our one and only True God, avoiding the idea of worship of more than one god and at the same time, also stressing on the importance and distinctiveness of each of the three members of the Most Holy Trinity. The Father is not the same as the Son, and the Son is not the same as the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the same as the Father, and yet all three are united perfectly and indivisibly as one indissoluble union of perfect love.

And being equal, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not submitted to the Father or less equal from the Father in anything, neither created nor made. The Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, has existed with the Father from the very beginning, from before the beginning of time, co-equal, co-eternal and equally omnipotent and Almighty. He is not created but rather begotten from the Father, remaining distinct and yet inseparable from the Father and the Holy Spirit. He assumed the appearance and flesh of man, uniting in Himself, the Divinity of the Son of God and the humanity of the Son of Man.

The Holy Spirit meanwhile is also co-equal, co-eternal and omnipotent as well as Almighty as the Father and the Son is. He is not created by the Father either, nor is subservient or created or begotten from the Father or from the Son. Rather in this case, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, equal in all things, and is God’s Spirit that is in all things and performs His works in all things.

Many have tried to explain the concept of the Most Holy Trinity, with St. Patrick of Ireland being the most prominent one. St. Patrick made use of the three-leaf shamrock as a way for him to explain the Trinity of Christian God to the pagans then living in the land that is now called Ireland. He used the three-leaf shamrock, now closely associated with St. Patrick himself, as the representation of the Most Holy Trinity, as if any of the three leaves is taken out, the whole shamrock becomes incomplete.

Therefore, just as a person can clearly distinguish each of the three leaves of the three-leaf shamrock, we can distinguish between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit clearly. But at the same time, they are also perfectly united as One, just as the three-leaf shamrock is part of the one whole shamrock leaf, which if any of the parts are taken out, the whole shamrock becomes incomplete just as the Most Holy Trinity is not complete without any one of its members.

Another way for us to try to explain the concept of the Most Holy Trinity is that of a lighted candle. A lighted candle has three main important properties, that is the light produced by the candle, the heat produced by the candle and the flame produced by the candle burning. All these three cannot be separated from each other and yet they are also easily distinguishable from each other.

The candle cannot have light without the burning flame, and without the flame there can be no heat either. And neither can there be flame without heat to make the candle burn in the first place, and with heat energy comes light that is produced by the heat of the reactions of the burning of the candle wax. And lastly, without light, it does not make sense for a candle that is burning to have no light, as flame always produces light and heat.

We can see from this example alone, how flame, light and heat are easily distinguishable from each other, as the light is clearly different from the heat, and flame itself is distinct from the light. The flame has a limited shape but the light illuminates the entire room far beyond the physical reach of the burning flame, and the heat can be felt on our bodies when we stand nearby the burning candle. Yet, each one of them cannot be separated from the other, or else we would not have a burning candle.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, having listened to what the Most Holy Trinity is all about, and how we try to explain this concept both to ourselves and to others, now that we have probably greater understanding and grasp of this concept, we must then also be aware of the significance of the Most Holy Trinity of Our God to ourselves as Christians. We must first and foremost remember that as Christians we are called to model ourselves on God Whom we believe in.

If Our God exists in a perfect love and harmony in the Most Holy Trinity of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, then surely our Christian communities must also have this same love within us, that in the Church of God to which we belong to, we must be united in love and not being divided one against the other. And each and every one of us, just like the members of the Holy Trinity, are unique and have our own distinctiveness that we can bring in to enrich the good works and wonders of the Church of God.

Are we able to practice what we believe in the nature of our loving Triune God, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit in our own lives? Are we able to imitate the loving examples and unity of the Three Divine Persons in our own Christian communities united in love and harmony with each other? This is how we as Christians reflect God in our own lives, in showing the same love that He has within Himself, which He has shared with us and now, we share with one another.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all renew our faith, commitment and devotion to Our God, the Most Holy Trinity of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Let us all be witnesses of our faith in Him, in each and every moments we live, in our every actions so that all the people around us may see our faith and come to believe in God, the Most Holy Trinity as well, fulfilling what He has commanded us all to do, to make disciples of all people of all the nations and baptise them in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Let us glorify our God, the Most Holy Trinity once more, with the prayer “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.”

Sunday, 16 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 16 : 12-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into the whole truth. He has nothing to say of Himself, but He will speak of what He hears, and He will tell you of the things to come.”

“He will take what is Mine and make it known to you; in doing this, He will glorify Me. All that the Father has is Mine; because of this, I have just told you that the Spirit will take what is Mine, and make it known to you.”

Sunday, 16 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 5 : 1-5

By faith, we have received true righteousness, and we are at peace with God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through Him, we obtain this favour, in which we remain, and we even boast to expect the glory of God.

Not only that, we also boast even in trials, knowing that trials produce patience, from patience comes merit; merit is the source of hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God.

Sunday, 16 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 8 : 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

When I observe the heavens, the work of Your hands, the moon and the stars You set in their place – what is man that You be mindful of him, the Son of Man that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little lower than the Angels; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and all that swim the paths of the ocean.

Sunday, 16 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Proverbs 8 : 22-31

YHVH created Me first, at the beginning of His works. He formed Me from of old, from eternity, even before the earth. The abyss did not exist when I was born, the springs of the sea had not gushed forth, the mountains were still not set in their place nor the hills, when I was born before He made the earth or countryside, or the first grains of the world’s dust.

I was there when He made the skies and drew the earth’s compass on the abyss, when He formed the clouds above and when the springs of the ocean emerged; when He made the sea with its limits, that it might not overflow. When He laid the foundations of the earth, I was close beside Him, the designer of His works, and I was His daily delight, forever playing in His presence, playing throughout the world and delighting to be with humans.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the truth about the Lord our God from the Scripture readings, in which God revealed Himself to be a God of love and justice, who loved His people with all of His heart, showing mercy when we the people sin before Him, and is slow to anger when we commit something wicked in His eyes, and wicked as we are, He was willing to give it all in order to save us, and that was through the sending of His Son Jesus into the world in order to save it.

Today we celebrate this nature of our Lord, who is the Most Holy Trinity, one but three, and three but one. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the most intimate truth and nature of our Lord who loves us. And the three forms the Divine Persons of the One and only God, which is one God in His absolute singularity, but with three equal Divine Persons, the Father as the Creator and loving God, the Son as the Word and the Judge of all creations, and the Holy Spirit as the guide and the source of all life.

The Holy Trinity worked in perfect harmony with each other, in the Lord who made all things possible and existent. The Lord God had been ever-present since before the beginning of time and all things, and though He existed in perfect love and harmony, He wanted to have others to be with Him. Therefore, He created this universe, filled with all of its wonders, through the works of the Trinity who made them all possible.

The Father willed creation into being, and through His Word, the Son, who we know now as Jesus Christ, He spoke the word and creation was made. Then the Holy Spirit filled all things with life and beauty, and make creation to be as wonderful as we behold and see it now. Yet, behind all those beauty and apparent perfections, ever since the beginning of time, after mankind had been created, sin and imperfections had entered creation.

God is indeed loving, merciful and committed to us His beloved creations, and even more so because we are the greatest of His creations, being created in His own image, and He breathed life directly into us. We were the dearest of His creatures, and He called us children, just as we ought to call Him our Father. However, we have been tainted with sin ever since our ancestors disobeyed our loving God, by listening to the deception of the devil instead of the love of God.

Remember, brethren, that while the Lord is loving and forgiving, and slow to anger as described, but the Lord who is also good and perfectly good, will not stand evil or sin to be in His presence. That was why Adam and Eve, our first ancestors, was cast out of the Garden of Eden and could no longer live in the direct presence of God. They were no longer worthy to be in the presence of God because of their sins.

Then why do the prophets and leaders like Moses, Elijah and others did not dare to look up and face the Lord when He came to meet with them and talk with them directly. This was because of the fear that the Lord’s perfection and goodness reflected in His face would indeed be too much for our sinful selves to bear, and thus none dared to look upon Him.

But God, our Lord is loving and forgiving, and He wanted every single one of us His children to be reconciled with Him and be reunited with Him, so much so that He gave us His ultimate gift and love, in the person of the Son, Jesus Christ, who was Word, and is Word of God, but incarnated into flesh, the flesh of mankind, and to assume the humble aspect of humanity, fully man and fully divine.

The beginning of the Gospel of St. John clearly explained this occurrence, when the Word became flesh, and when God made Himself completely approachable by His beloved people. Through Jesus mankind saw directly the fullness of God’s eternal love for us, and in His face, we realise that we are truly beloved by Him, for we had been created in His very own image.

Jesus passed down the divine authority from the Lord to His own disciples, to forgive our sins and cleanse our faults, and made that forgiveness and mercy complete and perfect through the offering of His own self on the cross, and by becoming the Paschal Lamb of sacrifice, He made us worthy once again for the Lord, for those of us who accepted His sacrifice through our baptism.

When we were baptised, we were sealed with the Most Holy Name of the Sacred Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which signified that we had been marked as the possessions of God, and that from then on, we are part of the Lord’s grace and blessing. But yet, we cannot just remain idle, and instead we must have a living and vibrant faith, one that is inspired by the love of God, and which we use to the fullest, in order to bring goodness to one another, fellow brethren in the Lord.

Today’s celebration of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity is a constant reminder that God loves us, and very much indeed that no matter how heavy our sins are, He is willing to forgive us, and from there, bring us all back into His embrace. And the mystery of the Holy Trinity is also part of the history of our salvation. The Lord our Father created us, and through His Word and Spirit, He made us be.

Then when we faltered, He promised us salvation through the Messiah, who was none other than the Son, who then took away the sins of the world through His death, and from Him and the Father came the Spirit that rejuvenated mankind and brought the wisdom and understanding of the truth to all of us. The actions of the Trinity were the concrete proof of the love and dedication that God has for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is imperative for us to contemplate and reflect on our own lives and actions, whether we have been faithful and committed to the Lord, just as He had committed Himself to us? Have we been like what we are expected to be since the day of our baptism? We have been empowered by the Spirit and endowed with the gift of love from God, and there is indeed great potential inside each and every one of us.

However, this potential will forever remain just as that, a potential and useless if we do not make use of them and remain idle. We must cooperate and work together with the Lord, in order to benefit our lives and also the lives of those around us. We have to have a living and genuine faith, brethren, and we cannot just pay lip service to the Lord for our faith. Be committed, be dedicated, and let us all do our best to show our love to God, who had loved us first.

May the Most Holy Trinity, who had sealed us through baptism, continue to endow us with grace and blessings, that we may grow stronger in our faith and love for Him, and gain in the end of all things, the gift of everlasting life in heaven. God bless us all, now and forever. Amen!

Sunday, 15 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 16-18

Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through Him the world is to be saved.

Whoever believes in Him will not be condemned. He who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.