Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday, the Sunday after the Pentecost Sunday, all of us, the whole Church celebrates the occasion of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, also known as Trinity Sunday. This Sunday marks a very important celebration for the Church as it commemorates one of the most crucial, distinctive and central tenets of our Christian faith. It is our belief in the Holy Trinity that sets us apart from any other monotheistic faith and beliefs, because while we truly believe in the Oneness of God, and that there is no other God besides Him, but at the same time, we believe that our One and only God exists in Three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is what our belief in the Most Holy Trinity is all about, and which we focus on in this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
It is also interesting that we always celebrate this Trinity Sunday at the Sunday immediately following the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday that marked the descent of the Holy Spirit on the people of God, on the Church. This is a reminder that all of us as part of the same Church of God has always been guided by the Lord all the same, willed into being by our Father and Creator, and with the Son having dwelled amongst us and walked with us, touching us all with His Presence in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, and finally, the Holy Spirit, the Lord and the Giver of life, have descended upon us, giving us the Wisdom, strength and courage to live our lives with great faith and commitment to God. Thus, in all aspects and parts of our lives, we always have God ever present by our side, with us, the same one and only True God.
Ever since the very beginning of the Church, the Apostles and the earliest Church fathers, bishops and priests and other Christians have testified and recorded the belief in the Triune God and in the Trinitarian nature of the Lord. While there were those who debated on whether the Lord Jesus was truly the Son of God or whether He was equal to the Father, or whether He was just like us, any other human beings, but most of the Church fathers and early Christians subscribed to the teachings and path that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was truly born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, and yet, is not merely just the Son of Man, but also the Son of God in the flesh, assuming our human existence and our form so that He might make His love to become tangible, real and approachable by us. By the will of the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, dwelling within Mary, the Divine Messiah was conceived in her, as the Son of God Most High made Man.
If there were indeed many of those who refused to believe that this was possible, or that the historical Man named Jesus Christ was truly the Son of God, Equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, then we must remember that everything is possible for God. If He could make the blind to see again, restore the sick and those who were dying, casting out demons and evil spirits, and raising the dead back to life, and if He could make the barren ones like Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth to bear a child in their barrenness, and for Mary to have a Son without any human intervention and action, then everything is truly possible for God. Not only that but the Lord Jesus Himself has mentioned the Holy Trinity most clearly in the Great Commission that He entrusted to His disciples and followers, the mission of His Church which still continues to this very moment.
The Lord said, ‘Go and make disciples of all the nations, and baptise them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.’ Through this simple and direct instruction, the Lord has made it truly clear of the connection and the equal nature between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus has often referred to the Father in Heaven as His heavenly Father, and referring to Himself as the Son. If the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are referring to different beings, how can we then reconcile our believe in the one and only true God as the Church fathers and the old Jewish and Israelite faith and customs had believed? Therefore, each of the members of the Holy Trinity must indeed be referring to the same God, that has manifested in Three Divine Persons, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Throughout the Scriptures, we can find clear indication how the Lord has revealed Himself in His identity as the Holy Trinity, the Triune God, One God consisting of Three distinct Persons, and Three Persons united indivisibly as One God. At the very beginning when God created all things, the three members of the Holy Trinity were already present, highlighting our belief in the Co-Equal and Co-Eternal nature of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and also their consubstantial nature, having the same Divine essence and substance, with the Father being fully God and Divine, and so is the Son and so is the Holy Spirit. At the beginning, God the Father willed all things to be created, from nothingness into being, and He did so, as we read in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, through His Word, and this was referred to at the beginning of the Gospel of St. John.
St. John began his Gospel with ‘In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing came to be.’ Through this part from St. John’s Gospel we are reminded that the Word of God was the means through which God created all of us, and this Word of God is the Son, just as St. John further continued on with, ‘And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.’ which highlighted to us that the Word of God, the Divine Logos Himself, has become Man, taking up our existence and appearance, becoming fully Divine and fully Man in the Person of Jesus Christ, the One through Whom God’s love and truth have been made tangible and approachable to all of us. The Lord Jesus Himself said to Nicodemus, that God so loved the world, that He sent unto us His beloved Son, to save the world, and He did indeed save the world, by His death on the Cross.
Then, the Holy Spirit, in the Book of Genesis was described as being present throughout the whole thing before existence and before creation, and through the Holy Spirit, the world has life, just as we said in the Creed, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and the Giver of Life’ and the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son, as the Holy Spirit came unto us from the Father, Who willed that His Spirit came unto us, and by His Word, everything came to be. At Pentecost, which we have just celebrated last Sunday, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, strengthening them and empowering them just as the Lord Jesus, the Son, has promised that the Father would send them the Holy Spirit. It was through the same Spirit that all of us have received life as well, and those who have received the Holy Spirit, that is all of us, have received more fully the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Now, we can all see how the Holy Trinity has always worked together, in perfect harmony with each other. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all worked together and were united in purpose and action, as although They are Three distinct Persons, but They are indivisible and inseparable from each other, and is part of one Godhood. It is wrong to say that the Father is the Son, or the Holy Spirit, or vice versa as They are all distinct from each other. But They exist together in one perfect union of love that cannot be separated, by anyone or anything. The Father is fully God, just as the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is also fully God, all sharing the same Godhood, the one and only True God. This is something which some people find hard to accept or to understand, and some failed to believe it because they thought that they knew things better. But God and His mysteries are far more than what we can comprehend with our minds alone.
There are many ways for us to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity better, one of which is the famous shamrock or three-leaf clover that St. Patrick used in his missionary work in Ireland, as he utilised it to explain better the mystery of the Holy Trinity to those whom he was evangelising and preaching the Good News so that they may know God and His truth and identity better. The shamrock or the three-leaf clover is a leaf composed of three leaf blades conjoined together as one leaf. We can clearly see that there are three parts of the one leaf, that are distinct from each other and yet each of them are inseparable from each other without diminishing and changing the whole leaf. In the same way therefore, each of the members of the Holy Trinity are distinct from each other while at the same time being indivisibly united as One, and we cannot take One out of the Three without diminishing or changing the nature of God.
Another way is to use the symbolism of a flame, which can also be used to represent somewhat the concept of the Holy Trinity. Flame has three dimensions just as the Holy Trinity is composed of three Members or Persons. Flame consists of its heat, its light as well as its appearance and shape, all three of which makes up a flame as we all know it. We can feel the heat from the flame of a burning object, and we can see the illumination from the light given off by the flame, and we can see the shape of the flame itself as it burns brightly. If we are to remove the heat from the flame, it will indeed be very strange to be able to see a flame and yet without its heat, or if we remove the light instead, to see a flame with its heat, but not being able to see the light that it should have illuminated the room with. Through this comparison, we can see that each aspects of the flame are distinct from each other, and yet, each one of them describe what the whole full flame is all about, and we cannot subtract one from the whole or else we diminish or make the whole unrecognisable and different.
In the same manner therefore, the Holy Trinity is indeed composed of Three Divine Persons, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, each of Whom are equally Divine, equal in their substance and essence, equal in their Lordship and Existence from time immemorial, before even time and existence themselves began. They are Co-Equal and Co-Eternal, distinct from each other and yet at the same time, being perfectly united as the One and only One True God of all. That is what we believe in as Christians, in God Who is One but Three, and Who is also Three but One. One God, One Godhood but Three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each of the Three Divine Persons show the different aspects of the One Godhood, and which are perfectly united and are in harmony with each other in the perfect union of perfect love that is found in God alone.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, while we may try to make the concept of the Holy Trinity better understood, as how the Church fathers and others like St. Patrick had done, and as I had attempted to explain and elaborate on ways to understand the Holy Trinity mystery better, but the reality is that, this most important tenet of our faith is indeed a mystery that can never actually be fully understood by our minds and intelligence alone. We have to understand and appreciate the Holy Trinity through the eyes of faith, and by listening to God Himself speaking to us through the Wisdom He has given us through the Holy Spirit. That is how we can truly understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity, guided by the Lord and His love, His Wisdom and His providence.
And we should not try to seek to know the fullness of the truth behind the Holy Trinity, as St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the most brilliant among the Church fathers and a Doctor of the Church can show us, in how when he was pondering about the mystery of the Holy Trinity, he encountered a young boy by the seashore, pouring the water of the sea into a small hole using a seashell. When St. Augustine asked the boy, the boy responded saying that he was pouring the whole entire sea into the small hole, which was impossible, and when St. Augustine mentioned that to the young boy, it was when the young boy, which was a vision for St. Augustine to remind him, responded that the same applies therefore to his attempts to understand the Holy Trinity, as it is impossible for the limited human mind and intelligence to be able to contain and understand the full nature of the Holy Trinity.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore reflect carefully on our faith in our God, the Most Holy Trinity of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let us all do whatever we can to believe wholeheartedly in Him, and entrusting ourselves to His Providence so that we may truly live our lives worthy of God, guided by the will of the Father, led by the examples of the Son, and encouraged by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. May our lives be the shining beacons of light and truth of God to many others who journey together with us and encounter us at each and every moments. May our Lord, the Most Holy Trinity, continue to bless us and guide us throughout our lives, now and always, forevermore. Amen.