Dear Fellow Parishioners:
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. We are invited to profess and reflect on this central mystery of our Christian faith.
In Canon 234 The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the ‘hierarchy of the truths of faith.’ The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals Himself to men ‘and reconciles and unites with Himself those who turn away from sin.’”
Put simply, the mystery of the Trinity says that in God there are three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but only one God. It is as if we are saying one plus one plus one equals one. Wow!
Down through the centuries countless theologians have attempted to help us understand this foundation of our Christian faith. One approach was to examine how nature reflects the Trinity. For example, Saint Patrick made us of the shamrock. He pointed out how there are three leaves but only one shamrock. Another example, Saint Ignatius utilized music. He pointed out how three musical notes played simultaneously give us only one sound. Finally, consider the example of water. It can exist as vapor (steam), solid (ice), and liquid. Yet, chemically, all three states are identical. Yes, these are feeble attempts; yet, they do provide some insight into this incredible mystery.
A second approach was to show how Sacred Scripture reveals the Trinity. From Jesus’ commissioning of the disciples (Matthew 28:19) to His baptism (Luke 3:22) to His announcement of the arrival of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26), this great mystery is proclaimed. In fact, references to the Trinity permeate the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Luke even presents a Trinitarian perspective of history. Implicit in his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles is the idea that the Old Testament era is the “era of the Father,” the gospel era is the “era of the Son,” and the post-gospel era (beginning on Pentecost) is the “era of the Spirit.” Yes, as the theologian Karl Rahner offered, “the one God has three ways of being.”
Therefore, this weekend take time to profess and ponder the great mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.
Keep the faith,
Fr. Brian Fier
P.S., this weekend we also honor our high school graduates at the Sunday 10:30am Mass. Please keep these young men and women in your prayers as they move forward in life. May their Catholic faith and the Church always be a foundation for them. God bless!