My brothers and sisters in Christ, in recognition of your presence here today to celebrate the Feast of Trinity Sunday, may the grace of God shine on you abundantly.In view of all this, Trinity Sunday is celebrated once a year, during which time the readings from the Holy Scriptures place emphasis of the Three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity.
First of all, in order for you to understand the First Reading from the Book of Proverbs, it is necessary to understand the origin of Trinity Sunday in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.
"Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, was instituted to honour the Most Holy Trinity. The early Church did not honour the Trinity by a special Office or day. When the Arian heresy was at its height, an Office with canticle, responses, a Preface, and hymns was composed by the Fathers, and recited on Sundays." (Source: "The New Catholic Dictionary", Copyright 1929.)
"Bishop Stephen of Liège (903-20) wrote an Office of the Holy Trinity which was recited in some places on the Sunday after Pentecost, in others on the Sunday preceding Advent. St. Thomas Becket, consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on the Sunday following Pentecost, obtained for England the privilege of honouring the Holy Trinity on that day, and Pope John XXII (1316- 34) made this practise universal. A Plenary Indulgence is gained by those who receive the Holy Eucharist on this day. The Gospel of the Mass (in Cycle B of the Liturgical Calendar) is the charge of Christ to His Apostles to teach all nations 'baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.'" (Ibid.)
"Trinity Sunday is the last day in the United States for the observance of what is known as the Easter duty, so called because it is of obligation for all Catholics to confess and partake of Holy Communion once a year, usually between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday." (Ibid.)
Regarding the Arian heresy, known as "Arianism," it was a heresy propagated by Arius who denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. He regarded the Son of God as standing midway between God and creatures; not like God without a beginning, but possessing all other Divine perfections, not of one essence, nature, substance with the Father and therefore not like him in Divinity. In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicea adopted the Doctrine of the Divinity of Christ which expressed the identity of the Son in essence, nature, substance with the Father. (Ibid.)
Today's First Reading from the Book of Proverbs occasioned serious difficulty with the Arians who used this text to support the created nature of Jesus as the Word of God. While the author of the Book of Proverbs did use the word "create" to explain the eternal existence of the Wisdom of God, in all truth, he did not do so for the purpose of identify a beginning of Wisdom. Expressing himself the best way that he could, the author was trying to assert the absolute priority of Wisdom and her origin from God before all creation. The author strived to assert that Wisdom was with God prior to the creation of the visible universe. By placing Wisdom first, before creation, this acknowledges the superiority of Wisdom over and above all created things.
For God to create the order of all what is seen and unseen, He had to possess infinite Divine Wisdom that included knowledge and understanding. For nothing can be created prior to being known and understood. Nor can creation take place without the Wisdom that places each thing in its order and knows the long-term outcome of each creation as it relates to the next one.
As such, Wisdom came first before creation.
During today's Second Reading from The Letter of Paul to the Romans, we heard that God justifies man through faith in Jesus Christ, this leading to the salvation of the upright man. When viewed in context with the entire Scriptures, we come to perceive that justification not only requires faith in Jesus Christ, but also the Sacrament of Baptism.
By emphasizing that we are justified through Jesus Christ, St. Paul is telling us that in the plan of salvation, the Heavenly Father has appointed Christ as our Mediator.
St. Paul also tells us that the reconciled Christian who will be saved, he will share with hope in the risen life of Christ. The first effect of justification is the Christian experience of peace. This is a peace that anxieties cannot upset, a hope that knows no disappointment, and a confidence of salvation of which the Christian can truly boast.
As Christians, we boast in the hope of the glory of God. We put our boast in something that is wholly beyond our ordinary natural powers - in hope. This hope is a free gift to us from God just like faith itself. And in the long run, our boast relies on God. What we hope for is the communicated glory of God, still to be attained, even though we have already been introduced to the grace of God.
St. Paul tells us that through sufferings, endurance, the forming of character and hope, God's love is poured into our hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This love of God, it is not "our love of God" but rather, "God's love of us."
All the gifts that we receive from God, be it His grace, faith, hope, peace, justification, they are bestowed upon us through the Blessed Trinity. It is by the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in the Most Holy Name of Jesus that God manifests His love in us, with us and through us so His light may shine in the world.
Today's Gospel Reading from the Gospel of John reaffirms the three fold action of the Blessed Trinity in our lives. Both, the Father and the Son have sent the Holy Spirit in the world as the Spirit of truth to guide us into the truth. As Jesus did not speak of His own, but spoke of what He heard from the Father, the Holy Spirit also will not speak on His own, but he speaks of what He hears.
During the Gospel Reading, we heard Jesus say, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." From these words, we learn that while "Revelation is already complete in Jesus Christ, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries." (C.C.C. # 66)
As we are able to grasp the truth, depending on our age and our openness to the knowledge and understanding of Scriptures, the grace of God shines on us according to our need and our desire to grow in Christ. Such a grace may be manifested by the Holy Spirit who may choose to inspire us, guide us to written teachings of the Catholic Church, or possibly put on our path a loving teacher who will explain to us what we seek to learn for the glory of God.
My brothers and sisters, before proceeding with the celebration of the Holy Mass, I would like to ask you to take the time this week to reflect upon the Blessed Trinity. Take any event in your life, be it related to your faith, your marriage, your employment, or even the birth of a child, and ask yourself the following question. "How was the love of God manifested in this event through the Blessed Trinity?" "What was the role of the Heavenly Father?" "What was the role of Jesus?" "What was the role of the Holy Spirit?" And when you come to perceive the individual roles of each Person of the Blessed Trinity, take a moment to thank God for His priceless involvement in this event of your life.
May the grace and peace of God be with you this week.
Sunday, May 22, 2016
on May 22, 2016