MAY 30, 2021- 10:30 AM
Saint Cecilia Catholic Community
Deacon Sharon Kay Talley
Deuteronomy 4:32-34;39-40 | Psalm 33:4-6:9;18-20;23
Romans 8:14-17 | Matthew 28:18-20

+In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we celebrate one of the greatest mysteries of our Catholic faith:  the Holy Trinity.  This is the celebration that reminds us the most that the three Divine Persons, God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit are working together and are never separated.

The late author and biologist, Rachel Carson, who wrote “Silent Spring “in 1962 warning of the dangers to all-natural systems from the misuse of chemical pesticides such as DDT, was once quoted stating:

“When I look at the beauty of the world and see the mountains and the valleys, the ocean and the sky, I am reminded that I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.”

“When I read about bloodshed and violence, and see murder and hatred, stress and strife, selfishness and phoniness, I am reminded that I believe in Jesus Christ, who for our sake was crucified.”

“And when I feel the wind in my face and the freedom of the fresh country breeze on a walk at sunset, I am reminded that I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life.”

Even today, no amount of scientific research or philosophical debate can fully explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, it is a mystery.

The word “trinity” comes from the Latin word “trinitas”  which means threefold.  Our Catholic doctrine holds that God is one God, but three coeternal and consubstantial persons:  God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios).  In this context, a “nature” is “what” one is, whereas a “person” is “who” one is.

The subset of Christianity that accepts this doctrine is known as Trinitarianism, while the subset that does not is referred to as Nontrinitarianism or Arianism.

Contrasting with Trinitarianism are positions such as Binitarianism (one deity in two persons) and Monarchianism (no plurality of persons within God) of which Modalistic Monarchicinism (one deity revealed in three modes) and Unitarianism (one deity in one person) are subsets.

The books in the New Testament hold a “triadic” understanding of God as revealed in Matthew 28:19 which we read today.  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  And in Corinthians 12 and 13, the Apostle Paul’s blessing, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

In attempting to explain the trinity, some have tried to give human illustrations:

–H2O is water in one form, ice in another, and steam in yet another form, but all are still H2O.

St. Patrick likened the Trinity to a shamrock, a three-leaf clover with all leaves comprised of the same material.

–another illustration they use is the sun:  From it, we receive light, heat, and radiation.  Three distinct aspects, but still only one sun.

–Others have tried to use math to explain the trinity:  1+1+1=3, but when multiplied, 1x1x1=1

But if math and human illustrations do not fully explain the trinity for you, maybe Pope Francis’ explanation will.

On the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Pope Francis told the faithful that God loves the world, despite its sins.  He noted that Jesus presents Himself as “He who brings to fulfillment the Father’s plan of salvation for the world.  When Jesus affirms, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The Pope explained, “these words are to indicate that the action of the three divine Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is a single plan of love that saves humanity, and the world.”  “The Trinity is, therefore, Love all in the service of the world, which He, God, wishes to save and recreate.”

In our first reading from Deuteronomy, Moses tells us of all the wonderful and mysterious works of God, such as “speaking from the midst of the fire.”  Moses encourages us to uphold our faith in God since it is only God who can provide salvation through His mysterious and life-changing acts.

In our second reading today from Romans, Paul speaks about the three divine Persons:  “For those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God”.  “And we are heirs with Christ”.  It is the Holy Spirit, promised to us by Jesus, that proceeds from both the Father and the Son that helps us in calling God, the Father: Abba, and God, the Son:  Jesus.

Today, we are reminded that the three divine Persons are not divided in their mission: the salvation of the world.  God, the Father, Abba, sent the Son, Jesus, to redeem the world.  Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, and Advocate, to guide us in our daily lives of carrying out God’s will:  unity and love.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can learn to live and work together as one family of God.  In spite of our many differences, whether racial, sexual, social, economic, personal talents, or abilities, we can learn to live and work together for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

As Rodney King, who in 1991 was beaten by LAPD officers during his arrest stated, “People, can’t we all just get along?”

Let us pray.

Glory be to the Father

Who by His almighty power and love created me,

making me in the image and likeness of God.

Glory be to the Son,

Who taught us to love God and one another,

and thereby opened for me and all of humankind the gates of heaven.

Glory be to the Holy Spirit,

Who sanctified me in the sacrament of Baptism,

and continues to sanctify me

by the graces I receive daily from Her bounty.

Glory be to the Three Divine Persons of

the Holy Trinity

Now and forever.