Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Year C. 16-06-2019 by Fr. Lubem Robert Waya, osj.
First Reading: Proverbs 8:22-31
Psalm: Psalm 8:4-9
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5
Gospel: John 16:12-15
Today, we celebrate a key mystery in our lives as Christians, that distinguishes our faith from all other faiths/creeds of the world, and that is the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. This celebration bothers on not just the identity of the Christian God, but the nature of that God as well.
Who is the Christian God, and what is His nature? Deuteronomy 6:4 says “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one,” and 1 John 4:16 says “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” It is this God who has manifested Himself to us as a Trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but He is not three gods but three persons in one God who live in a mutual self-giving love – a love so great that it overflows into the whole of creation. This invitation to love God is an invitation to enter into the very nature of God and this which runs through our readings of today, is still a mystery that we continue to grapple with for the rest of our lives as humans.
In reference to the Father, the first reading tells us that the Wisdom of the Father was at work during creation, defining the salvation plan that would be achieved in the Son who came ‘to be with the sons of men,’ to glorify the Father through the redemptive work of His passion, death and resurrection as we have in the second reading. And this prepares us for the work of the Holy Spirit who brings to completion the work of the Father and the Son, by leading us to the complete truth as we have in the gospel reading. It is this reality that Genesis 1:1-2 recounts “In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved over the waters.” Furthermore, John 1:1 in a like manner tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So we can see the first evidence of the presence of the Blessed Trinity made manifest at creation. This means that there is no time in which any of the Divine persons is not present. However, it is only through God the Son, who is the visible face of the invisible Father that we are able to fully know God and physically experience God as one with us (Emmanuel). That is why Christ says in John 14:6 “I am the way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This means that in bringing us to the complete truth, the Holy Spirit will lead us to Christ. And this the Holy Spirit accomplishes in our lives in two ways: by teaching us all things, and reminding us everything that Christ has said to us, cf. John 14:26. The reason why Jesus does not explain everything to His disciples is not that He can’t, but because of the inability of His disciples to bear the burden of His message. What makes the burden so heavy is the cross. It would not have been possible for us to easily understand that God’s plan for our salvation included the failure, defeat, and death of Jesus His Son, and that our real life can only be achieved through self-giving like that of Christ. This is the ‘whole truth’ and it would be impossible to bear this without the power of the Spirit who convinces us to accept the Father’s plan and the work of the Son. And this is how God is glorified in our lives. Because by accepting God’s plan and Christ’s redemptive work in our lives, the Holy Spirit instills love in our hearts and the wicked are moved to repent of their sins, the poor are helped, the suffering are comforted, hope is restored to the despondent and the crippled are lifted up to walk again. And with such power to love even our enemies, all the children of the world would be able to live together in peace. This is when we can boast of living the Trinitarian life which is primarily characterized by love, unity and peace, and this is when as Christians we can claim that we truly know God and are properly serving Him. The truth is if we fail to know God, we cannot fully know ourselves, because if God as a Trinity is love and He is one, then the love that is within us is a reflection of God who invites us to appreciate our oneness as human beings without destroying our differences as individual persons. So without God we are not fully human and cannot fulfill the purpose for our creation. May the Lord help us to imitate Him in the Trinity, so that we can live together in love, unity and peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.