Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
May 30, 2010
Secret of God Revealed
World peace is constantly threatened mainly by international terrorism. Most of these terrorists are Muslim extremists who zealously wage “jihad” or holy war against those they consider as “infidels”. They are not afraid to kill and to die because they are convinced that Paradise is their reward. These extremists base their belief on a mistaken understanding about God. For them, God is a selfish and ruthless ruler who exacts vengeance and terror upon people who do not follow his commands. Throughout history, we witnessed how peace in the world has been severely jeopardized by beliefs and convictions based on a mistaken notion about God.
We are so fortunate that we have received the Christian faith. Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, revealed to us many things about God. He said: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father” (Jn 15:15). He revealed God’s innermost secret, namely, that God is an eternal relationship of perfect love: “God is only and wholly love, the purest and infinite and eternal love. He does not live in splendid solitude but rather is an inexhaustible source of life that is ceaselessly communicated” (Pope Benedict XVI).
In the one God, there are “three Persons equal in majesty, undivided in splendor, yet one Lord, one God” (Preface). The first person is the Father. He is called “Father” because he is the source of life for the Son. The second person is called “Son” because he receives life from the Father. Father and Son love each other with a love so complete and perfect that it is a Person, the Holy Spirit. This Third Person, as the personal love between Father and Son, is the bond of union or oneness between Father and Son. God is, therefore, never alone; He is an eternal community of perfect love. God is never selfish; He is absolute generosity, a total and mutual self-giving.
In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit can only speak what he hears from the Son. And everything the Son has, he has received from the Father. It clearly shows that each one communicates their entire selves to the others – “an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and He has destined us to share in that exchange” (CCC, no. 221). The Triune God never keeps this communication of love within Himself. He invites us to enter and share in this relationship of divine love, to become part of the divine family.
Herein, therefore, lies the challenge for us. Are we ready to accept God’s invitation? It is easy to say yes to this invitation, but it is not that simple. To be part of God’s family, we ought to follow and imitate God – we should be the image and likeness of God. Jesus revealed that God is love, a community of Persons in total self-giving to each other, living in perfect unity. That is what we should become in order to be part of the family of the Trinity.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is not really about trying to fully understand this central mystery of God. It will forever remain a mystery for us because our limited human minds cannot adequately comprehend it. Rather, this feast is more about reminding us of our destiny “to share in that exchange of love” and to encourage us to live according to our dignity as image and likeness of God.
The world we live in is on the verge of collapse and total ruin. Just one press of a button can trigger a nuclear war that will send thousands of weapons of mass destruction into the air and wreak irreparable damage to the entire world. This scary scenario has been brought about by man’s unbridled egoism and thirst for power. It has been said, “blood is thicker than water”. But that is not true anymore. For instance, during elections, blood relationships take the back seat as ambitious politicians literally kill each other for power and money. Nowadays, ruthless individualism and unbridled ambition are the rule; family unity and community life are the exceptions. Societies are on the brink of decay because families are being destroyed by selfishness and individualism.
Our salvation comes from God. But God will only save us if we cooperate with His will, that we love one another, and live in unity and harmony as His children. We have to reject individualism and selfishness that cause divisions and conflicts among peoples, and learn to reach out to others in love in order to build and strengthen families and communities. When we are able to do this, salvation becomes certain, and more importantly, we are made worthy to become partakers in the life of love of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we are the living mirrors of the unity and love of the Most Holy Trinity.
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
Diocese of Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines