A reflection on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
by Fr. Edem Afoutou, CJM
The feast of the Holy Trinity is that of God’s community. We are reminded that God lives in community, that of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each mass is indeed a family meeting where the three Persons of the Trinity, as well as ourselves who have been made Christians in the name of Trinity are gathered. If the term Trinity cannot be found in the Bible, the truth of the Trinity is everywhere present throughout the Sacred Scriptures, the New Testament especially. Humanity came to know God as Triune only through Jesus. In Our gospel today Jesus sent his apostles asking them to baptize all the nations in the name the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Christians are being constituted as such in the name of the Trinity.
From the Unique God to the revelation of the Trinity
The revelation God made of himself was done gradually. At first, he revealed himself to Israel as the unique and the loving God behind the beauty of the creation. There is Divine Wisdom, a unique God who made all things. In a context where people were worshipping the elements of the creation as gods, (the sun, the ocean, the mountains…splendid sky), it was a treasure for Israel to discover the one true God. When God revealed himself, first to Abraham, then to Moses at the early stage of revelation, He did introduced himself as the Unique God, the God who makes wonders. With Moses we knew the deeds of God, especially when He delivered his people from Egypt. This encounter with Moses sealed for good the foundational experience of Judaism.
What about Christianity? What has been the primordial experience of Christianity? While assuming this experience of Israel, the apostles and the other disciples of Jesus witnessed a new phase of God’s revelation. Jesus came and revealed not only God’s deed of love, but also His very Being. Jesus revealed to us that God is a community of Persons bound by a strong love. And that the overflowing of that divine love includes not only humanity, but also the whole creation. My favorite passage in the whole Bible to express this mystery of the Trinity is the hymn we find in the letter to the Colossians. This has been a song the early Christians used to sing in their community gathering:
"Jesus is the image of the Invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, He is above all things and all things remain in him... 1:15,20.
The Trinity is characterized by the logic of totality: The most precious thing the Father has is the Son and He gives Him to humanity. The Son in return gives Himself totally to humanity. The love of the Father and the Son for the whole wold is personified in the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit embraces and inspires the whole of creation. No half measure with God.
How do Christians experience spiritually this whole reality?
Actually as Catholics, our spiritual life is much rooted in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Gathered as people who are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we start the mass with the sign of the cross through which the family of God is formed. As the mass goes on, the prayers are addressed to the Father through the Son. (Through our Lord…) at the consecration, the transformation of the bread is done through the invocation of the Holy Spirit… At the end of the Eucharistic prayer, an homage is giving to the persons of the Trinity, in the prayer called doxology: « Through Him (Christ) with Him and in Him, O God Almighty Father, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit all glory and honor is yours forever and ever…). Later on, the prayer of peace is addressed to Christ and at the end of the mass we are blessed and sent in the name of Trinity to go and proclaim that God is Good as we have started.
So as we see, every Eucharist is an encounter with the Holy Trinity. Let’s us value that spirituality, diving in it especially today. Let’s take our place at the heart of God’s mystery that Jesus lovingly introduced to us.