THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY YEAR B ON MAY 30, 2021 (R. 1: Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33: 4- 6, 9, 18-20, 22; R. 2: Romans 8: 14-17; Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20)
FR EMMANUEL INEDU OCHIGBO
THE CORE OF OUR FAITH
A woman did not know what to do about her two troublesome boys. Her neighbor said she had a boy like them and she took him to her pastor/parish priest, who solved the problem. The mother of the two boys said, “I am not Catholic, I am not even religious, but I will try anything for my boys.” The first boy was taken to the priest’s office and the priest said, “Where is God?” The boy rolled his eyes and said nothing. Again the priest asked raising his voice, “Where is God?” Still the boy rolled his eyes and said nothing. The priest asked the same question for the third time raising his voice more than before. The boy jumped from his seat, ran out of the priest’s office and said to his brother, “Let’s get out of here now! God is missing and they think we are responsible for it.”
In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Today we celebrate the core of our faith, which is the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and the invitation for us to participate in this divine life.
Abraham championed the break from the worship of many gods (polytheism) thereby giving rise to the worship of the One God (monotheism). The Jews, as descendants of Abraham, also take the worship of the God of Abraham as central in their life. Today’s first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy is an instruction from Moses on the worship of the God of Abraham. The loyalty to the worship of the One God (the God of Abraham) played a very significant role in the controversies between the Jews and Jesus Christ, which eventually led to his crucifixion. He was accused of blasphemy; they shouted “This man must die because he claimed to be God!” They saw Jesus as a major challenge to their belief in God. His words, his teachings and actions pointed to his divinity. He forgave sins (something reserved for God); he healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and called God the intimate name Abba (Papa, Baba, Dad), a term only a son or daughter could use. They had known only One God, why is Jesus, a man, claiming to be God?
At what point did Jesus become God? At what point did the Holy Spirit become God? There is no “becoming” in God. God does not change, but we grow in our understanding of God. God has always been One and always three Persons in One God. From the very beginning of the Bible, we see the three Persons in One God at work. In Genesis 1: 1, God the Father created the heavens and the earth. In the next verse, (Genesis 1: 2) the Holy Spirit was hovering over the face of the waters, while in Genesis 1:3, the Word (Jesus) was spoken to bring about creation (cf. John 1: 1ff). In Genesis 1: 26, God said, “Let Us make man in our image…” This certainly was a conversation among the three Persons in One God. The most unambiguous expression of the doctrine on the Blessed Trinity in the New Testament is found in today’s Gospel passage, the end of the Gospel according to Matthew, “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.”
While the Gospel is ending, the disciples are only beginning their world mission in the name of the Blessed Trinity. The world which was created as a reflection of the Father, the Son (the Word), and the Holy Spirit, is to return to its origins through the preaching of the Gospel and the Sacraments. Our take home from the doctrine on the Blessed Trinity is that God is not a lonely old man sitting up there in heaven and not interested in us. God is a family; God is a relationship; God is the model of unity and communion for all people. In God there are three distinct Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), yet One in divinity. We do not need to be exactly the same to be able to get along. In any relationship where two persons are identical in everything, one of them is not needed. We can bring our individuality together as treasures to enrich our community. As they say, “Variety is the spice of life.” And so, we enter into the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we give glory to God the Father, through Jesus Christ His Son our Lord and in communion with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.