Introduction

This weekend we celebrate Trinity Sunday. “Christians are baptized ‘in the name of the

Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Before receiving the sacrament [of

Baptism], they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son

and the Spirit: ‘I do.’ The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity (Catechism of the

Catholic Church, [CCC] 232).” The celebration of the Trinity is the celebration of life in

the Trinity. How are we part of the eternal life of the Trinity? How do we put things in

order for the Trinity? How do we protect the interventions of the Trinity so that nothing

perishes?

 

Theme

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes

in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

 

Have eternal life in the Trinity

For what do we live? For what do we select our fight? The celebration of the Trinity

requires intentional effort of all believers to protect the source of eternal life. The Trinity

is a companion for eternal life:

“St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called ‘the Theologian’, entrusts this summary of

Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople: Above all guard for me this great

deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion,

and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of

faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am

soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the

companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing

one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of

substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts

down…the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is

entirely God. . . the three considered together…I have not even begun to think of unity

when the Trinity bathes me in its splendour. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity

when unity grasps me…” (CCC 256, see St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 40, 41: PG

36,417).

The Trinity is also the source of inspiration for the profession of faith in our everyday

life:

“The first ‘profession of faith’ is made during Baptism. The symbol of faith is first and

foremost the baptismal creed. Since Baptism is given ‘in the name of the Father and of

the Son and of the Holy Spirit’, the truths of faith professed during Baptism are

articulated in terms of their reference to the three persons of the Holy Trinity” (CCC

189).

 

The Trinity is important in our everyday life. Moses showed that God is the one to help

him in his everyday life so he looks for God early in the morning:

“Moses rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai,

as the Lord had commanded him,

and took in his hand the two tablets of stone.

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there,

and proclaimed the name, “The Lord.”

The Lord passed before Moses, and proclaimed,

“The Lord, the Lord,

a God merciful and gracious,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:4-6)

 

How alive is our faith? How do we keep our faith alive? To ensure that our faith is not

diminished or eventually dead, we need the Trinity to be the root of the preaching,

catechesis and prayer we are part of. But how many times have we intentionally included

the Trinity in what we say (preach), inspire (catechesis) and ask for (pray for) in our

everyday life? The Celebration of Trinity is the chance to allow the Trinity to be the root

of our everyday life:

“From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of

the Church's living faith, principally by means of Baptism. It finds its expression in the

rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis and prayer of the Church.

Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation

taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of

God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’ (CCC249).

The celebration of the Trinity is an opportunity to enhance our life in that of the Trinity

through Jesus Christ:

“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth,

the only Son from the Father…who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is

living with us forever. To catechize is ‘to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of

God's eternal design reaching fulfilment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the

meaning of Christ's actions and words and of the signs worked by him.’ Catechesis aims

at putting "people . . . in communion…with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love

of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity” (CCC 426).

In the Old Testament, Moses included God in what he said, inspired and requested:

“The Lord passed before Moses, and proclaimed,

“The Lord, the Lord,

a God merciful and gracious,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

He said, “If now I have found favour in your sight, O Lord,

I pray, let the Lord go with us.

Although this is a stiff-necked people,

 

pardon our iniquity and our sin,

and take us for your inheritance.” (Exodus 34:6-9)

The Trinity as the root and core of our daily prayer is expressed in the prayer of many

Holy men and women. For example, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity prayed with these

words:

“O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself

in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be

able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each

minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your

heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there,

but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring,

and wholly given over to your creative action.”(CCC 260, see Prayer of Blessed

Elizabeth of the Trinity.)

In a similar vein, a psalmist prays:

“Blessed are you, O Lord, God of our ancestors

and blessed is your glorious and holy name.

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,

and to be extolled and highly glorified forever.

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,

and to be extolled and highly exalted forever.

Blessed are you who look into the depths

from your throne on the cherubim.

Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,

to be sung and glorified forever.” (Daniel 3.52, 53, 54, 55, 56)

What are our examples or instances of concrete presence of the Trinity in our lives? As

we celebrate the Trinity this year, let us be inspired by the examples of Moses, the

psalmist and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity in order to be part of the eternal life of the

Trinity.

Put things in order

The celebration of the Trinity is the opportunity to adjust our life in that of the Trinity. It

is an opportunity to put things in order in our lives:

“Brothers and sisters,

put things in order, listen to my appeal,

agree with one another,

live in peace;

and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Greet one another with a holy kiss.

All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit

 

be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13.11-13)

How can we put things in order if we do not allow the Trinity to work and operate in our

lives? Each person of the Trinity is there to strengthen our life:

“The whole divine economy is the common work of the three divine persons. For as the

Trinity has only one and the same natures so too does it have only one and the same

operation: ‘The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of creation but

one principle.’ However, each divine person performs the common work according to his

unique personal property. Thus the Church confesses, following the New Testament, ‘one

God and Father from whom all things are, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all

things are, and one Holy Spirit in whom all things are.’” (258).

To put things in order in this life, we need the help of the Trinity:

“By the grace of Baptism "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

Spirit", we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the

obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light” (CCC 265, see Paul VI, CPG # 9).

God sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through him

The celebration of the Trinity is the occasion to allow the Trinity to intervene ever more

in our daily lives:

“Christ’s Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God

himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and

manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father’s power raised up Christ his Son

and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son’s humanity, including his body, into the

Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as ‘Son of God in power according to the Spirit of

holiness by his Resurrection from the dead’. St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God’s

power through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus’ dead humanity and called

it to the glorious state of Lordship” (CCC 648).

We need God’s renewed intervention in our daily life because without his intervention

human life will perish:

“Jesus said to Nicodemus:

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him may not perish

but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world,

but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Those who believe in him are not condemned;

but those who do not believe are condemned already,

because they have not believed

in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3.16-18)

Is there any aspect of our faith, world, and life perishing or collapsing? We need the

Trinity to revive us and to keep us in the eternal life of God.

 

Conclusion

We are encouraged to include the Trinity in our daily prayer (wishes), catechesis

(conversations), advice (preaching) and help (interventions). The Trinity is not only the

source of the profession of faith but also the core inspiration to accompany how we guard

and shield the eternal life God offers each person. As St. Gregory of Nazianzus entrusted

the Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople, today his words are still

relevant. He will say: “I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into

water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your

whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing

the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without

superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down…the infinite co-

naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the

three considered together…I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity

bathes me in its splendour. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity

grasps me….”