Feast of the Holy Trinity
The Book of Deuteronomy provides this feast’s first reading. Deuteronomy is among the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. These books form for Jews the basic revelation by God.
This reading describes an instruction given by Moses to the Hebrew people as they wandered across the Sinai Peninsula, fleeing Egypt where they had been slaves, and in search of the prosperous land that God had promised them.
In this reading, Moses is quoted as having told the people that God created all. God had spoken to them. God is in heaven. Finally, Moses said that the people must obey God’s commandments. Each statement in powerful in its implications.
They revealed God. Moreover, they were God’s own revelation. Freely, God had revealed to humans the identity of their Creator, had related to them, and had set the standards for the people’s relationship with the Creator.
For the second reading this weekend, the Church presents a passage from the Epistle to the Romans. By the time St. Paul wrote this letter to the Christians of Rome, the reality of God, certainly as understood in the Jewish tradition and in the Christian tradition beginning to form, was accepted.
The marvel in Paul’s message is that Christians share the divine life. They are more than creatures of God. They are God’s children. God is the Father. Indeed, disciples are encouraged to address God as “Father,” as “Abba,” an ancient term for fathers that was a particular, gentle and loving endearment.
Paul continues. As children of God, the faithful are heirs to the eternal life of God. All this, of course, is accomplished in and through the individual Christian’s bond with the Lord Jesus.
St. Matthew’s Gospel supplies the last reading. It is a Resurrection narrative, clear and compelling. The risen Lord appears before the 11 surviving Apostles on a mountain. He spoke to them in human words. They understood. He conferred upon them all authority on earth and in heaven. He then commissioned them to go into the entire world, bringing all whom they would meet into the one body, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Then, Jesus promised to be with them until the end of the world.
Overall, the teaching in these lessons is that God lives, and that God unites with us. He communicates with us. He meets us in our world. He speaks our language. He loves us.
God revealed to us the reality and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the very identity of God. Humans never deduced or even imagined the Trinity on their own, in their own minds. It was divine Revelation in every sense.
Why did God reveal the Trinity to humans?
To answer the question, it helps to think about how people introduce themselves or make themselves better known.
“Good morning, I am John,” or, “I am Mary.” As the conversation continues, “I live around the corner,” or “I am from the next town.” “I went to school here.” “My sister is older than I.” “I work for the department store in the mall.”
Being more personal: “I had surgery for a tumor.” “I am 50 years of age.” “I am married.” “My wife and I have four children.”
It goes on, each statement giving more information about the person so that we better may know him or her.
In revealing the Trinity, in sending Jesus to be among us and tell us so much about God, our heavenly Father gives us every opportunity to know Him. He wants us to know Him. He loves us.
We belong to God. We are God’s children. We are much, much more than creatures. We are God’s cherished sons and daughters.
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