Feast of the Most Holy Trinity
Reading: John 3:16-18
This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. The first reading is from the Book of Exodus. In modern versions of the Bible, Exodus is second in the sequence of Old Testament books.
As its name suggests, in general Exodus recalls the journey of the Hebrews through the Sinai Peninsula toward the land God had promised them after their escape from Egypt.
The message of Exodus is emphatic. The Hebrews’ escape succeeded only because God provided guidance for them, and they followed this guidance. Otherwise, they would have been at the mercy of the elements, the pursuing Egyptians and the harsh realities of the sterile and forbidding desert. They would have been easy prey for all manner of perils.
Also essential to the story is the communication between God and Moses, the great prophet who, in God’s name, led the Hebrews in their flight from Egyptian slavery. In this story, Moses climbs a high mountain, Mount Sinai. Mountaintops were often seen earthly places closer than lower sites to the heavenly God. Jerusalem’s temple was built on a mountain, for example.
Moses admitted to God the people’s unfaithfulness and sin, yet he implored the merciful God to save them.
St. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians is the source of the second reading.
Calling the Christians of Corinth to piety was a particular challenge for Paul, since Corinth justifiably was known throughout the Mediterranean world of the first century as being a virtual cesspool of vice and licentiousness. A rich commercial center on the route between East and West, it also was a center of greed and exceeding competition.
The great Apostle urged the Christian Corinthians to rely on Jesus and the strength given through and in Jesus of the Holy Spirit.
For its third reading, the Church on this feast gives us a selection from St. John’s Gospel. It is an insight into the identity of Jesus and the union between the Lord and believers.
Jesus explains that the Messiah is from God, and the Messiah is of God. Thus, the Messiah’s words are not just the comments of another human being. Rather, they are from God. The Son is one with the Father. To hear the Son is to hear the Father.
Also, Jesus says that the Father sent the Son into the world of space and time, to be with humanity, to redeem humanity, in an act of divine love.
Finally, Jesus insists that the mission of the Son is not to condemn the world, but to give everlasting life to the just and the truly humble. Anyone who accepts the Son wins eternal life.
All three readings unite in their common message about the love of God. Moses faces God fully aware of the Hebrews’ disloyalty to God. Moses relies upon God’s love, however, to show mercy despite the people’s sins.
Paul reassures the Corinthian Christians that they can withstand any pressure put forward by the pagan culture around them if they commit themselves together and completely to God.
In the Gospel, Jesus the Lord declares that the Son of God is in the world as Messiah and God’s gift because of God’s endless and perfect love.
With these emphases upon God’s love, the Church this weekend celebrates the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. The Lord Jesus revealed the Trinity. While prefigurements and suggestions of the Trinity occur in the Old Testament, knowledge of the Trinity comes from the New Testament.
Humans did not deduce the Trinity. Through and by Jesus, God revealed the Trinity. This revelation by God was a sign of His unlimited love for humanity. He gives us this knowledge so that we might understand and return this miraculous love.
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