Sunday Sermon for June 12, 2022, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year C
Readings: Prov 8:22-31; Rom 5:1-5; Jn 16:12-15
As we celebrate today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the readings provide us with some beautiful and astounding teachings. I say this because, when we think of the Holy Trinity, we might look at this truth from a distance, keep it objective, and think it has little or nothing to do with us personally. This may follow from the fact that the Trinity is an absolute mystery, that is, something beyond our ability to fully comprehend in this life and in the life to come.
When something is infinitely beyond us, it is easy to give up and assume that since we cannot comprehend it fully, we cannot comprehend it at all. This is simply not true. God has revealed Himself to us, so we can comprehend Him to some degree. Even the fact that we cannot comprehend Him fully is a great grace, because that means that for all eternity we will be looking directly into His essence and never reach the end. In other words, we will never be bored. For all eternity, there will be infinitely more for us to understand and to love in the Lord.
However, before we can get to Heaven and enjoy the infinite glory of God, we must first consider what God has revealed to us about Himself and how that applies to us. In the first reading, we hear about the personification of Wisdom. We know this refers to the second Person of the Holy Trinity, but for the Jewish people to whom this was written, they did not understand that God is a Trinity of Persons, so they could not understand fully what this passage meant. They rightly understood there is only one God, but they did not understand that the one God is three divine Persons.
The second Person is revealed as finding His delight in the human race. In all of God’s creation, our Lord could have found His delight anywhere, but He chose to delight in the human race. This is because human persons are made in the image and likeness of God. Having chosen to create us in His own image and likeness, God takes great delight in being with us and bestowing his grace and love upon us.
However, we need to look even deeper at what is said in this passage from Proverbs. God loves us so much that He finds His delight to be with us. He is not distant and He is not just some objective theological concept. God is love and, while He is perfectly fulfilled in the love shared among the three Persons within the Trinity, He made us to share His love. Since love requires a relationship, there must be a personal connection between the persons who love one another. Whether this is a relationship between two human persons, or our relationship with God, a personal connection is necessary.
When we consider the love God has for us, and the delight He takes in being among us, we can see this demonstrated clearly in His choice to become one of us. As we know, He did not become one of us in order to merely live a human life and mingle among us. He loves us so much that He died for us and, in taking our humanity to Heaven, He has opened for us the way to eternal life. In other words, He wants us to be with Him!
God cannot change, so if His delight is to be with the human race, it will remain His delight for eternity. Until we can enter into eternity, our Lord tells us in the Gospel reading that the Holy Spirit is given to us; He is not only to be with us or among us, but to be within us. Remember, where one Person of the Trinity is, all three Persons are there. So, if the Holy Spirit is within us, so too are the Father and the Son. Therefore, not only is the Trinity not objective and “out there,” but He is very much subjective and within us. He is closer to us that we are to our own self. He has chosen to be in relationship with us, now we need to choose to be in relationship with Him.
This should not be difficult for us because in Baptism, each of us became a son or daughter of the Father, a member of the Son, and a Temple of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul reminds us in the second reading that the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. This means that we have been given an infinite amount of love to share in our relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and to find our delight in the Trinity, now and forever!
Fr. Altier’s column appears regularly in The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly published in St. Paul, Minn. For information about subscribing to The Wanderer, please visit www.thewandererpress.com.