“…LIVE IN PEACE, AND THE GOD OF LOVE AND PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU” (2 Cor 13:11)
Exod 34:4b-6, 8-9; Dan 3:29-30, 31, 33, 32, 34 (R.v.29b); 2 Cor 13:11-13; John 3:16-18
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you. Amen (2Cor 13:14).
The theology of the Holy Trinity remains a mystery which is beyond full human understanding. The reality of the idea of the three persons in one God spreads through the entire scriptures but it is more obvious in the New Testament.
The first instance is at creation right at beginning of the book of Genesis. God is mentioned as the creator (Gen 1:1), the Spirit of God hovered over the waters (Gen 1:2), but God created with the word (Gen 1:3). Compare that with John 1:1-3. Again, God said, “Let us make man in ‘our’ own image…” (Gen 1:26-27). God could not have been talking to the angels since he would not have been sharing the same nature with the angels (cf. Heb 1:1-5). For other places where God speaks of himself in the plural form, see Gen 3:22. In Gen 18:1-22, God appeared to Abraham in the form of three men.
The Prophets also portray this idea. For instance, when Isaiah beheld the throne of God in his call, God spoke of himself in both singular and plural, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? (Isa 6:8) But before then, the seraphs praised God in tripartite form, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” (Isa 6:3).
The New Testament is more obvious in this teaching of the Holy Trinity and we cannot exhaust it here. But take a look at these passages: Matt 28:19, 11:27, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 11:13, John 1:1-18, Gal 4:4-7, etc. We equally got a new understanding of the equality between them (see John 10:30, 38, 14:8-11, 17:5).
Despite the obvious union, they were at times mentioned distinctly as we could also see in many of the passages mentioned above and others yet unmentioned. For instance, listen to 1Pet 1:2-3, “…to those whom God the Father has called, according to his plan, and made holy by the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ…” They equally sometimes manifest distinctly. For instance, the Father creates, the Son is born of the Virgin Mary and dies on the cross and the Spirit descends on the disciples.
So we are talking about the union of three distinct persons in one unified divine nature. That means, even though they are sometimes seen differently, AT NO TIME DOES ONE ACT WITHOUT THE OTHER. This union is without confusion since it is made of love.
Today, we are invited by St. Paul in the Second Reading (2 Cor 13:11-13) to share in the life of the Trinity by mending our ways and learning to live in mutual love and peace as they do. Some days ago, we joined the Holy Father to spend a minute of prayer for world peace. Now, beyond the prayer, we need to work consciously for peace, beginning from our homes and places of work.
The First Reading (Exod 34:4b-6, 8-9) gives us a clue on how to begin that process of working for peace. It presents God as merciful and gracious. This graciousness is most evident in God sending his Son to redeem us as the Gospel (John 3:16-18) narrates. It is required of us to do same for others.
As we heed that call of St Paul, may the Holy Trinity ever help us to remain faithful in the unity of all the children of God in love. Amen.
Happy Trinity Sunday dear. Peace be with you.