Pray to the Father, Through the Son, in the Holy Spirit: Trinity Sunday Reflection
Theme: “Divine Presence of God: we pray TO the Father, THROUGH the Son, IN the Holy Spirit” Holy Trinity is LOVE. God the Father so loved the World that He sent His only Son to redeem us in the act of the Holy Spirit.”
The Gist of the Trinity: The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian Faith. In the Hierarchy of the Truth of Faith, Trinity is the highest point of all the Truth of Faith. However, there is a need to understand that there is an Immanent Trinity and Economic Trinity. Immanent Trinity simply means that the Way the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit communicate within themselves is eternal and they know each other better within the self-communication and they are one and distinct. And how do we know that there is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Thus, the Economic Trinity.
The way the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit have revealed themselves to us is the Economic Salvation History and thus, the Economic Trinity: it is the Trinity that came to be known or recognised in the History of Salvation according to God’s plan, the will of God. That is why we know God as the Father and as the Father, He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us(humanity), and sent the Holy Spirit to Strengthen and act, and by the action of the Holy Spirit, humanity is empowered ad equipped for the mission. That is why in our faith we need to pray TO the Father, THROUGH the Son, IN the Holy Spirit.
This is the LOVE God has shown to Humanity. The heart of Christian Faith is in the Triune God: there is LOVE among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: That’s our Faith. Our Faith in the Trinity rests on God’s revelation of Himself in the economy of Salvation. We do not have access to the Trinity outside what God has revealed to us by sending His only Son and giving us the Holy Spirit. God has revealed Himself to humanity as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What is most important for us Christians to understand is that the three divine persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are present all time and they act in the world by one single action because the divine action is Trinitarian.
Point of reflection: Glory be to the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit, as it was, in the beginning, is now and ever shall be the world without end, Amen.At the heart of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is the mystery of three persons, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are distinct and yet one. Today’s Scriptural readings reveal that these three persons exist and act in communion which affects believers in the most profound ways.
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32–34, 39–40
Psalm: Psalm 33:4–6, 9, 18–20, 2
Second Reading: Romans 8:14–17
Gospel: Matthew 28:16–20
Sermon (Reflection): On the feast of the Holy Trinity, the readings focus on the theme of God’s enduring presence with his people. Today’s Gospel text (Cf. Matthew 28:16–20) focuses on the everlasting presence of Jesus Christ with His missionary disciples. The passage draws our attention to one of the best-known Trinitarian texts in the New Testament, where Jesus sends His disciples to all nations “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Often known as “the great commission”, this text narrates Jesus’ only appearance to the eleven disciples in Matthew’s Gospel. The emphasis falls on the parting words of Jesus which include a word of revelation, a word of command, and a word of promise. This is the proclamation of the divine presence of God.
The command to baptise in the name of the Trinity reminds the readers of Matthew’s gospel of Jesus’ own “Trinitarian moment” which occurred at the beginning of his public life. At His baptism, the Spirit descended upon Jesus and the voice of the Father affirmed that “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Cf. Matthew 3:17). All this was an affirmation of God’s abiding presence and the Spirit’s work that would accompany Jesus in his ministry. Those who would believe and be baptised by the disciples in the name of the Triune God would enter and participate in the life of the Holy Trinity. They would be drawn into a similar divine-human communion that Jesus enjoyed during his life on earth.
The word of revelation reveals that all authority in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus. He is the glorified Lord over all creation. The word of command sends the disciples to make disciples of all nations by baptising them in the name of the Trinity and teaching them all that Jesus taught. The word of promise assures the disciples of Jesus’ enduring presence with them as they carry out their evangelising task. This last word takes us back to the beginning of the Gospel, where Jesus was introduced as the “Emmanuel”, that is “God with us” (Cf. Matt 1:23). The risen Lord does not leave his disciples but is present with them always. Through Jesus God remains with the Church, empowering her to be faithful in her mission of proclaiming and witnessing to God’s salvation.
The second reading, from the letter of Paul to the Romans, highlights the presence of the Holy Spirit among the believers. The text, which forms the first part of chapter 8, discusses “life in the Spirit.” The Greek word pneuma, usually translated as “spirit”, literally means “wind” or “breath”. For Paul, who was an Israelite, the “Spirit” meant the powerful breath of God blown into believers to give them a new life.
St Paul highlights the positive transformation that he and other Christians have experienced. Through the indwelling of the Spirit, they become the children of God. When the Spirit-filled believers turn to God in prayer, they bear a sure testimony to their unique relationship with God. This relationship is described as adoption and becoming the heirs of God. The result is the ability to call out to God “Abba! Father!” This phrase reflects a close filial relationship with the heavenly Father, who is not a distant deity but an abiding presence. This is the call for us Christians today, we need to establish a true relationship with the Father as son and Father Relationship and that is LOVE.
In the end, St Paul reminds believers that life in the Spirit is rooted in the cross of Christ. Their identity as God’s children includes participation in Christ’s sufferings. But this suffering does not lead to death but to glorification – sharing in God’s eternal life. In this short passage, Paul provides a Trinitarian foundation for the believers’ identity. The Christian, filled with the Spirit, can relate to the Father in a filial way, and participate in Christ’s suffering, all leading to profound union with the Trinity.
The first reading from the book of Deuteronomy underscores God’s enduring and liberating presence with the people of Israel. Moses addresses the people, who have just completed a long journey through the desert, and are about to enter their inheritance – the promised land. As a part of his instruction on how to live in this land, Moses recalls God’s election of Israel to be God’s special people. God drew the people to himself, inviting them to have a close and unique relationship with God himself. Israel needs to respond to God, present in its midst, with a deep and exclusive commitment; for them there must be no other God. To highlight their privileged position, Moses asks a series of questions that require a resounding “no” answer. These questions are meant to highlight that there has never been a people as privileged as the Israelites, endowed with a unique status in all of God’s creation.
Moses reminds the nation that maintaining its relationship with God is absolutely necessary for life and survival. The nation must focus its existence on God, and live by his law, in order to live securely and prosperously in the land it is about to inherit. The right way to respond to God’s magnificent deeds, and his presence, is to live by God’s Law. This Law was given with the clear purpose of ensuring the continuing possession of the land and of bringing God’s lasting blessing. Israel is thus urged to remain keenly aware of God’s presence, and cherish it by obeying divine laws and commandments.
Christian Act in Word of God “The mystery of the Holy Trinity in me”
“I am because you are” The relationship that exists within the Holy Trinity is expressed through acts that greatly benefit others. It is all about LOVE. Since we ourselves are gifted in so many ways by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, our acknowledgement of their presence within us will also mean making their presence felt by others and love one another as God is love. As Christians, our vocation is to make ourselves channels of that love that binds the three persons of the Holy Trinity and make that love binding in our human relationships as well. It’s a calling today for all of us Christians to truly love one another as God has loved us and God is Love.
If we truly consider a fellow Christian as a person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, we must certainly reflect that belief by respecting that great dignity that comes from the divine presence. Adversely, when we disregard and commit acts that diminish somebody else’s dignity, we are also showing our disregard for God’s presence.
It is a truly valuable practice to approach other people with that kind of respect that they deserve as God’s children. As people of faith, we must look at another person as someone in whom God dwells. This is also a person for whom Jesus offered Himself on the cross. The awareness that our fellow pilgrims on earth carry God within them can greatly help us to behave and treat others in a truly humane and Christian manner
Action: I will open my heart to love as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit has loved.
Prayer: O! Holy Trinity, You are love, I believe that you are really present in my life. I give you thanks for your love, O Father! I give you thanks for the gift of salvation, Lord Jesus Christ! I give you thanks Holy Spirit for guiding me and giving me strength in my journey of life. I pray that I may be ever more loving and aware of your presence in my life and find ways to open my heart to be joyfully filled with the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.