In today’s celebration of the Trinity, our readings deal with each person in turn. The first describes the majestic reign of the Father, the second the power of the Spirit in the world, and third the Risen Christ as lord of the universe. Lets confess ways we fail to appreciate the great and infinite triune God..
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God”, the poet says. That grandeur comes from the Trinity which is not a remote mystery but the root of goodness, beauty and truth in the world. The earth teems with threesomes that reflect that Triune God – sun, moon and stars; earth, sky and the sea; and notably father mother and child. God’s threefold nature underlies life.
Is it why were male and female? Genesis says; in God’s image he created them, male and female. How does gender difference make us like God. Well, the loving union of man and woman begets a third, the child. As God is three in the heavenly home, so it is on earth. That’s God’s great plan; every is to be person born of a loving union like that of the Trinity. That’s why rape’s such a sin, it turns all that to violence and cruelty. For everything is male and female and produces offspring. So all is sacred, our human rights come from being children of the triune God.
Sadly today we often ignore that centrality of the Trinity in our faith. Our forefathers can teach us a lot in this. Look at a typical early Christian Celtic prayer: “I invoke the three in one and one in three; depth of earth, height of heaven, deep of ocean”. For our ancestors the triune God wasn’t an abstract idea but all around. St.Patrick supposedly used the humble three-leaved shamrock to explain that mystery. It has three leaves but is one plant; whether Patrick actually did this is irrelevant. He Christianized the natural sense of God in Celtic culture. Just as the Celtic cross unites the cross and the circle of the sun, the twin sources of natural and spiritual life.
Then again the Trinity dominates the sacraments. We baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; we absolve from sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we confirm in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and all our mass prayers are trinitarian. We pray them all through Christ to the father in the Spirit. But our greatest trinitarian prayer is the simple blessing of ourselves. We impose the cross of redemption on our bodies as we invoke the Trinity.
Why then is the Trinity sometimes played down. Maybe the culprit was the reformation which overstressed Christ, as some sects still do today; Christolatry. As today’s gospel makes clear this fails to see that everything Christ did came from his union with the Father and the Spirit. Also Reform fundamentalists tended to overstress the Bible, Bibliolatry. Our faith is not a matter of a book. Its center is the person of the risen Christ, and Christ always in intimate relation with the Father in the Spirit. For everything he did on earth came from that union. So also God’s presence among us as a community is trinitarian. Its in the power of the Trinity that, as St.Paul says, we live and move and have our being. Its our endless strength, grace, and guarantee of eternal life. For at last we’ll be swept up by Christ in the Spirit into the eternal kingdom of the Father. With our loved ones we’ll be part of the inner life of God in a heaven of love, peace and happiness forever. For the values of the divisive world of which Satan is lord fades to ashes at last but Christ, one with the Father and the Spirit in an endlessly creative love, is lord of life forever and ever, amen.
So as people of a Trinitarian faith let us say the creed now in a new way, noting its Trinitarian format: the first part deals with the Father, the second with Christ, and the third with the Spirit which is linked to the church as his outpouring to the world.
Prayers of the faithful
As God’s people, rooted in the mystery of God as Father, Son and Spirit lets pray for what we need to our infinite triune God..
For the church in the world, especially our Pope and the bishops, that they may reach out to all in power of God as Father, Son and Spirit, and so bring the world to similar unity in diversity.
For civil leaders that they may promote unity in the country, north and south, and among all the people in the Republic..
For our youth that the mystery of the Trinity may surround them with love and bring them to the love of Christ and the church..
For ourselves and our children that as we bless ourselves with holy water for protection and grace, we may become ever more aware of the Trinity’s presence in us, above us, and around us…
For the sick and all those suffering in mind or body that the three persons in one God may raise them up to new life..
For the dead, may they enter through Christ, the door, in the Spirit, the key, to the eternal House of God the Father..
And we ask all these prayers through the same Christ, in the Spirit to the eternal Father of us all forever and ever amen
Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me king of my heart. Again in this ancient ancestral prayer the triple nature of God’s presence is invoked. We pray that Mother Mary, part of the Trinity that was the home at Nazareth may bring us all to a living relationship with the triune God…Hail Mary.