The Trinity is the great mystery of faith, what the old Celtic church called “the three in one and one in three”. Our readings deal with each person of the Trinity in turn. The first describes the majesty of God the Father. The second the power of the spirit in us, and the third describes the Risen Christ as lord of the universe. Lets confess ways we fail serve the triune God..
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God”, the poet says. That grandeur comes from the Trinity which isn’t a remote mystery but the dynamic behind goodness, beauty and truth on earth. Indeed, the earth teems with sacred threesomes that reflect that Triune God – sun, moon and stars; earth, sky and the sea; father, mother and child. Its even why were male and female. Scripture says; in God’s image he created them, male and female.
How does sexuality make us like God? The love union of man and woman begets a third, the child. As God is three in the heavenly home, so it is in the earthly home. What a wise plan of God, that each person born into the world should be born of a loving union like that of the Trinity. Is that why everything is male and female and produces offspring? Clearly, we are all sacred, our human rights come from being outpourings 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 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 us. St.Patrick supposedly used the humble three-leaved shamrock to explain that mystery. It has three leaves but is only one plant. Whether Patrick actually did this is irrelevant; it Christianizes the naturalistic sense of God in Celtic culture so its just what he would have done. Just as the Celtic Cross unites the cross and the circle of the sun, the twin sources of life.
The Trinity also permeates the sacraments. We baptize in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit; we absolve from sins in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, we confirm in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. And all our mass prayers are trinitarian. We pray all the prayers through Christ to the father in the Spirit. But the simplest and greatest trinitarian prayer is the blessing of ourselves. We impose the Trinity and the cross of redemption on our very bodies.
Why then is the Trinity sometimes played down. Maybe the culprit was the reformation which overstressed Christ, as some sects still do today; Christiolatry. As today’s gospel makes clear this fails to recognize that everything Christ did came from his union with the Father in the Spirit. Also reform fundamentalists tend to overstress the Bible, Bibliolatry. Our faith is not a matter of a book. Its center is the person of the risen Christ always in intimate relation with the Father and the Spirit. For everything he did on earth came from that union. So also God’s presence among us is trinitarian. Its in the power of the Trinity that we live and move and have our being. And at last we’ll be swept up by Christ in the Spirit into the Father’s kingdom of love. With our loved ones we’ll share the life of God in a heaven of love and unity powered by the Trinity. For the divisive values of this world of which Satan is lord fade to ashes at last but Christ, one with the Father and the Spirit in a unity of love, is lord of love and 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, his outpouring to the world.
Prayers of the faithful
As the people of God rooted in the mystery of God as Father, Son and Spirit lets pray for what we need to our 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 unity in diversity..
For civil leaders that they may promote the unity and peace of the people, north and south, and so image the Trinity of peace..
For our wonderful youth; as the Trinity makes all things sacred, may they believe in and worship that triune God with all their hearts within the church, the concrete emblem of the Spirit..
For ourselves that as we bless ourselves at home and bless our children with holy water, we may become ever more aware of the Trinity’s presence in us, above us, and around us in caring love.
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 keep us all in a living relationship with the triune God…Hail Mary,