03 June 2007

FEAST AND CHALLENGE

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Jn 16:12-15

We celebrate today the deepest and greatest mystery of our Christian faith: the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. This is the mystery of God Himself. This is the mystery of what and who He really is. Today is the fiesta of God Himself.

First of all, this is what the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is telling us: There is only one God. He is not two, three, or one thousand. He is only one. He was the God of the Old Testament and He still is the God of the New Testament. He was God before anything existed, He is God today, and He will still be God until the end of time. And beyond the end of time, He will still be God who has no beginning and no end. He does not fade, and neither does He increase nor does He decrease. Yesterday, today, and forever, He and He only is God. There is no other like Him and no one is equal to Him. God is one.

Second, though He is the one and only God, He is not alone. There are Three Persons in One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Divinity, however, is not divided into three. On the contrary, the fullness of divinity resides in each of the Three Persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit enjoy individual divine existence; thus, each is indeed a Person. Each also has His own role in the economy of salvation and in sustaining the whole of creation: The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies. However, when each fulfills the role proper to Him, all Three Persons are actively present. Thus, the Father creates by the power of His Eternal Word, who is the Son, and breathes His breath, who is the Spirit, into His creation. The Son redeems, as He was sent by the Father out of love, and makes it possible for us to share in His divine life through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, as He was proceeds from the Father and the Son.

God is a community where mutual love, respect, and collaboration of Three Persons reign. Despite their individualities in existence, identity, and tasks, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit do not fight over the one Godhead; instead, they are one God. They do not contrive against one another. They congregate as one God. And we, together with all of creation, benefit from the love, respect, and collaboration They have for and with one another. The effect and benefits of Their being a community do not remain within Their community of Divine Persons; it naturally flows out and makes their community inclusive rather than exclusive. As each Divine Person exists, God pours on us grace upon grace and the gratuitous share in His very life. Clearly, we see that God, though He is a community in Himself, is not a community for Himself. He is a community for others, for us.

Third, the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity commands us to mirror God in His being a community. As there are three different Persons in One God, so it is with us. We are different from one another – in physical features, in knowledge and skills, in existence, and in tasks to fulfill – but we are one body with Jesus as Head. The meaning of our being different parts of one body whose Head is Jesus is this: We are the Church, the temple of God made of living stones. We are the image of the Most Holy Trinity. The well-respected theologian, Fr. Bruno Forte, says it well in his book, “The Church is the icon of the Trinity.”

We should celebrate our differences. Instead of being the reason for deep-seated conflicts, unhealthy disagreements, and divisions that refuse to heal, the fact that we have differences should be ironically the very reason for our greater unity. Through generously contributing our unique gifts and giftedness, we can make our Christian community a more and more a mirror of the Most Holy Trinity.

As mentioned earlier, God’s being a community is not for Himself, but for others. The same should our community be, whether we are referring to our parish or our dioceses or even the universal Church herself. We exist not for our selves. We must live for others. And by “others”, we mean not only the others who share our Christian faith, but also those who do not. “Others” include all humanity and the whole of creation. Our being Church is for others – friend and foe. Being Church is being men and women for others. The graces of our unity, respect, collaboration, and love should never remain exclusively within our community. They must continually flow in and out of our community. We are Church not only in the world but also for the world.

On this day of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we declare three things: first, God is one; second, there are Three Persons in One God; and third, we, the Church, are the icon of the Trinity in the world and for the world. Today is the fiesta of God Himself and so it is our fiesta today as well. Happy feastday to all of you! Let us face and take the challenge of this feast: Mirror the community of the One God in and for our one, but fragmented, world.

1 Comments:

At 4:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, father! Mejo nahilo po ako sa teaching niyo about the Holy Trinity. I'm 'kinda slow, you know. And because hindi ko siya ma-gets agad, I think it's something I should study harder---but I'll need someone to lead me through it step by step, lest I get lost deeper into thought. I hope I find someone with a tremendous gift of patience. Thanks po.
- honey, grnblt chpl

 

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