During the coronavirus shutdown someone posted on their facebook: this is the first time in my adult life that I can ever recall having more alcohol on my hands than on my lips. Funny posting isn’t it. Our focus or theme today is not funny, rather it is MYSTERY. The Holy Trinity [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] is a “wondrous” mystery as expressed in our Collect or Opening Prayer today. The definition of mystery is: It’s something that cannot be explained. Christians, though, have kept trying to define or explain the Holy Trinity throughout the centuries because mysteries intrigue humans.
We believe there are three persons in one God. What else comes in threes? We might say the Paschal Mystery - suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Some point to daytime as split into three - morning, afternoon, and evening. Others say water can take three forms - solid or ice, liquid, and gas or steam. We could say that time is a divided into three - past, present, and future. Perhaps gears or speeds are three - low, medium, and high. The last one is definitely not an analogy for the Holy Trinity because all three persons are “high” since they are equal!
I think Saint Athanasius in a letter he wrote gives us an insight into this mystery. “We acknowledge the Trinity, holy and perfect, to consist of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this Trinity there is no intrusion of any alien element or of anything from outside, nor is the Trinity a blend of creative and created being.. … Accordingly, in the Church, one God is preached, one God who is above all things and through all things and in all things. God is above all things as Father, for he is principle and source; he is through all things through the Word; and he is in all things in the Holy Spirit.”
In the First Reading for this Mass mystery descends to Moses and stood with him. My friends, the Holy Trinity stands with us as we turn to the Lord in prayer and worship. In today’s Second Reading, Paul teaches that The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. For grace and the gift of the Trinity are given by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Just as grace is given from the Father through the Son, so there could be no communication of the gift to us except in the Holy Spirit. I think Saint Paul instructs the Corinthians and us that the mystery [of the Holy Trinity] shows up in within each loving relationship with God and others. For as we grow in love of God and our sisters & brothers, we understand more about the Trinity. In our bulletin this week we have a quote from Pope Francis that highlights in some ways what Saint Paul was teaching. “Love of God and Love of neighbor are two faces of the same coin.”
May we drink deeply not of alcoholic beverages, but of this complete and wondrous mystery when: we make the Sign of the Cross; whenever we read, study, and reflect on sacred scripture; each time we receive the Eucharist or any of the sacraments; in and through every prayer we offer; every moment we rest or abide in God’s presence. God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.