Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9; Daniel 3:52-55; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; 3:16-18
In the last two months we have celebrated three major events in our Christian life: the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, His return to his Father and their sending of the Holy Spirit. Now, in the next two weeks, we shall celebrate two major revealed teaching of our faith, the Holy Trinity (today) and the real presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread and wine (next week).
The (new) Catechism of the Catholic Church, defines the Trinity in this way.
The mystery of one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The revealed truth of the Holy Trinity is at the very root of the Church’s living faith as expressed in the Creed. The mystery of the Trinity in itself is inaccessible to the human mind and is the object of faith only because it was revealed by Jesus Christ, the divine Son of the eternal Father.
The Catechism further says in article 234:
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the ‘hierarchy of the truths of faith.’ The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men ’and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin.
Mystery slowly revealed
We see this mystery slowly revealed from the first two verses on the Old Testament book of Genesis 1:1-2.
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
We know God created everything (from nothing) and God’s spirit, wind or breath swept over the waters. The center of the Jewish faith was God who continued to reveal himself to his chosen people. We see the (Holy) Spirit, God’s breath, which is one of his images, frequently mentioned the Old Testament.
Jesus revealed more of the plan
Adam and Eve were created perfect and placed in the beautiful Garden of Eden. Some time after their sin, God had to send his Son to earth to remedy their sin and its effects on all humanity. His Son, Jesus, personally revealed to us more of God’s plan for our lives. He told us where we came from, how we could know what God wanted us to do here on earth, and where God wanted us to be after this life. He wants us to be with him forever in heavenly glory.
Jesus further taught us who and what he was about, especially in St. John’s gospel. At the Last Supper Jesus taught us who the Holy Spirit is and how he was to guide us on earth to follow God’s plan. God gradually revealed the understanding of the Holy Trinity in our scriptures and through the church leaders in time.
Mystery not fully revealed
The mystery of the Holy Trinity will never be fully understood by our small minds. Faith is a gift to understand some things about God. Hope is a grace and virtue to believe it is true without all the proof.
Let us continue to pray for our country’s leadership, justice and peace and that of the entire especially in the Middle East.
Have a Spirit-filled week,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)