Friar’s Corner: The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

 

Fr. Bob Hilz, TORProverbs 8:22-31; Ps 8:4-9; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Last week we celebrated the third major element of our faith, Pentecost, the coming and empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit to continue his salvation work. This Spirit guides us to Jesus, who takes us to our Father. The entire church prayed for and celebrated his coming. Yet the next day we went back to ordinary time and other themes without explaining the work of the Holy Spirit. It is no wonder most people have so little understanding about the Holy Spirit and his ongoing work guiding us to salvation in Jesus. That is why I emphasized the Pentecost Sequence last week. It is of great value to pray and study those 10 stanzas.

This Sunday we look at another major element in our Christian faith, that of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. This was revealed to us in our Bible, as God laid out his plan for life in all of creation. We can understand some of who God is and his creation yet our brains were never designed to know everything here on earth. Our lives are not a "big bang" as some scientists call it. Creation is too organized and perfect. God’s variety and order are truly amazing and beautiful. Just look at your human body, which grew from the union of one female egg and one male sperm. The whole genetic code of a new human is set in that first cell. Look at the variety of what we grow into.

To understand a little of the Holy Trinity (God) we can simply go to the Bible where God revealed, through certain people over a 2,000-year period, his plan up to the current time. The Holy Trinity is a major teaching of our ancient Christian faith. It is faith in one creator God in three distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In God there is only the nature of being God in three persons. These persons are completely equal, always were and will be forever. They deserve equal praise and worship. All life begins in the Trinity, comes from the Trinity and is intended to end in the Trinity, if we follow God’s plan for us. We find these persons mentioned in all our sacraments. We are baptized into God’s kingdom in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We gather at Mass in their names. At times we pray: Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 Five Covenants

God, our Father, was basically at work through the entire Old Testament from page one on. Yet Adam and Eve disobeyed the one directive God gave them and lost their first love. God spent about 2,000 years trying to bring his children back in 5 covenants with humanity: with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses and King David. Yet few humans followed what God directed.

Finally our Father send his own Son, taking on human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, born of Mary, to show us God’s love. He formed a new covenant sealed in the blood of his passion and death. Yet rose from the dead bringing humanity into his new kingdom and direction.

With Jesus’ work finished on earth, he went back to heaven. Yet not to leave us alone and confused, he and his Father sent us their family Spirit to continue directing us, if we listen and follow. He established his church, appointing men and women to continue to serve and guide God’s children.

Two Creeds

We can see all of this very simply in two creeds church leaders came to understand in time. The Apostles Creed we say at the beginning of the rosary, gives us the understanding of the apostolic preaching. Then a few centuries later we were given the Nicene Creed that we say at Mass on Sundays and big Holy Days. "We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible . . .We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ . . .We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, etc." And we conclude the creed with: "I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

This is a lot to grasp. The Church gives it to us in small pieces so we can grasp it a little at a time. If we clear our minds at Mass and close our eyes to the distractions around us, we see the Mass filled with Biblical illusions and texts.

May the Holy Spirit pierce your heart and mind with more of God’s love and understanding so you may see the great blessings God has for us. One book that will simply explain this to us, like a parent helping children understand, is the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.

Peace and all good!
+ Fr. Bob Hilz

{© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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