Feast of the Holy Trinity Year C
Theme of the week: The Holy Trinity – a God that creates, saves and sanctifies.
The doctrine of Holy Trinity teaches us that we have one God who manifests Himself as three distinct Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To the Father, we attribute the work of creation; to the Son the work of Salvation; and to the Spirit the work of Sanctification (i.e. make holy). The three Scripture passages this week each focus on one Person of the Holy Trinity.
The poetic verses of the First Reading recount the creation story through the eyes of a personified Wisdom. Wisdom was with God the Father in very early beginning, before the heaven and earth was created. These verses of King Solomon explain that everything the Father created, he created with His boundless wisdom. The passage concluded by saying that Wisdom is “delighting in the human race” (verse 31). It was with His wisdom that God created the human race; and it is with wisdom that He took delight in us, his creation. As one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, wisdom is bestowed on us through Baptism and Confirmation. Like God, we have the capacity to inject wisdom into our daily decisions and actions. In order to do this, we need to invite God to come, to pierce through our fallen state and act through us in everything that we do.
As a fallen man or woman, no matter how righteous we are, we are never good enough to earn our own salvation. The Second Reading explains that it is by faith that we obtain grace; and it is by grace that we share in God’s glory through our salvation. Our sufferings, no matter how severe, are not means by which we earn our salvation. Nevertheless, sufferings have a purpose and it is through the eyes of grace that we see the purpose of sufferings. As the passage explains, suffering gives rise to endurance; endurance to character; character to hope – and it is hope that ultimately sustains us through all the hardships of life, as we journey toward our ultimate goal of salvation. Suffering, grace and salvation, these are the milestones of our lives. As Paul said in 2 Cor 4:10, we carry in our bodies “the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.” Hence, let us heed the call of Lord Jesus the Son, take up our crosses and walk his way – the way to salvation (Mt 16:24, Mk 8:34, Lk 9:23).
The night before His Passion, Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel passage, Jesus explained that just as He is not inferior to the Father, the Spirit is not inferior to the Father or the Son. For everything the Father has is Jesus’; and all that the Spirit says is from Jesus. This is the foundation of the Church’s teaching on the Holy Trinity, the cornerstone of the Christian faith: three distinct Persons in one God. As finite beings, we can never fully comprehend an infinite God. That is why Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (verse 12). In fact, the theology of the Holy Trinity was not explicitly revealed to us at the time the Bible was written – nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Trinity is explicitly mentioned. It was not until 381AD, when the leaders of the Church met in the First Council of Constantinople, that the Holy Spirit revealed the Trinity to us through that Ecumenical Council. Since the dawn of Christianity, 21 such Ecumenical Councils were held; and through these the Holy Spirit made many revelations to the human race. In this way, as we seek greater insight into God’s infinite wisdom, the Holy Spirit continually reveals God’s truth to us, making us one holy people in the Lord. Sanctifying us and making us holy – this is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.