Livonia, Michigan

From Fr. Tom

Happy Holy Trinity Sunday!

The mystery of the most Holy Trinity, the feast that we celebrate this weekend, is one of the basic doctrines of Faith in Christianity, understandable not through our heads but through our hearts. It teaches us that there are three distinct Persons in one God all sharing the same Divine Nature. Our minds cannot grasp this doctrine.

St. Patrick, the missionary patron saint of Ireland, used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. The story goes that one day Patrick’s friends asked him to explain the Mystery of the Trinity. He looked at the ground and saw shamrocks growing amid the grass at his feet. He picked one up and asked if it were one leaf or three. Patrick’s friends couldn’t answer –the shamrock leaf looked like one, but it clearly had three parts. Patrick explained to them: “The mystery of the Holy Trinity –one God in Three Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit –is like this, but more complex and unintelligible.”

St. Cyril, the teacher of the Slavs, tried to explain the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity using the sun as an example. He said, “God the Father is that blazing sun. God the Son is its light, and God the Holy Spirit is its heat —but there is only one sun. So, there are three Persons in the Holy Trinity, but God is One and indivisible.”

St. John Maria Vianney used to explain the Holy Trinity by using water, and lighted candles and roses on the altar.

“The flame has color, warmth, and shape. But these are expressions of one flame. Similarly, the rose has color, fragrance, and shape. But these are expressions of one reality, namely, rose. Water, steam, and ice are three distinct expressions of one reality. In the same way, one God revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Everything between the three persons of the Holy Trinity is about relationship, a loving relationship. God has revealed to us three separate functions that are carried out by the three Persons. He has told us that each part of the Holy Trinity has a different attribute. To God the Father, the work of creation; to God the Son, the work of redemption, reconciliation, and healing; and to God the Holy Spirit, the work of guidance in truth, teaching, and sanctification. As the Father, God has brought forth the created universe and even our very selves. As God’s Son and our brother, Jesus has made known that our God is a God Who hears our cries, Who cares, Who counts the hairs on our head, and Who loves us so passionately that He became one of us, to suffer for our sins ̶ to die that we may live. As the Spirit, God remains with and within us as the Paraclete: Guide, Advocate, and Consoler.

The Feast of the Holy Trinity is a fact of our faith and a mystery. It is not meant to be analyzed, but a mystery to be lived. Our ordinary devotion to the Holy Trinity is revealed in the Sign of the Cross, when we say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Making the sign of the cross proves that we are followers of the Holy Trinity and that we believe in the Trinitarian God. When we make the sign of the cross, we profess that we belong to the family of God, and that the God we worship is our Father. When we make the sign of the cross, we also profess that we belong to the Body of Christ (the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity), the Church. This means that everything we do, whether good or bad, affects other people. Our behavior may either comfort or hurt others. We also make the sign of the cross on our body because our body is the temple of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Spirit ̶ it carries the sign of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Spirit dwells in it. This is why the body should not be abused and taken for granted.

Let us always make the sign of the cross from the heart. Let us not grow tired of making the sign of the cross because we belong to the One God, who loves us as each person of the Holy Trinity loves each other. And remember 1+1+1 is always 1;-)Happy Memorial weekend to all of you!

Fr. Tom