This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next Sunday, however, are designated as solemnities, special days that call our attention to central mysteries of our faith. Today, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast invites us to consider what we believe about God, who has revealed himself to us in the Trinity - one God in three persons.
The verses of today's Gospel come near the end of Jesus' long discourse at the Last Supper. In the early part of this discourse, as we saw last week on Pentecost, Jesus offers assurances to the disciples. Even though he must leave the disciples, he tells them that they will have a future because of the help he will send them in the Holy Spirit. In this section he focuses more on the shape of the future, which will include Jesus' victory over the world that they will share in. The disciples of Jesus cannot know the future. They can only know that, whatever shape the future takes, they will not have to face it alone. They have the Spirit of Truth, who will continue to provide the teaching of Jesus in the future.
Reading this passage on Trinity Sunday reinforces our understanding of the unity shared by the members of the Trinity. Although the idea of one God in three persons remains a mystery, we have the assurance that, as Jesus and the Father share all, Jesus and the Spirit share all.
The Most Holy Trinity
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity celebrates the reality of the eternal God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is a mystery, one of the most fascinating and controversial of the Christian dogmas. By mystery the Church does not mean a riddle, but that which is above our human comprehension which we ultimately know through worship, symbol and faith. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father, while the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and (through) the Son. Each member of the Trinity interpenetrates one another and each has distinct roles in creation and redemption. The early Christians worshipped God; they also knew that Jesus was God and that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit who was God to be with them. This complex truth is expressed in the word Trinity. God the Father and God the Son has an utterly unique relationship, a relationship which has been for all eternity and it is one that is held and bound together by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been referred to as ‘the bond of love’ between the Father and the Son. By our baptism we are so united to Jesus, so one with him, that his special relationship with his Father becomes ours. So we call God as Father. Being a child of God is not just a matter of being a human being. It’s not just about sharing the flesh and blood of a common humanity - it’s about being born into this new relationship in God by the Holy Spirit, and every time we call God our Father, we are reminded of that profound, precious relationship which we are privileged to share.
Day for Life
Day for Life is the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death. Day for Life is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and this year’s Day for Life is celebrated today, 16th June. This year’s special focus is on victims of domestic abuse. Please pray for all victims and for those who support them.
On the Day for Life website, you can find information and resources on subjects which cover the journey of life. You can also read documents and publications released by the Catholic Church and her bishops on the key issues. Day for Life is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
There will be a retiring collection taken in all parishes of England and Wales today, the proceeds of which will assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.