Trinity Sunday – Year C.
Commentary Theme for this Sunday:
“The Same Message from The Father,
Son and Holy Spirit.”.
It is not enough to state that one believes in God, it is more important to know in which God one believes. It is essential to know who our God is and what it entails to believe in a God who is ‘Trinity’.
The first reading tells us that the Father creates ‘Wisdom’, not at random and in confusion: he has a salvation plan to achieve.
The second reading presents the work of the Son who glorifies the Father converting all sinners. God is the source of our redemption, but it is through Jesus Christ that this redemptive act is performed, and through the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, we come to experience redemptive action.
The Gospel tells us that the doctrine of the Trinity is implicit. The revelation that Jesus Christ brings is from the Father. It is the function of the Spirit to make that revelation meaningful to each Christian generation, constantly updating our understanding of the once-for-all revelation of God in the Christ-event.
It is recommended that the actual readings are first studied and then meditated upon with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to grant you the gift of ‘wisdom’ to understand the meaning of the messages of Love, Forgiveness and the Offer of Salvation that the Lord has for each one of us in the Holy Bible.
These commentaries, which have been extracted and summarised for our meditation, are from the published works of priests who have, by their Divine inspiration, become acclaimed scholars of the Scriptures and generally reflect the Church’s understanding of the readings.
These commentaries are not meant to replace the Sunday Homily at Holy Mass but are provided as an additional guide to assist and further enhance our understanding of the Sunday Liturgical Readings.
‘Daily Reflections’ and a Prayer are included to enable us to ‘Live the Word’ during the week following the Sunday Mass. We will begin to understand the meaning of gratuitous love and our life’s true purpose. Through His Word, we will follow the Light to help fulfil the mission that has been given to each one of us by our Creator.
“Allow the Spirit of God to break the chains that keep us from understanding and accepting the word of God.”
The first reading, from Proverbs, assures us that the ‘Wisdom of God’ was at work from the very beginning of creation. Today, as never before, we are discovering more and more about the secrets of the universe, and about ourselves (in whom ‘Wisdom’ finds delight).
Wisdom is a lovely figure in Hebrew Scriptures. She appears in Proverbs, Sirach, and of course the Book of Wisdom itself, portrayed as an elegant hostess, an unfailing guide, and the proper companion for the friends of God. Wisdom is God’s first born, a participant in the creation of all things, and continues to accompany those who seek her as they make their way through the world. Who and what is Wisdom is now identified as one of Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sirach speaks of Wisdom as God outright, or as an attribute of God’s divine personality.
Paul picks up on that when he later identifies Jesus as the Wisdom of God. He contrasts the Wisdom of God against the touted wisdom of Greek Philosophy. Do you want the partial wisdom of fallible mortals, or God’s own Wisdom in Christ?
John’s Gospel begins with the poetic image of the ‘Word-with-God’ before the start of the world. This Word, ‘through whom all things were made’, becomes part of the creation he helped to fashion. The claims of Wisdom in today’s passage seem very much like the Word that John proclaims.
Proverbs offers a charming picture of God’s creativity, playfulness and delight in being with us. The reading is telling us that everything came from a provident and wise God. Wisdom assisted him throughout his activity; and this means that creation complies with an orderly plan, though how our limited intelligence may at times, fail to grasp it.
We are like children watching their father building a hut; we have the impression of a great disorder: mud, bundles of grass, poles lying around. Only when we see the hut finished do we realize how everything was part of a wise plan, and was not just the fruit of confusion.
Our God is not an abstract philosophical principle, nor a scientific remote control, but a ‘Family of Intimate Relationships’, creating, playing and drawing delight. The dynamics of happy family life reflect the inner life of God. The play of Wisdom is holy play, from which all good things come. We are invited to become the companions of Wisdom and make our lives like those of children: creative, playful, full of beauty. To have faith in God means to believe that He has done everything with wisdom and love.
The Psalm inspired by the opening of Genesis, takes up the theme of creation. Awesome and inspiring as the created universe is, God in his goodness and mercy has allowed humanity to feel at home in it and take charge.
The second reading assures us that through Christ ‘we have peace with God and we can boast in our hope of sharing in the glory of God’. All this ‘because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, that has been given to us’. Paul had no formal doctrine of the Trinity, but his reflections on the history of God’s dealings with his people, almost led to one. It was precisely the experience of God and Jesus and of what they called the ‘Spirit’ that drove Christians eventually to use the language of ‘three persons in ‘One’ God. Our passage from Romans is typical.
Through Christ, God brought about the reconciliation of humanity to himself. Through the Holy Spirit, God’s love is poured into our hearts. Through Christ and the Spirit, God is present to believers. “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Cor. 6:19). Faith in God the Son, is to believe that he loves people to the point of sharing the precariousness and weakness of their lives. It is to hope, with a hope that never lets us down, that this infinite love, even though it may momentarily seem to be unsuccessful, will never suffer defeat.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is bidding farewell to his disciples on the night before he dies. Jesus says to his Apostles, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now”. We may wonder what Jesus intended to tell them but did not because they were not ready to hear it.
Throughout the Gospel, Jesus revealed to them concepts of the Most Holy Trinity, the Holy Eucharist and numerous teachings through parables. He told them at least three times of his coming death and Resurrection. Perhaps they did not comprehend the real message. Perhaps when they were more advanced spiritually, the deeper meaning of his words would be understood.
John in his Gospel sees Jesus as God’s messenger of the ‘Truth’. Jesus, as the Word of God, is the very incarnation of “Truth and Grace” and leads all slowly to accept the message as God’s Truth. This message from the Father will go on, even when Jesus goes back to the Father. The Spirit of Truth will come and continue the ‘same message’. The Spirit does not work on his own; He comes as a helper sent from the Father and the Son.
There is perfect communion between the Father and the Son. What belongs to one belongs to the other. In the ‘oneness’ of God these first Christians experience a ‘three-ness’ to which language cannot do justice. We see how Jesus is not alone in the mission to humanity.
When Jesus went back to the Father, he did not leave his disciples with precise instructions what to do. As they searched for answers, they went back to the words and actions of Jesus. Under the guidance of the Spirit of Jesus, the words and actions of Jesus before his Resurrection now acquired a deeper and fuller meaning, as though the full was now being revealed. Through the Spirit they now realized that their mission was a continuation of what Jesus did and they experienced a communion of hearts stronger than anything they had ever imagined before.
True worship will be done in ‘Spirit and Truth’ and goes beyond all national and religious boundaries. Living in the truth is the way to full freedom. Finally in his farewell speech, Jesus had said that he was the ‘Way’ that was life-giving and leading to the truth. The disciples and the readers of the Gospel are aware that Jesus is the ‘One’ sent by God to lead all to God his Father. But many of his listeners find his claim too difficult to accept.
In order to prepare them for their future mission Jesus tells the disciples how after his departure they will experience his presence and action among them in a new form through the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit is not something new, but a continuation of the mission of Jesus. The Spirit is not going to do the work in their place, but rather support them and inspire them as a helper and advocate.
As a community of believers, The Church continues to be guided by the Spirit of Jesus, especially those who took the place of the Apostles as leaders: the bishops we have today. As the world around us changes we continue to face new situations. We do not always have all the answers to every question and situation, but like the Apostles, we do have the promise that the Spirit will lead us into the whole truth.
We may hear many religious teachings but not fully internalise them because we too still have to develop spiritually. Through the gift of faith we can grow in our understanding of divine truths, dispose ourselves to accept God’s deeper mysteries.
Today we can experience the same guidance of the Spirit as individuals and as communities when we listen to the Word of God together. He shows us in a new way what Jesus’ words mean in our lives today. We can thus go about the challenge of doing our part in giving final shape to the world.
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God himself. It is therefore the source of all other mysteries of faith, the ‘Light’ that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of our faith”. We can never fully comprehend the doctrine of the Trinity. God is beyond full human knowledge. God is more intimate to us than we are to ourselves. God chose to approach us through Jesus and takes up his dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit. This is the mystery of love itself: We have been given a glimpse of God’s own life.
For with us and in us are the Father Creator, the Son Redeemer, and the Spirit Enlivener. What greater sources of courage, wisdom and truth could there be?
‘Acknowledgement and Thanks’ to ‘Recommended Source Material’ by:
Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Fr. Fernando Armellini SCI, Peter Edmonds SJ, Richard Baawobr M.Afr, Joseph A. Slattery Ph.D, Adelmo Spagnolo MCCJ, Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap, J.E. Spicer CSsR, John R. Donahue SJ and Alice Camille – Master’s degree in Divinity.
Reflections for each day this Week to lead us in the ‘Way, the Truth and the Life’.
Almighty God and Father, on the … of the week following Trinity Sunday
Year C, we reflect on …
Sun. … Wisdom is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to consider the ‘eternal truths’, to judge all things by them, to set the right value on salvation and the means to it, and to relish the things of God. Wisdom is truly an attribute of God’s divine personality. How do we nurture this Gift given to us at our Confirmation by the Holy Spirit?
Mon. … Wisdom illuminates the intellect, moderates the passions, rectifies the affections and direct the will. To the soul it brings vigour and energy, facility in well-doing, contempt of earthly riches and, most precious of all, union with God. The power to see things as God sees them. Reflect on how Wisdom has rejoiced and inhabited your world. Has Wisdom changed your life in any significant way? Are you guided by God’s will or your personal agenda?
Tues. … When we have the impression that everything in the world seems to be in great chaos, lawlessness and hopelessness, let us trust in a provident and wise God who conducts his orderly plan of salvation in a manner that often through our finite intelligence we fail to understand. To us it may seem to be a state of confusion but in the end we will come to realize despite the disorder we create in the world through our sinfulness, God repairs and makes everything part of his wise and infallible plan.
Wed. … Paul in the second reading assures the Romans and us that as Christians, ‘we boast in our hope of sharing in the glory of God’. Do we have this boast? Do we have this hope? Do we believe that Christ loves us no matter what, with a hope that never lets us down no matter how heavy the burden of our crosses may be?
Thur. … We are all aware that Jesus was sent by God to lead us all to God the Father. Jesus tells his disciples how after his departure back to the Father they will experience his presence and action among them in a new form through the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit is a continuation of the mission of Jesus and will support and inspire us in our journey of faith. How aware are we of the presence of the Spirit in our lives? Are we inviting the Spirit into our lives through prayer and by carrying out the will of the Father and the mission of Jesus?
Frid. … We as Christians are committed to taking up the challenge of doing our part in giving final shape to God’s Kingdom on Earth. For with us and in us is the Father Creator, the Son Redeemer, and the Spirit Enlivener, the greatest sources of wisdom, truth and courage that can be. Why are still so faint of heart?
Sat. … How do we relate to the Blessed Trinity? Do we pray more easily to one of the ‘Persons of the Trinity’? Reflect deeply on the answers to these two questions. It will help you to understand our ‘Triune God’ more. Through the gift of faith we can grow in our understanding of divine truths.
Prayer after the Daily Reflection.
Father, today we celebrate our love for the ‘One True God’ in ‘Three Divine Persons’. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ sent into the world the Spirit of Truth. We pray that through the Holy Spirit we may come to know and understand the eternal truths and many mysteries of our faith.
This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.
Compliments: Bible Discussion Group.
Our Lady of the Wayside, Maryvale.
“Discovering the Truth through God’s living Word”.