Trinity Sunday

I remember in the seminary our theology professor who took class on Holy Trinity explained on the first day of the semester to us that one of the mysteries we will study is the mystery of the Trinity. He went on to say that as future preachers he had some good news and some bad news for us. He said, “First the Bad News. You are going to have to preach about the mystery of the Trinity – three persons in one God – each fully God. The good news is that you only have to do it once a year on Trinity Sunday.”

I think God must particularly enjoy Trinity Sunday as he watches preachers around the world trying to explain the great mystery which we celebrate today, the mystery of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – three persons — one God – each person fully God.

Although we don’t see the term Holy Trinity used in the bible, still we find bible full of references to Holy Trinity. Let me give some references in both OT and NT. The Triune God as seen in the Old Testament: Since Yahweh the God of Israel was careful to protect His Chosen People from the pagan practice of worshipping several gods, the Old Testament books give only indirect and passing references to the Trinity, and the Jewish rabbis never understood them as references to the Holy Trinity. Genesis 1:26 presents God speaking to Himself: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Genesis 18:2 describes how Yahweh visited Abraham in the appearance of three men, an event that the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates as the “Trinitarian Experience of Abraham.”

Doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament: a) The Annunciation (Luke 1: 26-38) describes how God the Father sent the angel Gabriel to Mary, to announce to her that God, the Holy Spirit, would “overshadow” her, and that God, the Son, would be made flesh in her womb.

b) During the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3: 16-17), the Holy Spirit was shown descending on Jesus in the form of a dove, while the voice of God the Father was heard from the clouds.

c) John (Chapters 15 through 18) presents the detailed teaching of Jesus on the Persons of the Holy Trinity.

d) In the preaching mission given by the risen Lord to the disciples, Jesus commanded them to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Confer also Matthew 28:19; John 10:30

We need to see the Trinity as the model for our Christian families: We are created in love — to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in love. We belong to the family of the triune God. The love, unity and joy in the relationship among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit should be the supreme model of our relationships within our Christian families. Our families become truly Christian when we live in a relationship of love with God and with others.

We are called to become more like the triune God through all our relationships. We are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only as one member of a relationship of three partners. The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with all other people and in a vertical relationship with God. In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. Modern society follows the so-called “I-and-I” principle of individualism and the resulting consumerism.

 But the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity challenges us to adopt an “I-and-God-and-neighbor” principle. I am a Christian insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and other people. Let us remember today, like God the Father, we are called upon to be productive and creative persons by contributing to the building up of the fabric of our family, our church, our community and our nation. Like God the Son, we are called upon to reconcile, to be peacemakers, to put back together that which has been broken, to restore what has been shattered. Like God the Holy Spirit, it is our task to uncover and teach truth and to dispel ignorance.