The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
First reading: Dt 4:32-34, 39-40
Responsorial Psalm: 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22
Second reading: Rom 8:14-17
Gospel: Mt 28:16-20
By Kevin Perrotta
Trinity Sunday — time for the big mystery. After moving through the story of salvation from Christmas to Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost, we stand back and look with awe at the God who has been revealed. Now we can see that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Three Persons, one God: We see, but cannot understand. And even the most gifted homilist cannot help us much to wrap our minds around this reality.
And yet, while the mystery of the Trinity is unique, we live with the inconceivable all the time. The deer hunter sitting in the blind, looking and listening, cannot grasp the eons that went into setting up that moment in the woods.
Some of our most certain knowledge involves things that are way beyond our understanding. A mother knows how to nurse a baby. A Little League coach knows how to teach a boy to pitch. Each stands in a small circle of light, surrounded by mysteries of nerves and muscles and hormones and optics that perhaps no one will ever fully understand.
The important thing about this feast is not how much of it we understand but where we stand in relation to it. Is the mystery of Father, Son and Spirit like nursing or baseball for us — something we really do know, even though we do not understand?
That’s the possibility that St. Paul speaks of. By God’s grace, by Jesus’ death and resurrection, by the Spirit living in us, we can know God as Father. “You received a Spirit of adoption,” Paul says, “through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:15-16). Without understanding how this is how God is, we can be drawn into the love between the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
In a certain way, we can even be comfortable with this situation. Sitting in church before Mass, one can feel at home. “This is where I belong, I know why I’m here. I know who wants me to be here. I know what we’re going to do — who we’re going to thank and what we’re going to thank him for, who is going to come to me, who is going to be with me when I leave.” That would be the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Give the second reading — Romans 8:14-17 — a few minutes of quiet attention.
Perrotta is the editor and an author of the “Six Weeks With the Bible” series, teaches part time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.