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To Praise, to Bless and to Preach

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Trinity Sunday. fr Benedict Jonak explains how the Trinity is a call to love one another in freedom.


The Holy Trinity is at the heart of the Gospel. This is the Good News that was revealed to us. For even though there might be some people who on their own, that is not knowing the revealed truth, would be able to come to conclusion that there is God (as Aquinas asserts), we needed the divine revelation to teach us that the One God is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This truth of the faith is not discoverable by human reason. It is therefore not by chance that we hold this feast a week after Pentecost, on which day the fulness of the Spirit of God was given to the apostles thus enabling them to praise God, to bless him and to preach what was revealed to them.

Yet we ought to approach this revealed truth with humility trying to understand it, as we were made by the Holy Trinity. Whatever else we might be doing in life, this is the one calling we all share: to know God, to love him and to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity.

Even though it had been gradually revealed to us in time, we need to see the Trinity present and in action at every stage in the history of the world. We need to see the Trinity with the eyes of faith present at the creation of the universe, when God says in the book of Genesis: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” We need to see it present in the three strangers who come to Abraham’s tent by the oak of Mamre and promise him great inheritance.  

Everything that was, has been and will be is through the Holy Trinity and we are reminded of that everyday even as we make a sign of the cross at the beginning and end of our day, or at the beginning and end of our prayer which we always make to the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit. We try to do everything in the Name of the Trinity to mirror this reality.

And this for me lies at the heart of the mystery of the Trinity: it calls both for contemplation and for action. We are not simply asked to ponder with or without a measure of success the mystery of the Trinity. What is revealed to us gives us a trajectory for that action:

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit exist from all eternity. They are one and equal as they share in one Godhead. The Father sends the Son, the Word, who becomes one with us in Incarnation, and they both send the Holy Spirit to us, thus enabling us already to be spiritually connected to the Trinity as the Spirit makes us members of the Body of Christ. But the picture does not finish here: just as the Word and the Spirit are sent, so are we. We are sent out into the world to be the salt of the earth and the yeast through which the whole of humanity will grow and respond to the calling that we all share.

Christ himself has prepared us for that mission when he says that everything that the Father has belongs to the Son and what the Son has belongs to the Father, and when he prays for us that our unity may also be mirrored in that perfect unity. We are to grow into that unity through the Spirit who will lead us to the fullness of truth.

This is not a call for a forced or forceful egalitarianism but a call to love one another in freedom, as this the currency of the Trinitarian economy.

Perhaps, then, it is time for us to renew our mission once more: to praise, to bless and to preach, but also to share and to reach out to those in need. The Son takes everything from the Father not simply by ‘right’ but because the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. Let us also recognise the same love in our lives and follow it until we rest in the unity of the Trinity.

Readings: Proverbs 8:22-31|Romans 5:1-5|John 16:12-15

The depiction above of the Mercy Seat is in the Catholic parish church in Gruyère, Switzerland.

Benedict Jonak O.P.

Benedict Jonak O.P.fr Benedict Jonak lives at the Priory of St Michael, Archangel, in Cambridge.
benedict.jonak@english.op.org




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