God so loved the world that he gave his only son
“Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: to God who is, who was, and who is to come” (Gospel acclamation).
The Church ceaselessly repeats this praise to the Most Holy Trinity. Indeed, Christian prayer begins with the sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, and often ends with the Trinitarian doxology: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever”.
Every day constant praise of the Trinity rises to God from the community of believers; today, however, the first Sunday after Pentecost, we are celebrating this great mystery of faith in a special way.
Gloria Tibi, Trinitas, aequalis, una Deitas, et ante omnia saecula et nunc, et in perpetuum! “All glory belongs to you, Holy Trinity, one God, before all ages, now and for ever!” (First Vespers of the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity).
In this liturgical formula we contemplate the mystery of the ineffable unity and inscrutable Trinity of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is what we profess in the Apostles’ Creed:
“I believe in God ...
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord ...
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary”.
And again, in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed:
“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets”.
This is our faith! This is the Church’s faith! This is the God of our faith: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
The Liturgy of the Word invites us to deepen our Trinitarian faith… The Second Vatican Council, stating that man, through creation, can come to know God as the first and absolute Being, notes that nevertheless God himself was first revealed to humanity through mediators and then through his own Son (cf. Dei Verbum, nn. 3-4). The God whom we profess today is the God of Revelation, and we believe all that he has deigned to reveal about himself.
This Sunday’s biblical readings stress that God came to speak of himself to man, revealing who he is. And he chose Israel to receive this manifestation… These biblical texts guide us in deepening our knowledge of the Trinitarian mystery, which leads from Moses to Christ… The Trinitarian aspect of the mystery made known to Moses is fully revealed in Christ. Through him, in fact, we discover the unity of the divinity and the trinity of Persons. A mystery of the living God, a mystery of the life of God! Jesus is the Prophet of this mystery. He offered himself in sacrifice on the altar of this immense mystery of love…
...St Paul emphasizes the apostolic Church as the herald of the Most Holy Trinity. God reveals himself as the One who gives life through Christ, the one Mediator. We believe in the Son of God, who brought divine life like fire to be kindled on earth.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of life. Through the Holy Spirit, believers become sons in the Son, as St John writes in the Prologue of his Gospel (cf. Jn 1: 13). Begotten by the Spirit, men address God with Christ’s own words, calling him: “Abba, Father!”.
Through Baptism we are inserted into Trinitarian communion. Every Christian is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; he is immersed in the life of God. What a great gift and a great mystery!
Quite rightly then the Church with deep gratitude sings her faith in the Trinity in the Te Deum:
“Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth”.
“The heavens and the earth
are filled with
your majesty and glory.
The glorious band of Apostles,
the white-robed army who shed their
blood for Christ, all sing your praise.
And to the ends of the earth
your holy Church proclaims her faith
in you: your true and only Son,
who is to be adored, the Holy Spirit
sent to be our Advocate”.
Excerpted from Pope JOhn Paul II’s homily, Sunday , May 25, 1997.