Exod. 34: 4-9
II Cor. 13: 11-13
John 3: 16-18
INTRODUCTION: This year 2017 in our 10 years preparation for the 5th Centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines, when our focus is on the Parish as Communion of Communities, we have the rare chance to reflect on the working of the Trinity this Sunday. One of the most basic features of reality is the tendency to communicate, to make images, to reproduce, to re-connect, and convert.
(1) We see this tendency in the created world: Water on wet soil as rock thrown on glass is broken. Plants drop seeds and bring out flowers and trees. Animals reproduce themselves more perfectly. Human beings communicate in extraordinary ways like conversations, sex, use of media., etc. There is complex communication between cells and even among protons and electrons in atoms in what is called quantum entanglement, even among planets in the galaxies through graveton. Communication, connection, image-making is in all levels of reality!
(2) Where does all this come from? In our belief “in one God, maker of all that is, seen and unseen.” God is the ultimate cause of the being of all things. Are we then surprised that the Creator is himself marked by some communication and connection, reflective of God’s manner of being? The Trinity is a play of persons within the one God. Within the unity of God we find an imaging process. The Father from all eternity produces a perfect image of himself in the Son. Why? Because he is consubstantial with the Father; that is, utterly sharing in the Father’s being. The Son is a perfect reflection of the Father. The Father and the Son look at each other and they necessarily fall in love as each sees utter perfection. The Father and Son “sigh”, according to Fulton Sheen, their love for each other and that brings forth the Holy Spirit.
(3) The Trinity is just another way of saying: God is Love. Not God has love but Love is what God is. Within the unity of God, there is an interplay of Lover, Beloved, and Shared Love of Father and Son that is the Holy Spirit. This love is so intense that it spills over the created world in all levels of image-making described before. In human beings, this communication is interrupted by sin which is a breakdown in communication, becoming “curvatus in se” (caved-in in himself). So what did God do about this breakdown of communication? This is our Gospel for today: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” (John 3: 16) The Father so burned in love with the Holy Spirit that he sent his own Image into the world so that sinful humanity be drawn back to communion. The Trinity opened up to include and heal sinful and wandering humanity.
CONCLUSION: Wow! The Trinity is far from mere abstraction! By this doctrine, we come very close to the mystery of God and our salvation! Think about all these when we make the sign of the Cross and claim to ourselves the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches