Reflection for June 7th, 2020 - The Most Holy Trinity
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
God has revealed Himself to us as a Trinity of Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. In many ways, God defies our understanding, and our human language is insufficient to properly describe God. We default, therefore, to the way in which Jesus taught us to think of the three Persons of the Trinity, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God as Father was already a well-known reference from Old Testament times. Jesus frequently refers to the Father, most notably in the “Lord’s Prayer” that we Catholics call the Our Father. Jesus identifies Himself as the Son Who was sent by the Father. Even though we know the Father and Son to be equally God, Jesus voluntarily submits Himself to the Father’s Will. Using these familial terms brings us an intimacy in our understanding of God. God is a family of Persons, not a bureaucracy. Even the name of the Holy Spirit, also given to us by Jesus Himself, has a familiar tone. The Spirit is the Life of God, the Love of God, the Grace and Truth of God. We would not personify the Spirit as separate from the Father and the Son except that Jesus did so, promising to send the Spirit after ascending to the Father.
Everything that God does outside of Himself, God does as one, so our knowledge of what separates the Persons of the Trinity is limited to what God revealed in Scripture. The Father sent the Son; the Father and Son sent the Spirit. These processions are really the only thing that allow us to distinguish one Divine Person from another. They are not separate by function. All three together are one creator; all three together are responsible for our redemption. Even the Eucharist, the real, true, substantial presence of Jesus, is the work of the Father through the Holy Spirit. The Doxology that closes the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass bears witness to this as we pray: Through him [Jesus] and with him and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. Amen.
We thank God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for allowing us to come to know Him in this life. May our understanding of the mysteries of God grow and deepen along with our love for Him and our thanksgiving for all God’s generous gifts to us.
Peace in Christ, Father Matthew Kuhn