Ex. 34: 4-6, 8-9; 2-Cor. 13: 11-13; John 3: 16-18;
1. Have you ever asked and answered yourself the Question: Who Am I? If I was to describe ‘Who I am’, it would range from, I am Fun to be around, a Good Singer, to being a hard worker. In word and action we reveal ourselves for others see. We celebrated ‘Fathers Day’ last week in Lincoln, and my Daughter-in-Law (Caitlyn) gave me a Picture Frame with a saying on it from 1 Corinthians (15:58), which said: “…stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” And at the bottom of the Frame was the word…DAD. We have not known her that long, but I must have revealed a bit more of myself that impressed her…my faith and love of God as a Dad and a desire to openly live and proclaim it.
2. Our Liturgy today begs us to ask, “Who is God? We believe that God had to REVEAL Himself in word and action. And getting straight to the point, we believe that there are 3 persons in 1 God…a TRINITY. This mystery about God, is a most fundamental and essential truth in the Church’s ‘HIERARCY OF TRUTH’. Because of our sinful nature and weakness of our intellects, it took a while for God to Reveal this Mystery to us. Even now, some people believe there is NO GOD. Some believe there are MANY gods. Some perceive God as an ANGRY, UNCARING, or DISTANT God. We believe the TRINITY is a self revelation that God is a COMMUNION of LOVE of 3 PERSONS, trying to establish a beneficial relationship with man.
3. We believe the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, was only fully revealed when Jesus came on earth. That in the Old Testament, this Mystery was only foreshadowed in events that took place. Our Best Explanation is that God felt the Israelites, were not ready to accept this truth. Surrounded as they were by nations that practiced polytheism, there would be danger that the Jews would see three Gods in the Trinity, and then they too would profess a form of Polytheism.
Since there is no Trinitarian text in the Old Testament which could be read on this feast of the Blessed Trinity, this text chosen from Exodus, where Moses goes up the mountain a 3rd time, is one of those orchestrated events that underlies its eventual, full revelation. (Many other OT accounts begin to reveal God as Trinity, such as the Story of Creation for Father-Son and Spirit. In the Story of Abraham and Isaac for the Father and Son. Others undercover, reveal the Trinity in the way the Word, Wisdom and Spirit in the Old Testament is personified).
The back ground for this reading reminds us that Yahweh had given the Law (10 Commandments) to Israel through Moses. Yet almost immediately, they sinned by worshiping the Golden Calf. So today God CRIES OUT His (Thrice) Holy Name to Moses; “The Lord, the Lord, God” as another foreshadowing of the 3 persons in one God. Then He describes His Divine Attributes for the benefit of the Israelite People. So when they fail to live the law, He wants to be known as a God who is “Merciful, Gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
4. We are able to celebrate the feast of the three divine Persons today, because it was a Mystery REVEALED by Jesus, but also TAUGHT by the Apostles from day one. St. Paul shows us this by his invoking on the Corinthians the blessings of TRINITARIAN LIFE. “The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
St. Paul teaches us to imagine God (Father-Son- Spirit) as GRACE, LOVE and FELLOWSHIP. We call this Blessing upon ourselves in our Liturgy to help us to live in the Kingdom of God here and now. It’s then our words and actions that reveal God to others. St. Paul says, God will come to us when we try to live the love of the Trinity. So…”Mend your ways…agree with one another,…live in peace”. “Greet one another with a Holy Kiss.”
5. The Gospel Teaches us, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life” Although the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in St. John’s gospel, the text is included in the readings for the feast of the Blessed Trinity because two of the Persons are mentioned. They are clearly distinguished, ONE from the OTHER, yet both are the one God. God the Father sent God the Son into the world, in human nature, NOT to JUDGE us, but in fulfillment of the attempted Sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. God’s Sacrifice of Himself to bring eternal life within the reach of all men.
6. From the very first chapter in Genesis we learn that we are created in the image of God as Trinity. The one God with 3 persons in a relationship with us. Father, who is Creator, Son who is our Redeemer and Holy Spirit who Sanctifies us. Not a god who is Angry, or Uncaring or Distant.
As we celebrate the Mystery of the Trinity today, we can do it best studying scripture word by word, event by event, or Person by Person. One of the Best Expressions of the Trinity, that we can actually see, is the call of God to FATHERHOOD. To see a ‘GREAT DAD’, living his faith and taking on the responsibilities of life in the context of the Domestic Family, Church Family or in Brotherly Love we find in society; Fatherhood in the Trinity comes alive. We understand ‘Who God is’ as Trinity, when we see a father here on earth…STANDING FRIM, GIVING himself FULLY and LABORING in the Lord, knowing his words and actions will NOT BE IN VAIN.