O Most Holy Trinity, Undivided Unity

Jerónimo Cósida (1570), The Holy Trinity (located Cisterian Monastery of Tulebras, Spain)

The unique renaissance fresco painting of Jerónimo Cósida’s The Holy Trinity capturing the face of Jesus with three faces symbolizes the mystery of this occasion. The Latin message for ‘non est’ or ‘it is not’ followed by the unique centering of ‘est’ for ‘it is’ in the above image portrays such a mystery of our faith. Oftentimes, we can get caught up in the logic of the Holy Trinity and how it is even possible for the Lord to reveal such a nature for our limited human understanding to grasp. Such questions were posed to the early church and addressed during various church councils. Those such as Pope St. Damasus I with his tome of the Holy Trinity in fully embracing the mystery of the Triune God is one example. Such theological disagreements and schisms concerning the filioque theology of from where the Spirit comes and ensuing disagreements (https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/filioque) in the eastern and western churches further occurred over time.

From the beginning of the creation story, we see the unity and plurality of the interchange of language connotations being used with the use of El and Elohim. In Genesis, the singular El in which God did various things compared to the symbolism of the Trinity in Genesis 1:26 in which Elohim is used is presented in the following verse in “let us make man in our image” is given. The hermeneutical debate over such translations and the intent of language in the scripture (https://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/db2296/elohim-is-a-plural-do-not-translate-it-with-god-an-interview-with-mauro-biglino/) will continue to this day. In other Old Testament readings such as in Exodus 3:2, we see the natures of Father & Spirit taking the form of a fire in the bush in which reason and logic defy any human understanding. Moses could not grasp how a bush was not consumed by fire, hence the spiritual revelation of God as a burning bush is made. How can Moses directly set his sight on God without being struck down in fear? How are we to understand such events or even begin to ponder God’s nature?

With the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan in which the Spirit comes down upon Jesus, the mystery of the revealed triune God is made manifest. The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus and the voice from the heavens proclaims, “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). Such a moment reminds us of our baptismal call as Christians in which we are sealed by the mystery of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that removes the stain of sin on our heart.

In order to fully embrace such a mystery of the Trinity, we should look to our own self and the mystery by which we are created in God’s image. We are told various lies about how we are defined by our skin color, allegiance to a political party, allegiance to a certain nationality, or to our own sexual identification to fully identify with who and what we are. While such external components and characteristics are important for living an earthly life; they are only a mere facade that separates us from our true ontological destiny. We are even told that we must use certain gender pronouns in order to feel complete and be made whole as if it would change our human nature.

What if such external traits and characteristics didn’t matter in light of our true destiny of being reunited to our Triune God? Perhaps we should let go of our distractions and roadblocks in life to seek the awe and wonder of the mysterious and holy trinitarian Godhead? By rediscovering the ousia (substance, being, essence) of the reasons we were made in order to more fully appreciate the mystery of the Trinity is a first step in such a faith journey. The Gospel of John speaks of the Spirit of Truth coming to the disciples at the appointed time.

When will the Spirit of truth come to you and overshadow you so as to reveal His nature and purpose for your life, or will you be caught off-guard? Fundamentally in seeking out the nature of the revealed persons of God in understanding the Trinity is about our relationships we form with others. It is clear that Jesus intends for us to be action makers and difference makers when the Spirit of truth may come upon us. The early church was met with much adversity and most were martyred for the faith that led them to start this Christian movement (Jn. 15:13…no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend).

Oftentimes, our blindness due to sin and various imperfections allow us to lose sight of such mysteries of our faith. Our minds wander and our logical and inferential brain can interrupt our quest in wanting to try and decipher God’s very nature instead of having an introspective look at our own nature. We think we can conquer the greatest heights and unlock the various mysteries of the earth in which we assume we are the masters of our own fate. The commemoration of the Most Holy Trinity is about remembering God’s nature revealed to us in every sacrament, word and deed in which we are sealed by the trinitarian Godhead. In all that we do, both in liturgy and in life, we are blessed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each and every time we remember to mark ourselves with the sign of the cross, the sign in which God sends forth His only begotten Son to save all of mankind and pour forth His Spirit of truth is our mystery we recall today. Such a mystery of our faith journey is one of love, dependence on God’s mercy, and petition to align our life to recalling His very nature as being three in One in undivided unity per the liturgical song O God, almighty Father. (See composition and history by Irvin M. Udulutsch http://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2021/05/one-of-most-beautiful-and-famous-hymns.html). It matters not if we will ever make sense of the Trinitarian mystery of God’s nature, but only that we continue on our journey of faith in how we resemble God’s love in our personhood to others. God is still guiding us through our earthly pilgrimage toward our heavenly destiny. We should attempt to resemble our best self just as the Triune God resembles His loving presence to us throughout salvation history to the present.

From the Collect prayer in the missal used today:

God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in professing the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Published by StreetEvangelist

A Roman Catholic Christian living in the TX, USA area seeking to make the world a better place. Our call to mission as being made in the image and likeness of God is two-fold: to have authentic relationships with our fellow man, and to have an authentic personal encounter with our living God through His Son Jesus Christ who is, who was and who will always be. Let us not bicker, spew hate, or worry about trivial matters when we can become better images of our self to walk humbly with our loving God.

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