Sunday, June 3, 2012

Holy Trinity Sunday - so much to celebrate!

Some years it’s difficult to transition from Easter to ordinary time. Our hearts get so used to celebrating, that it’s hard for them to slow down the pace and find excitement in normalcy. It’s nice, then, that the Church gives us some feast days after Pentecost, so we can ease our way back into ordinary liturgies with ordinary vestments and ordinary altar flowers.

We are blessed to celebrate one of those feast days today—Holy Trinity Sunday. Blessed John Paul II explained its significance during his Angelus for the solemnity in 2003:
This Sunday which follows Pentecost we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity. The Triune nature of God is the principal mystery of the Catholic faith. With it, we come to the end of the journey of revelation which Jesus fulfilled through his Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection. From the summit of the "holy mountain" which is Christ, we contemplate the first and last horizon of the universe and of history: the Love of God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God is not solitude, but perfect communion. From God being communion derives the vocation of all humanity to form the one great family in which the various races and cultures meet one another and are reciprocally enriched (cf. Acts 17: 26).
Today we celebrate this “perfect communion,” this union of the Trinity which is ceaselessly praised in our liturgy and in our prayers. When we make the sign of the Cross, when we repeat the Glory Be, and when we profess the Apostles’ Creed—we glorify the Trinity, the central mystery of the Catholic faith. As Blessed John Paul II once exclaimed:
This is our faith! This is the Church’s faith! This is the God of our faith: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, but they are also completely separate beings. That’s a big idea to grasp—it’s a mysterious reality. Our Tradition provides insight into the mystery, though, which can help us understand why we celebrate something as vague and definitive as the Blessed Trinity. For example, St. Augustine wrote:

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the first principle and, by the eternal gift of this to the Son, from the communion of both the Father and the Son.
The Incarnation reveals that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means they are one and the same God. And just as the love between a mother and a father beautifully gives birth to human life, the love between the Father and the Son created the Holy Spirit. Through our Baptism we are called to share in this Trinity—this gift, this communion of love!

As we remember the glorious mystery of the Blessed Trinity today, let us pray:

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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