One way of relating to the Three Divine Persons

Given by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington.

As we worship together, our focus is directed to the central mystery of the Christian faith and life: the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. "The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity," so teaches the Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 252). God reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. On the one hand, this mystery is highly theological, yet, on the other hand, it is very practical. For example, every time we sign ourselves, we focus on this mystery: "In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" - One Name and three Persons; Yes, One God, Three Divine Persons.

In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as One God, the Only God. We heard this in today's first reading, wherein Moses reminds the people that the Lord, their God, took a nation for Himself, and that He, the Lord, is God and that there is no other.

But, there is more to the reality of who God is. Yes, He is One, but He is also a Community of Three Persons. His Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, took on our human nature and revealed to us the inner life of God: He is truly One, yet He is a Community of Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the end of His earthly stay among us, Jesus gave a mandate to those first disciples - and now to us: "Go forth, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. "Yes, baptize them in the Name of the One God Who is Three Persons. Make them a Trinitarian People.

And Jesus the Lord also made a promise: "And, behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." And His Presence remains through the action of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

Yes, God is One in Three and we are His people, formed to model in our lives, within our families and in the Church, this Trinitarian life of God.

In fact, we are the people chosen by God to belong to Him, as we heard in the first reading - the people given the mandate or mission to go forth and to evangelize, as Jesus told us in today's Gospel reading, and the people assured of a promise: Jesus Christ will remain among us till the end of time, as Jesus also affirmed in today's Gospel.

So then, to summarize, we are the people chosen by God Himself to belong to Him, given by Jesus Christ the mandate or mission to evangelize, and assured of the promise of His presence through the action and role of the Holy Spirit.

Is there a connection joining us to God, One in Three? We are a people, the People of God and we also are called the Church, that is, members of the Body of Christ. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults highlights the connection between the Church and the Holy Trinity. "The Holy Trinity brought the Church into being. The Father called the Church into existence. The Son established the Church. The Holy Spirit filled the Church with power and wisdom at Pentecost. The Holy Trinity abides with the Church always, creatively and providentially…." (pp. 112-113). And, later on, in this United States Catholic Catechism, we read: "The Church is the continuing manifestation of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Church exists by the will of God the Father and His plan to gather all people under the Lordship of His Son. As Head of the Church, Jesus Christ continues to fill her with his life and saving grace, pouring into her the Holy Spirit, with His gifts of unity, peace and love" (cf. Ibid. p. 115).

How can we relate more realistically to each of the Three Divine Persons? Let me offer this proposal. Recall how we use analogies in order to describe who each Divine Person is and their inner relationship. God the Father speaks what is true and real. God the Son is the Word Spoken. He reveals the Father's Word because He Himself became the Incarnate Word of God, making visible what is invisible. God the Holy Spirit is the Interpreter, clarifying what the Son has revealed to us.

So, keeping this analogy in mind, what could be a realistic connection between each one of us and each Divine Person? God the Father speaks what is true and real. Are we listening to and learning what the Father speaks? God the Son is the Word Spoken and reveals to us the Father's Word. Do we cling to the Son, the Word Incarnate? After all, He came to put into words and actions which we can understand what the Father is saying to us. God the Holy Spirit is the Interpreter. Do we follow and seek to put into practice what the Holy Spirit interprets and clarifies for us as we listen to and learn from the Son's revelation of the Father's Word?

So then, this is the dynamic: Listen to and learn what the Father speaks through both prayer and study; cling to the Son Who reveals what the Father speaks, especially in Eucharistic prayer, both Mass and adoration, and in Lectio Divina; follow and put into practice what the Holy Spirit clarifies through His interpretation, and this following and putting into practice encompasses the outreach of charitable words and actions, and staying alert to the new directions to which the Church points in her teaching.

I propose this way of relating to each of the Three Divine Persons: Listen and learn from the Father, cling to the Son Who reveals what the Father is saying, and follow and put into practice what the Holy Spirit interprets for our faithful discipleship. I further propose that this way of relating to each of the Three Divine Persons can be applied to how we discern various issues and events which necessarily challenge us, as we seek to be faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus.

In the end, we are, as Christians, a Trinitarian People. Let us live and practice this reality in all the aspects of our journey through life. After all, that is who we are!

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015