The Holy Trinity – a community of love
“He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations . . .’ ” At the solemnity of the Ascension, the Church celebrated the end of the ‘Christ Event’—the life and works of Jesus from his Incarnation to his Ascension, in summary, the saving works of Jesus. A life begun in obscurity, under constant threat of death, lived publicly throughout the land in a ministry of preaching, teaching and healing.
Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the reality of the Triune God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#234) states: “The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself.”
It is a mystery revealed by God Himself, as the Son reveals the Father (CCC, # 240), and the Father and the Son reveal the Holy Spirit (CCC, #243). At the heart of the mystery is the fact of the oneness of God and the existence of the three distinct Persons, each of them fully God. Each, the personification of love; God, a community of love.
Today, in His final words to the apostles in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus issues the Great Commission: “Go—make—baptise—teach – know”. How appropriate for Him who is Love! For real love draws us out of ourselves, enables us to focus on the other, and so impels us to ‘go’.
Real love also promotes, protects and provides. And so the apostles are exhorted to make, baptise and teach, with a view to helping people become the persons whom God intended them to be—a community in the image of the Blessed Trinity.
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity reveals the deep mystery of the human person. Since God is a community of love, it is entirely appropriate that the family be seen as an icon of the most Holy Trinity.
On December 27, 2009, at the Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI said “God is Trinity. He is a communion of love, and the family—with the difference that exists between the mystery of God and his human creatures—is an expression thereof, which reflects the unfathomable mystery of God—Love . . . The human family is, in a certain sense, the icon of the Trinity because of the love between its members and the fruitfulness of that love.” At the heart of the family, the need to protect, promote and provide; to go out of ourselves so as to become our true selves.
The mission to evangelise the world is fundamentally the mission of the clergy, with vital support from the laity, especially families (Vatican II: Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, #6). It is often said that our Catholic faith is “more easily caught than taught”—a truism which underscores the important role of the family in evangelisation.
We can both testify to how we first learnt the language of faith in our families: asking God’s blessing before meals, praying the rosary together and going to Mass as a family. But if families are to become effective at evangelising, parents must be suitably equipped. Catechesi Tradendae (#43) states clearly that adult catechesis is the “primary form of catechesis”.
Yet, in many parishes, adult catechesis is not a priority, partly because so much time and energy is expended in catechising the young. “The Church exists to evangelize!”. These words of Blessed Paul VI resound today with greater urgency than ever.
The family, the domestic Church, is called to make disciples even in the face of daunting challenges. God’s grace will be sufficient: “. . . know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.”
Holy Trinity, we glorify you and thank you for all the ways in which you have blessed your people here, in the land which bears your name.
Forgive us for the many times we have disgraced your holy name by our sin.
Be merciful to us!
Bless all our families, and help parents to reclaim the authority you have given them to bring up their children to know, love and serve you. Amen.
The Gospel Meditations for May were by Rev Kenneth & Bernadette Phillips, catechists of St Joseph’s, Scarborough.