Sermon given by Father Pancras Raja on June 7th, 2020
“Going therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Mt. 28:19)
Today, my dear brethren, the Church celebrates the greatest of all mysteries of our religion – the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity; of the one God in three divine persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We all believe this mystery – and we must believe it if we would be saved. He who does not believe in the Trinity can not call himself a Christian; neither can any one be a Christian unless he be baptized in the name of the father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
To be a Christian therefore, one has to declare his belief in one God – and three persons: the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; the Lord Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, who became man; and the Holy Ghost the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the father and the Son. These three persons are one and the same God.
Let us suppose a tower built – with three sides. There are three distinct sides, but these three sides make only one tower! Even when we look at one side of the tower, we regard one and the same tower. So, no matter which person of God we regard, it is always the same God!
If there were three men praying – one addressing the Father, a second addressing the Son, and the third the Holy Ghost, they would all praying to the same one God.
But how can there be more than one person in one being is a mystery! All the same this truth is a divine revelation and a defined dogma of the Catholic Church!
Yes, this doctrine has been revealed at the baptism of Jesus Christ (Mt. 3: 17 The voice of the Father was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. iii. 17), and the Holy Ghost descended as a dove upon the Son. “The Trinity,” says St. Maximus, “reveals itself to man, the Father is heard in the voice, the Son is manifested in man, the Holy Ghost is discerned in the dove.”
St. Thomas Aquinas says that the Trinity also appeared in Christ’s Transfiguration: The Father in voice, the Son in man, and the Holy Ghost in the bright cloud.
Before His ascension into heaven, Christ, in clear and unmistakable language, commanded His Apostles to preach His faith to all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” It was a precise commandment, a distinct oracle, if ever there were one, a revelation of one God in three Persons.
We have also the celebrated text of St. John, “There are three who give testimony in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one” (1 John 5: 7).
Tradition is equally in favor of the doctrine of the Trinity. When we read of St. Athanasius, the learned theologian of the Church, of St. Augustine, the light of doctors, and of St. John Chrysostom, the golden-tongued orator of the Eastern Church, all proclaiming their belief in the august mystery.
WHAT WE OWE TO THE THREE DIVINE PERSONS
If we cannot comprehend the deep mystery of the Holy Trinity, we may at least offer it our homage and adoration. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, “It is impossible to come to a knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason, “but we may say in the love of our hearts with the Church, Our hopes, our salvation, our honor, O Blessed Trinity” (Ant. II. Noct. Off Trinity). What prevents us from loving, honoring, and adoring one God in three Divine Persons? Because we cannot drink all the water of the well, may we not partake of as much as is needful for us? We cannot look with fixed gaze upon the sun, but we may use its light for our needs. The light of the Blessed Trinity is inaccessible to our poor human vision, but we may venerate and honor the source whence it flows, and unite with the angels who ever sing its praises, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come!” (Apoc. iv. 8).
- We owe the Blessed Trinity the homage of grateful love.
When we were nothing, the Triune God infused into our common clay a soul made to “His image and likeness.”
What do we not owe the Almighty Father, who has given us life and preserved us, who has provided for our wants and even guaranteed us our pleasures? No one loves like a father, none so compassionate as he; yet as Tertullian says, “No one is so much a Father as the Almighty Father.”
What do we not owe the Beloved Son, who came from His throne of glory to abase Himself to our lowly state, to live a life of persecution and suffering, and to die a slave’s death that we might recover heaven? His was the greatest sacrifice the world has ever seen.
What do we not owe the Holy Ghost, who enlightened us when we were blind, who upheld us when we were weak, who encouraged us when we were timid, Who brought us back to the fold when we had strayed from it, and who forgave us when we had sinned? Everywhere His solicitude has followed us, everywhere His voice has appealed to us. Verily He has been our truest, most faithful, and loving friend.
We recall in thought the day of our baptism, when we were carried helpless to the sacred font. Sponsors voiced the vows that were to be the guiding principles of our life; the saving water deleted the stain of sin, and the grace of God restored the image of the divinity disfigured by Adam’s fault. What happiness was breathed into our souls! The Father adopted each one of us as His child, the Son embraced us as His brother, and the Holy Ghost chose us for His temple. Could the Triune God have done more for us?
- We owe, with our love, the Blessed Trinity our sincere confidence.
God wills that all men should one day be gathered like ripe wheat in His eternal harvest home. He wishes us to be near Him, to be beside Him. The Father so desires because we resemble Him and are His image; the Son, because He sees in us the price of His precious Blood; and the Holy Ghost, because we are His living sanctuary.
Are not these great motives enough to excite our confidence, to make us ever trustful of God’s kindness toward us? Though demons may attempt to assail us they fear the holy Name, and it thus dissipates our fears and strengthens our confidence at the dread hour of death.
Jesus Mary and Joseph -The earthly image of the Trinity
In Cornelius A Lapide’s commentary on Mary being found with child “of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18), he explains how the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus are an earthly image of the Trinity. Here’s what he has to say on the symbolic (or spiritual) sense of this verse:
“Symbolically, in the marriage and family union of Joseph with Mary there was an image of the sacred Trinity. For Joseph represented the eternal Father, the Blessed Virgin the Holy Ghost, both because she was the most holy, and because she had conceived by the Holy Ghost. Christ represented Himself, even the Son of God. Hence, as there is in the sacred Trinity essentially one God in three Persons, so here was there one marriage and one perfect family, consisting of three persons, namely, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This family was then, as it were, a heaven upon earth…” (Cornelius A Lapide, S.J., The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew, 1:18 [trans. Thomas W. Mossman; Loreto Publications, 2008, p. 30)
In Fatima, Our Lady teaches the Acts of Reparation to The Most Holy Trinity
Vision of Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Fatima at Tuy, Spain, June 13, 1929 ~ It was at this time, at the most solemn apparition of the whole series of Fatima apparitions, that Our Lady said to Sister Lucy: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with him and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this act of prayer and worldwide reparation.”
Fatima prayer to the Holy Trinity
O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. Poor sinners who offend God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost present in the Most Holy Eucharist by their outrages, sacrileges and indifferences committed against the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.