From the Pastor – June 7, 2009

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. In the early days of the Church there was no special day to honor the Holy Trinity, but that changed in the 3rd century when the Church was confronted with one of the first great heresies: Arianism. Although this heresy would seem strange to us today, it basically stated that God the Father was always existing but that He was separate from the lesser Jesus Christ, who was created by Him. Then, the Father, working through the Son, created the Holy Spirit, who was subservient to the Son as the Son was to the Father. This belief was definitively declared to be false by the Nicene Council in 325 A.D.

Without going into too much theological depth about the controversy, we can simply affirm the Nicene Creed which we recite each Sunday. In the Creed we declare that we believe in one God: “the Father, the Almighty”; his Son Jesus Christ, who is “God from God” and “one in being with the Father”; and the Holy Spirit who “proceeds from the Father and the Son” and who “with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified.” But this isn’t the only time we proclaim the Trinity. In fact, each time we make the sign of the Cross we are praying “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Notice that we use the singular case for “the Name.” This is our declaration of our belief in the Holy Trinity: One God in Three Divine Persons.

The Holy Trinity can seem like a difficult concept to contemplate, and it is best described as a mystery. But this shouldn’t trouble us, because the infinite grandeur of God is obviously so much greater than our finite minds can comprehend! However, the Holy Trinity is revealed to us in God’s plan of salvation to bring us back into the relationship we had with Him before the Fall. And the “agent” of that plan is none other than Jesus, the only Son of God, who became a man, suffered, died and rose again to bring mankind back into a perfect relationship with the Father in the embrace of the Holy Spirit.

There is no greater place to contemplate the Holy Trinity than in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. When we pray before the exposed Blessed Sacrament (as on our weekly Tuesday Holy Hours or at next week’s Corpus Christi Procession) we pray in union with Jesus Christ asking the Heavenly Father to grant us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. That places us on earth within the Divine embrace of the Most Holy Trinity!

Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty