“The truths that have to do with God and the relations between God and men, completely surpass the sensible order and demand self-surrender and self-abnegation in order to be put into practice and to influence practical life. Now the human intellect, in gaining the knowledge of such truths is hampered both by the activity of the senses and the imagination, and by evil passions arising from original sin. Hence men easily persuade themselves in such matters that what they do not wish to believe is false or at least doubtful. (Encyclical Humani Generis, Pius XII)
Beloved brethren in our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we close the cycle of the great Liturgical Feasts. We began with the Epiphany, then it took forty days over Lent, which was the time of preparation for the celebration of the Passion and death of the Lord, then continued until Easter, when we celebrated His glorious resurrection.
We sang the Alleluia for another forty days, until Pentecost. Today, however, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is one of the great mysteries of our Catholic faith.
But what does a mystery signify? A mystery is something that is hidden from our intelligence, which transcends our understanding. Imagine staring at the Sun. As we look at the Sun, we have our vision overshadowed, because our retina does not have capacity to absorb such intensity of light. The Mystery of the Holy Trinity, like the Sun, is therefore too vast for our humble human being.
God is the sun that transcends and I am the poor pupil. Indeed the mysteries are great and transcend our capacity for understanding, but they are never contrary to our reason. This is because God is the author of these truths.
Looking at the Old Testament, God reveals Himself as "One." God reveals His own face, and proves His sovereignty over all things. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But God is not an intangible being. Instead He comes to men because He needs to be revealed to the Gentiles.
In the New Testament we have the confirmation that the Holy Spirit would come to console His Church. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, the only one written in the Hebrew language, we have the revelation from Jesus, who confirms himself to be the Son of God. "I adjure You by the living God to tell us whether You are the Christ the Son of God. Jesus said to them, "I am." (Matthew 26: 63-66). Then the master, addressing the apostles, says to them, "All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore to all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. "(Matthew 28:19)
This Trinitarian formula accompanies the liturgical prayers. In fact, it makes us understand that the Son
is consubstantial with the Father, while the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
“But the universal faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in unity. Not confusing the persons, nor dividing substance. For the Person of the Father is one, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is another. But in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit there is one same divinity, equal in glory and co-eternal majesty”. (Credo of Saint Athanasius)
"How can it be? One God in three people? And each one of them is God! I can not understand!".
Then we come upon a chapter in Saint Augustine’s life, as he was mulling over, overcome completely reflecting on this mystery, until at some point he came upon a boy who did something that caught his eye. The boy had dug a hole in the sand and, with a small bucket, collected water from the sea to fill it. He came and went from the sea to the hole, pouring all the water into it. St. Augustine, noting that the boy did not tire of fetching water to fill the little hole, did not restrain himself and addressed him with the following words:
"My son, what are you doing?"
"Father, I'm trying to get all the sea water into this hole.
"But, my son, do not you realize that the hole is tiny?" See how gigantic the sea is! It does not fit inside that hole. In addition, all the water you put inside it is reabsorbed by the sand and back to the sea. You want to do something that is impossible!
Upon hearing this, the boy replied in
It is much easier to put the sea into that hole than to understand the Holy Trinity. After saying this, he disappeared.
We can conclude here that the small hole is our intelligence and the ocean is the Trinity. We believe in this truth, supported by the very words of Jesus, which has recorded a strong proof of his divinity.
Our life is an eternal walk. Let us then walk forth to the path that leads to heaven, where we will contemplate the Holy Trinity. Amen.
Holy Trinity Homily
Our Lady o Mount Carmel Church