Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Year A
Theme: GOD OF LOVE AND PEACE
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Sunday June 7 2020
* Ex 34 : 4 – 9, 2 Cor 13 : 11 – 13, Jn 3 : 16 – 18.
It is interesting and challenging that the Universal Church celebrates this year’s Trinity Sunday in the heat of the CoViD 19 plague with all the challenges it has posed to our Christian faith in the healing power and providence of the Trinity, the Eucharist, etc. A lot of theologians have clashed with divergent views about the essential role and ministry of priests at this crucial time, the manner of public worship and the reception of Holy Communion, etc. We continue to rely on the synergistic guidance of the authorities of both the State and the Church at this critical time as we imitate the trinitarian unity of the Godhead.
B. TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY
In the Trinitarian theology, we establish *oneness in substance and diversity of function ; communion in individuality and plurality of personality ; oneness in nature and temporality in procession*. For avoidance of the danger of falling into dogmatic flaws and heretical adumberations, let me rest on existing protocols in discussing this mysterious matter.
Theologians like Frank Sheed fell into the error of modalism trying to describe the Trinity with the allusion to the 3 different forms of water (representing God the Father as the liquid form, God the Son as the solid /ice form and God the Holy Spirit as the gaseous form). St Ignatius of Loyola played safe by simply describing the Trinity like the three notes of a music triad (eg. d, m, s) sounding together inseparably but playing distinct chordal roles. Benny Hiln uses the analogy of electricity where God the Father sets up the circuit and says ‘Let there be light’. God the Son performs the function of pressing the switch and God the Holy Spirit releases the power. St Augustine ran into a dilemma trying to fathom the profundity of the mysteries behind the Trinity when a small boy brought him back to his senses with the analogy of trying to fill a small hole in the sand with the whole waters of an ocean. And so we fall back to the theological method of faith – moving from the unknown to the unknown.
As we progress into the ordinary time of the Liturgical season, the Word of God says in today’s 2nd reading, ‘We wish you happiness… So, try to grow perfect by loving one another.. May the God of love and peace be with you’. What a brilliant way of describing the Trinity : ‘May the love of God (the father), the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Son) and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’.
The Trinity in the Bible :
a. Let us (Elohim) make man, Gen 1 : 26, Gen 3 : 22.
b. Let us go down and confuse their language, Gen 11 : 6 – 7.
c. Who will go for us? Is 6 : 8.
d. In the beginning was the Word, Jn 1 : 1 – 3.
e. Before Abraham was, I am, Jn 8 : 38.
f. To have seen me is to have seen the Father, Jn 14 : 7 – 13.
g. As for seats at my right hand.. not mine to grant but my father, Matt 20 : 23.
h. As for the day and hour of the coming of the Son of man.. No one but the father knows, Matt 24 : 36.
*Meaning that the humanity of Jesus included some degree of ignorance, Heb 5 : 8 – He learnt obedience through suffering. It is the Holy Spirit whom the Father sent in his name that teaches us everything, Jn 16 : 11.
i. My God, my God why has thou forsaken me? Matt 27 : 17.
* This passage establishes the distinction of personality between the Father and the Son.
j. Everything the Father has is mine, Jn 16 :15, 27.
* This passage establishes the union of the Father and the Son, Jn 17 :12 – May they be one like us.
C. THE TRINITY AS OUR MODEL OF UNITY AND PERFECTION
*The Trinity is our model of unity and perfection* :
– 2 Cor 13 : 11 – 13 – We wish you to grow perfect in love and fellowship.
– Jn 17 : 13 – Christ prayed : Keep those you have given me to be one like you and I.
– Eph 4 : 7 – St Paul says that there shall be one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
*The Trinity is our model of love*
– We must learn how to love like God the Father through forgiveness, Ex 34 : 9 – Our 1st reading says he is a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
– We must learn to love like God the Son, Jn 15 : 13 – Greater love has no man than this that a man should lay down his life (as a sacrifice) for his friends. The gospel says that God so loved the World that He sent his only Son to prove this love to humanity.
– We must learn to love like God the Holy Spirit , 2 Cor 13 :11 – a love that develops through fellowship. It looks as if God has divided himself into 3 in order to save mankind ; as creator (Father), as redeemer (Son) and as sanctifier (Holy Spirit).
*The Trinity is also our model of forgiveness*
– Jn 26 : 26 – Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive any one’s sins, they are forgiven…
* Division in Christianity therefore, is the greatest onslaught of our enemy the devil. Division in a country, family or Church is usually the devil’s best of art.
I do not know of any religion that talks of peace and unity like the Christian religion. Without Christianity, I wonder if the world would still be existing as it is today. Just check out Religions like Islam with so many verses in their Koran encouraging the butchering of non believers. Christians in Nigeria must therefore be careful to see that we don’t betray the true course of Christianity which is peace and unity by approaching the Muslims in their own style (violence) .
As we celebrate the unity in the Trinity, let us extend this unity in our society through (a) The harmonious working together of the 3 major ethnic groups in a kind of functional federalism.
(b) The cooperation between the 3 arms of government ; through an efficient Executive, a focused Legislature and a fair Judiciary.
(c) The enthronement of peace and love in our various families ; by having a responsible father, a vicarious mother and docile children .
And finally, in our individual relationships, let us work towards maintaining a trinitarian order between the self, the other and God. May the Trinitarian communion (perichoresis) teach us a type of circuminsertion in our relationships where individuals can correlate together without offending neither themselves nor God.
Happy Sunday dear friends!