The Holy Trinity

For Sunday, June 4th, 2023


God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:16-18


Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday, a celebration that stems from the early Church. At first, it only consisted of songs and hymns written in honor of the Holy Trinity in opposition to the fourth-century teachings of Arius. These hymns worked their way into the Mass on Sunday. We now celebrate Trinity Sunday on the first Sunday after Pentecost every year. 

Understanding the Holy Trinity was of the utmost importance for the early Church. One of the most precise writings about the Trinity is the Athanasian Creed:

Now this is the catholic faith: That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence. For the person of the Father is a distinct person, the person of the Son is another, and that of the Holy Spirit still another. But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal … Anyone then who desires to be saved should think thus about the trinity.

At the center of the Christian faith stands the eternal truth that the one God is three divine persons. This is a beautiful and mysterious truth.

As we reflect on this mystery, we pray to the Trinity. Our connection to the Trinity is in the person of Jesus Christ–*true God* and *true man*. Today’s Gospel focuses on the moment when the Father sends the Son into our human world: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” Even before Jesus became man, God was present everywhere—holding all things in existence. But as a man, Jesus bridges our nature and God’s divine nature.

The Son became man not only so that we could know of the Father in this life but also to free us from our sins and to win for us eternal life. Quoting Saint Athanasius, the Catechism affirms this, saying, “The Son of God became man so that we might become God” (CCC 460). When we are free from sin, and enlivened by God’s grace, we partake in the life of God. We are made for eternal union with God and to partake of his nature.

So in your prayer today, reflect on the Holy Trinity and ask God to continue to help you to be free from sin, to grow in virtue, and become more like Him.

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