Homily Trinity Sunday, 2021

Holy Trinity Icon of 3 Angels eating a meal by Andrei Rublev

Once, when I was still a child, I heard from my parents or grandparents a very simple, made up story about a king who – as it happens in such children’s stories – lived long ago and far away. He was a very peculiar man because he very much wanted to see God face to face and to get to know him personally. Of course, the king did not want his wish to come true after his death, but he wanted to see God in this earthly life. It was an extremely strong desire and at the same time a great curiosity for the king, therefore at some stage he called his close advisers asking them to fulfil this unusual wish as soon as possible. Over time, the king’s curiosity and determination grew to such an extent that he began to blackmail and threaten his subjects and advisers with severe penalties if they did not comply with his extraordinary order. For disappointing or saddening the king – as it happens in fairy tales – there was a prison sentence. All the inhabitants of the royal court – and not only them – were very scared and fearful and began to anticipate the worst-case scenarios, until at some point unexpectedly an inconspicuous young shepherd appeared among them. Nobody knew where he came from. He courageously stood before the king and expressed his willingness to help make the king’s dream come true. At first, the suspicious king did not trust the shepherd, so he repeated his threats several times, but after a moment of reflection finally accepted his offer of help. First, the shepherd asked the king to go with him to a nearby meadow, and when they reached the place where they intended to go, the shepherd pointed to the sun and said:

– Look up, my lord! The king raised his eyes for a moment, then immediately covered them with his hands, stunned and blinded by the glare of the sun.

– Are you crazy or kidding me !!!??? – the angry king shouted very loudly – Do you want me to lose my sight and stop being the king!!!???

– No, my lord! The shepherd replied, but I wanted to tell you something very important that the sun is only a gentle glow of God. The radiance of God’s face is much more powerful than the sun. So how do you want to see God face to face my lord, if you are unable to look at the sun?

When we gather today to worship the Trinity, we should first acknowledge that the teaching of the Church on the Holy Trinity is the greatest mystery of our faith that is difficult or even impossible to fully understand and explain. And every attempt we make to get to know God or to understand the truth about the Trinity is like looking at the sun without sunglasses or other protection and trying to see some details on it.

So, what can we do today? Nothing more than to accept with an attitude of faith and humility all that Jesus revealed about: himself; about God the Father; and about the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament – that is in all the Gospels – we can find a beautiful teaching about the mutual love of the three Divine Persons: The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the Holy Spirit is like a breath of mutual love that comes from the Father and the Son. We can say that it is love only that enables us to understand this mystery at least to a small extent. One of the greatest Christian philosophers, St. Thomas Aquinas explains what love means. He says: Love means to be one without ceasing to be many at the same time. As in a marriage: you are one, but at the same time you are two people. As in a family, you are three, four, five or even more, but at the same time you are one family. What more can we say about the Trinity? Let us see… In the material world we encounter things of the same nature but in three different forms. For example, water is not always in a liquid form – but as we know – it sometimes turns into steam, snow or ice. Each form of the same water can be completely different.

We do not know everything about the Holy Trinity, because we are not able to get to know Them while living on earth, just as we cannot see any details that are on the surface of the sun. But we certainly have enough knowledge of God to be saved and to be in heaven someday. We know that we should live in such a way that our: souls, hearts, families, environments in which we work and rest, and also our parish, become a true and worthy home of the Holy Trinity. We know that we should constantly live in a state of grace and try to cooperate with the Holy Trinity in building unity between us, the same or similar unity as there is between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. How should we do that?

– Together with God the Father, we should create and build this world through our hard and honest work for this country and for our families.

– Together with the Son Jesus Christ, we should save the world through our daily sufferings, loneliness and sacrifices.

– Together with the Holy Spirit, we should enlighten and sanctify the world. We can do this through our piety and devotion by developing our own spirituality.

Let us think today that the Holy Trinity is present in us from the moment of our baptism, but we can experience their presence and actions especially here when we gather to celebrate Holy Mass. Let us welcome the Trinity with open hearts and, thanking Them for being with us, let us pray together: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fr Gregory