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Sermon on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is one of the few celebrations in the church’s calendar that forbids, as it were, the preacher a wealth of words. As always, it’s a humbling experience to speak about an inexpressible reality before a crowd who desperately hunger for it but unless, the realm of the Holy is approached with extreme humility, all our efforts can sometimes be futile. Once and for all, I won’t pretend that I know anything about it but since by virtue of my office as a preacher I’m bound to say something on a given Sunday, let me offer a few words then and seriously attempt to explain God, a being that confounds reason and follows strictly no human logic.

For many, the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity is a settled doctrine, often regarded as devoid of any practical implication. Other religious traditions claim that belief in One God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is puzzling and in some sense, absurd. Doctrines, while unique to Christianity, are gateways to expressing the deeper meaning of biblical truths as one Theologian said. They only make sense in the context of a ritual experience and definitely, not in sophisticated scientific demonstration. In Theology, a professor almost gave me failing mark in a course dealing with the Trinity because I had no energy and wasn’t at all convinced searching for the Christian God in loads and volumes of books written by scholars who trusted their minds more than hearts and spent enormous time thinking rather than contemplating on a doctrine that lies beyond mere concepts.

Nonetheless, the history of this all- important  teaching is quite interesting. In the ancient of days particularly at the start of the Common Era, people were extremely fascinated about the true identity of Jesus. So, they  talked about him everywhere: in the grocery store, workplaces, fitness center, street, houses, including restrooms, as any American would with regard to sports or  for Arizonans, the New Immigration Law. As the discussions became heated and reached the front desk of the Imperial palace, Constantine decided to intervene and called for a council of Bishops in the year 325 to settle the hotly debated issue. In the synod, the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity was formally defined and came to be known as the Nicene Creed, professed every Sunday after the Homily. And yet, this sacred belief was formulated not to correct the many heresies arising in those times. Instead, it was a crystallization of a growing sense of belief in a Trinitarian God.  

As confusing and baffling as it is, metaphors drawn from the ordinary stuff of life and tangible symbols may be used to explain the Trinity to help believers get a sense of it. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that it must lift us up, bring peace to the inner recesses of our hearts, lead us to divine encounter and not simply, gain information and discover facts about God in the Liturgy. As we strive to let it work in practice, the mystery of the Blessed Trinity is meant to shut us up, to keep us from talking, to halt our wild imaginations and to put us into silence which I strongly hold is the best possible way to deal with it. Try it and let’s see what happens. Amen.

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A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, currently assigned as Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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