The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Year B 30 May 2021
“O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!” Rom. 11:33
We know from the story of Abraham that one day, he saw three men in the distance. He thought that they were angels at first, but then when he went to meet them, he bowed down to the ground and adored them saying: “And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. “Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant:” Gen. 18:3 This was the Triune God in human form.
Circuminsession: The Inner Life of the Blessed Trinity
The term Circuminsession describes the inner life of the Blessed Trinity. The Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon, S. J. explains it thus: “(Circumincession is) The mutual immanence (within-ness) of the three distinct Persons of the Holy Trinity, The Father is entirely in the Son, likewise in the Holy Spirit; and so is the Son in the Father and the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit in the Father and the Son” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, p. 106-7) The Father loves Himself and begets the Son (His only-begotten Son). The Father and the Son love each other and from this love proceeds the Holy Spirit. The Father is not prior (before) nor superior to the Son, and neither the Father nor the Son is prior nor superior to the Holy Spirit. They are all equal and co-eternal. The only distinction is one of relations: the Father is the Father to the Son and the Son is the Son to the Father. The Father is not the Son nor is the Son the Father and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son and is neither the Father nor the Son. Divinity and divine perfections are one and the same. What can we say of the mystery except to bow our heads in silent adoration. The Blessed Trinity is a mystery that we can never understand; all we can do is have faith as St. Anselm says, “Faith seeking understanding.”
The Blessed Trinity, a Great Mystery
The mystery of today’s feast is the greatest of all the mysteries of our Catholic Faith. No finite mind is able to grasp it; no tongue can express what this greatest of all mysteries is. St. Augustine was contemplating this divine mystery when he was down by the sea. He saw a little boy carrying water from the sea in his pail and emptying it into a hole in the sand. He asked the little boy what he was doing; the boy answered, “I am trying to empty the sea into this hole.” St. Augustine then said that this was impossible as the sea was so vast and the hole so small. The boy answered, “Neither can you understand the Blessed Trinity with your finite mind.” The boy who was an angel then disappeared. Even in heaven where our eyes will forever behold the God, face to face, we shall never be able to fathom the depths of this mystery or comprehend it fully. We can only adore it!
The Image of the Trinity in Creation
In a way God has left His imprint on creation. St. Paul tells us: “For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made;” Rom. 1:20 God created man according to His image: “And God created man to His own image; to the image of God he created Him: male and female he created them.” Gen. 2:27 God also stamped His image, to a certain extent, upon all of creation. Everywhere we find traces, marks, or imprints as it were of the Blessed Trinity because everything was created by the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Ghost. The entire creation can be divided into three worlds: spiritual (invisible), material (visible creation) and man who is both spiritual with a soul and material with a body. Man’s likeness to God is a trinity in the soul which consists of memory, understanding (intellect) and will; the memory is like the Father from which all things come, the understanding is like the Son who comes from the Father and the will is like the Holy Spirit who comes from the love of the Father and the Son. In the visible world we distinguish things as animal, vegetable and mineral kingdom. Every material object is either solid, liquid or gas. Every corporeal thing has three dimensions: length, depth and width. Time is present, past or future. We see the Blessed Trinity in a seed: from the seed, the Father, comes the plant, the Son, and from the plant comes the fruit, the Holy Spirit. The Three Divine Persons have left their imprint upon the entire creation: “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen.” Rom. 11:33-36
The Greatest Divine Mystery
We can only adore the divine mystery of the Blessed Trinity. Our finite minds are not capable of understanding God. We will contemplate the beauty of God for all eternity in heaven where, as St. Paul tells us, “That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Cor. 2:9 If our world is so beautiful what must God, who created it out of nothing, be like? “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!” Rom. 11:33