Sunday Sermon for June 3, 2012, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Year B
Readings: Deut 4:32-34, 39-40; Rom 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20
In the first reading today Moses marvels at the working of God among the people of Israel and how He spoke to the people from the midst of the fire, took them from among another nation and showed Himself to be all powerful. It is for these reasons that Moses enjoins on the people the truth that there is only one God, the Lord, and that there is no other.
Coming out of Egypt where there were many gods and goddesses the people were not accustomed to think of God as one, nor to think of Him as all powerful. Instead, they were used to turning to various gods depending on the needs or circumstances. To comprehend this absolute truth of the oneness of God was essential for the people so that they would draw near to the one true God and be repulsed by the multiplicity of false gods of their Egyptian past as well as those they would encounter in their journey to the Promised Land.
Today we live in a neo-pagan society were any number of things or persons are being worshipped as gods. The first truth we need to have in our minds and hearts is that there is only one God. That one God, however, is three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus demonstrates this unity of the divine Persons when He gives the formula for baptism as being: in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. There is only one name mentioned although all three Persons are listed.
This one God in three Persons did not merely speak to us from the midst of fire or choose us out of another nation. Rather, He became one of us, He taught us by word and example, He died for us, He has chosen us from every nation on the earth, He has made us His own children and allows us to call Him Father. Beyond this, He has come to us and dwells within us.
Moses marveled, and rightly so, at what God had done for the Israelites in Egypt. However, what God has done for us makes the events of Egypt seem like there are minor or insignificant by comparison. But we have to realize, as Moses did, that what God did for the people of Israel was truly astounding. Nothing of its like had ever been heard, as Moses said, from the beginning of creation until that time.
God had revealed Himself and His Holy Name to Moses and, through Him, to the people. Now He reveals Himself in the fullness of His being as three Persons who share equally in the divine nature. The revelation of God in the Old Testament was followed by some signs and wonders which God worked so that the people would believe and so that they would know that they were really, truly chosen by God to be His own people. God’s revelation of Himself in the New Testament is also followed by a series of signs and wonders, but this time on the spiritual plane. We do not necessarily see or feel our incorporation into the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity or the indwelling of the same Holy Trinity. God does not have to wow us with external signs and wonders because this has already been done and recorded for our belief. Today He asks for faith in the greater wonders that He is working in our souls.
Perhaps we have lost sight of the extraordinary nature of what God is doing in us or, even worse, perhaps we just take it all for granted and, therefore, pay it very little attention. Either way, it is time that we step back and allow ourselves to be filled with awe at the work that God is doing in our souls and what He wants for us in the future. St. Paul tells us that if we are children of God then we are heirs as well, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. If this is not enough to make one stop and ponder the glory of God and what He is doing in us, I do not know what it will take.
There is no room here for doubt or for hedging our bets. There is only one God and there is only one way to obtain our inheritance as children of God. When the Apostles doubted our Lord told them that all power in Heaven and on earth has been given to Him. There is only one God and there is no other. We, as children of the Father and members of the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit must believe in Him, love Him, and serve Him, three Persons in One God.
Fr. Altier’s column appears regularly in The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly published in St. Paul, Minn. For information about subscribing to The Wanderer, please visit www.thewandererpress.com.