We celebrate today the greatest mystery of our faith, which can
never be proven intellectually or scientifically. In faith we
believe that there are three persons in one God. We were baptised
into our Christian faith in the name of God the Father, our Creator,
God the Son our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit who is God's living
power in us.
In today's Gospel (John 3: 16-18) we hear Jesus tell Nicodemus
that God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, so
that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have
eternal life. So God cared so much for people that he came and
lived among us as a human person called Jesus, and through his
Holy Spirit he is alive in each one of us.
Explaining and celebrating the Holy Trinity is not easy. We think
of the legend about St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate
the mystery to our ancestors. We note that dialogue with Jews
and Muslims is very difficult with regard to this feast. The liturgical
calendar places it after the Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost.
It is a kind of theological summary or reflection of the previous
feasts. Holy Week reflects in a special way on Jesus Christ, Easter
reminds us of God who raised his son from death, and Pentecost
commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The feast of the
Holy Trinity is in some way a climax of this special time of the
I suppose the main challenge this feast throws up for us believers
is the challenge to learn more about our faith. Most of us are
left to depend on what we learned at primary school. This was
excellent at the time but of course as we grew up and faced the
complexities of modern living, changed times and culture, we find
that our childhood understandings of our faith are no longer adequate.
Then some just throw their faith out like they do Santa. Others
hold on to it like dear life even though they may struggle desperately
to articulate it. That is why it is very important as St. Paul
says to be able "to give some reason for the hope that is
I would very much encourage people to try to learn more about
their faith. If you are a parent, for example, it is important
to be able to deal with the hard questions your teenage children
will put to you. It is equally important to be comfortable enough
in your faith to be able to cope with the hard times life will
inevitably throw up for you. You can find encouragement, inspiration
and stimulation in reading something, ranging from, for example,
The Messenger, The Irish Catholic, The Furrow, The Tablet to The
Catechism of the Catholic Church.
I am encouraged to learn that there are people in this Parish
who have taken courses in various aspects of Theology and Religious
Education etc. I would love to hear from such people and maybe
we could meet sometime to have a chat about ways that we could
work together to promote more widespread knowledge of the faith
and particularly to encourage Adult Religious Education.
Let us remember that each time we make the Sign of the Cross,
we acknowledge our belief in the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son
and Holy Spirit. Today we come to celebrate that great mystery.
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