THE POWER OF THREE-IN-ONE! HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE HOLY TRINITY Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

Ito di na otu

I love to eat almond nuts, and those who are close to me know so. Significantly almond nuts could be eaten whole natural, roasted/salted or roasted/unsalted. Whichever way the nut appears, they retain the same unchangeable essence.

In addition to the preceding description, most people believe that there is power in the number “three” as most things in life show three dimensionalities. The human person has a body, mind, and soul. We give prizes in most competitions to the first, second, and third and often rate them as gold, silver, and bronze. Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Time could be in the past, the present, or the future. At any point on earth, we can be only on land, in the air, or on water.

Today we celebrate the core doctrine of the Christian faith, namely, the Holy Trinity. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity states that three distinct divine persons are subsisting in one God. To make this clearer, the Father is God (Phil. 1:2), the Son is God (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4), but we have only one God, not three. If we go back to the analogy with almond nut, we would agree that all the three presentations of the nut (whole natural, roasted/salted, and roasted/unsalted) share one thing in common their “almondness” irrespective of those distinctions.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is primarily a mystery which human reason unaided by faith cannot completely grasp. Let us know that no analogy, including the ones above, can give the perfect description of the Holy Trinity. In the Trinity, each of the divine persons is fully God, and wherever you find any of the persons, the others are also present. Hence there is eternal unity and community in functionality which does not exist in any other reality.

We don’t see the name Trinity in the bible as most biblical critics would rightly argue, but there are convincing references that demonstrate that there are three persons in the one Godhead; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The opening sentence in the Bible discloses the reality of the Holy Trinity. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1). Going through the original Hebrew text, we discover that “God” (Eloah) in the statement was used in the plural form that is Elohim. Furthermore, before the creation of man, God the Father said, “Let us make man in our image after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). We could also recall God the Father’s reaction to the builders of the Tower of Babel; “Come let Us go down and confuse their language” (Gen 11:7).

During the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, the reality of the Holy Trinity becomes clearer in some significant events like his baptism (Matt 3:16) as well as in some of his statements; “I will ask the Father, and he will send another advocate to be with you forever.” (John 14:16). In the Gospel of Matthew (28:19) our Lord tells his disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The First Reading today (Proverbs 8:22-31) identifies God as wisdom, and in the theatrical dialogue, we see wisdom which reflects the personality of the Holy Spirit saying that the Lord possessed him from the beginning as the forerunner of his prodigies when He was poured forth before the earth was made. The reference above would remind us of the action of the Spirit of God over the face of the deep before the creation of the world (Gen. 1:2).

In the Gospel Reading (John 16:12-15), our Lord Jesus takes time to unveil the active relationship and interdependence he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit. “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason, I told you that he (The Holy Spirit) would take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

Attempting to prove the reality of the Three Persons in One God to anyone would be ineffective if the individual’s heart is not open to receive the divine light of understanding. This statement is true because it takes God to reveal who He is to whosoever desires to know Him. We shall, at this point, turn over to look at the veritable lessons we could learn from the three persons in One God.

We Don’t Need to be of the Same Personality to be United  

The above fact would be another way of describing unity in diversity. In the one Godhead, there are three persons with characteristic distinctions in their personalities but having an amazing unity. It is little wonder then that our Lord Jesus Christ made the topic of unity a focal point in his high priestly prayer. Among other things he says, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11b).

Disunity is one of the biggest obstacles on the route of our Christian faith and practice. We degenerate into disunity when we become absolved in our personal goals and aspirations to the expense of our collective vision. Common purpose helps us to achieve our collective plans and aspirations while keeping us on the path of progress.

Commitment and Responsibility

Commitment involves dedication to a line of action while responsibility deals the avowed sense of duty in accomplishing the line of action in question. In the Holy Trinity, we discover a thorough sense of commitment and responsibility.

The Christian life is an invitation to commitment and responsibility. We can attest to the perfection in creation and God’s consistent direction from the first day of creation to this time. The ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ shows a great sense of commitment and responsibility in one instance he says, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish it” (John 4:34). The powerful impact of the Holy Spirit from His descent on the day of Pentecost until the present is also immeasurable.

Moving Forward: Living Trinity in our Christianity

Parents try as much as possible to train their children to grow up to reflect their values. God desires even more than our parents that we reflect Him in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Towards the end of the sermon on the mountain, our Lord Jesus Christ instructs that we become perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48).

As we celebrate the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, we are invited to work towards unity irrespective of our diversity. The celebration of the feast of the Holy Trinity encourages us to step up our commitment and dedication to our Christian faith and practice leveraging the power of the three-in-one.

I wish you a memorable celebration of the feast of the Holy Trinity and may you receive abundant trinitarian unction and benedictions in the new week ahead.

Fr. Bonnie.

One Comment on “THE POWER OF THREE-IN-ONE! HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE HOLY TRINITY Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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