Last Sunday, we celebrated the birth of the Church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The doctrine of three Persons in One God: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian community forms the core of our identity and existence as Christians. We are baptised in the name of the Trinity showing that we belong to Him. We immerse ourselves into the community of faith and share in the life of love and grace. Our faith journey every day draws us to a more intimate union with the Trinity.

However, some people reject the doctrine of the Trinity based on Deuteronomy 6:4-5

  Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh.  5 You must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.

These people argue that the doctrine of Three Persons in One God is not in the Bible and that it is a creation of the Catholic Church. Some even go as far as arguing that it is a way in which some people worship false gods. As unfounded as their attacks may sound, let us base our answer on the very Bible that they claim not to contain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

Just as we believe that God is one, we must also understand that images of the Three Persons in One God were already contained in the Scriptures:

Genesis 1:26  God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.’

Genesis 3:22  Then Yahweh God said, ‘Now that the man has become like one of us in knowing good from evil, he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick from the tree of life too, and eat and live forever!’

Genesis 11:7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language there so that they cannot understand one another.’

Why did Abraham see three persons but address them as one Lord in Genesis 18:1-4:  Yahweh appeared to him at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day.  2 He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and bowed to the ground.  3 ‘My lord,’ he said, ‘if I find favour with you, please do not pass your servant by.  4 Let me have a little water brought, and you can wash your feet and have a rest under the tree.

The Son was with the Father from the very beginning. John 1:1-2  In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.  2 He was with God in the beginning.

At his baptism at the Jordan, there is a manifestation of the Trinity. Matthew 3:16-17  

And when Jesus had been baptised he at once came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him.  17 And suddenly there was a voice from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’

God is only revealed through the Son. Luke 10:22 says:

Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

John 10:30  The Father and I are one.

Even St. Paul calls Christ God. Titus 2:13  (We are) waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus.

The greeting that we often use at the beginning of the Mass is taken from the words of St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:13  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

St. Peter too calls Jesus God. 2 Peter 1:1  Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith as precious as our own, given through the saving justice of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Just before his ascension, Jesus sends his disciples out with the words in Matthew 28:19  Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Ever wondered why that passage says “in the name” yet we are given three names?

The Holy Spirit is Divine. He was present at the creation and plays an active role in the life of man. At the Annunciation to Mary, Angel Gabriel explains the role of the Holy Spirit in her conception of Jesus. In Luke 1:35 The angel answered,

‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God.

Jesus speaks of the Advocate as sent by the Father and the Son. John 14:26: But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

John 15:26  When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.

Peter makes it clear that lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God. Acts 5:3-4  Peter said, ‘Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land?  4 While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.’

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  Do you not realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?  20 You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God. This passage tells us that the Holy Spirit is God.

We have many other passages that testify to the fact that the Three Persons in One God is not an invention of a group of persons but how God has chosen to reveal himself to man: The Father Creator, the Son who is our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier. These are contained in His revealed word, the Scriptures. The only thing we can add is the fact that the understanding of this reality became clearer years after the words had been revealed and written down. That is the reason why we do not have the word Trinity in the Bible.

As persons Baptised in the name of the Trinity, we must appreciate the fact that we share in the Divine life as intended by God when he sent his Son to save us. Whenever we make the sign of the cross, we invite God into our lives and ask him to bless us. We also affirm our belief in the One true God who reveals himself to humanity in Three Divine Persons.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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