May 22, 2016
By: Dcn. Garry Salguero
The Holy Trinity
Three Persons in One God.How in the world can anyone explain that? The answer is that we in this world cannot. It is a mystery beyond our comprehension. How can there be three separate persons- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - but yet still all be the same God? This is truly a question that we take on faith as Catholics, because our limited human brains simply cannot understand it.
The word "Trinity" does not appear in the Bible, yet we can see the principle in almost everything in this world. St. Patrick explained the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to his flock in Ireland by using the three leaves of the shamrock or cloverleaf. Each leaf represented one of the three persons, yet it was still only one shamrock or cloverleaf. If we take a look at ourselves, each human is made up of a mind, a body, and a soul, yet we are still only one person. A fire has flames, heat, and light, yet it is still just one fire. When you hear a person's speech, you are hearing three things - his words, his thoughts, and his voice. When you strum one chord on a guitar, it is made up of 3 or more separate notes, all equal to each other.
Another example of the Trinity in nature is the substance called water, which is also vital for our life on earth. Water molecules (H2O) are made of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. Physically one Hydrogen atom is bonded to one side of an Oxygen atom and another is bonded to the other side. They look something like this: H-O-H. This can remind us of the Trinity, where the Oxygen can represent the Holy Spirit between the Father and the Son who are each represented by the two Hydrogen atoms. Representing the Holy Spirit by Oxygen seems very appropriate because the word "Spirit" comes from the Latin word "Spiritus" which means "breath", and as we know it is the Oxygen in the atmosphere which we need to breathe in order to live. Water at 0.16 Centigrade has a special quality called a "Triple Point" whereby it can exist as three things at one time: liquid water, solid ice and water vapour. This is like the Trinity who coexists as three Persons but is one God. Almost everything in nature is in the three dimensions: length, width, and height. And while these examples help to explain the concept of three in one, the Holy Trinity is so much more.
How many people walk into church and never genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament? How many people never go to confession to get absolution for their sins before receiving the Blessed Sacrament? How many people talk and visit other people in their chairs before Mass like they are waiting for the curtain to go up in a theater, instead of praying and showing reverence for the Divine Presence? If the Patriarch or the Pope were to come to our church, we would all be beating down the door to get a good seat to see, hear, and maybe even shake his hand; but how many of us regularly attend Eucharist so that we can adore Jesus Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist? Where Jesus is present, the Father and Holy Spirit are also present, because they are one. Where the Father is present, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also present simultaneously. Where the Holy Spirit is present, the Father and Jesus are also present in one person. This means that when we receive the Eucharist at Mass, which is truly the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, we are also receiving the Father and the Holy Spirit, because they are one. This is why it is so important to attend Mass on Sundays, because we are accessing heaven and the presence of the Holy Trinity! Let us praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit!