Holy Trinity

GOD’S WORD TODAY - Ruben M. Tanseco S.J. - The Philippine Star

Holy Trinity. One God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is what we are celebrating today. It is embarrassing to say that my short homily for today is just a drop, a tiny spot of what I am attempting to describe. But that is the truth. Like any other person, I am incapable of describing the totality of the beauty and the bounty of God’s creation. Nonetheless, for the sake of my profound gratitude to our ever-loving God, allow me to contribute my tiny effort in expressing my personal experience, as supported by so many writings of numerous authors.

God the Father. The Creator of the Universe. I live in our seminary home, the Loyola House of Studies, within the Ateneo campus, Quezon City. Allow me to describe what I see, hear, feel, and experience as I contemplate in total silence and solitude, either in my room, or in some other place. The different trees, from the smallest to the giant ones, simply overwhelm me as I feel God’s presence in each one of them, and within me. The sizes and shapes of the different trees and their leaves are countless. The flowers of some wild plants are so beautiful, specially their stunning colors. Suddenly, a bird or two would fly by, singing such amazing tunes that bring tears to my eyes. The light and magical appearance of the sun in early morning make me feel God’s presence within me even more. And the moon on a clear, blue sky at night makes my heart palpitate with love for God and for all. At times, I contemplate on my own self, starting with my brain. What a striking miracle I carry within me that comes from our ever-loving Creator and God the Father. As I become aware of my heart, veins, and the rest of my living self, I cannot but wonder with love and gratitude at God’s creation. And the uniqueness of each person is simply unbelievable. Can you imagine how many persons there are in the whole world, each one unique? Moreover, the richness and variety of human talents that are the sources of countless products are just incredible, from small cellphones to giant condominiums. And when we pay attention to the contributions of countless animals in the lives of the human community, including our food, we just stop thinking in wonderment. All this and more come from our God the Father, Creator and Lover of all mankind.

God the Son. Savior. Over and above all the gifts of creation that we have described, the most loving gift of God to us is no less than His own self, by becoming one among us, our most loving Brother Jesus Christ. The human incarnation of God’s love. Not only did He become man so that he can become our example and guide in living our own human lives, but He went even beyond that. Out of His love for us, He suffered and gave His very life for us. To begin with, He was born as a poor infant and grew up as a poor man. But what was most significant was his love for all of us, all the way to His offering it for all of us through His crucifixion and death on the cross. Not only that. He even prayed to His God the Father just before He died: “Father, forgive them.” His everlasting love was and is for all, as He taught us: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6: 27-36). The human incarnation of God’s love is found in the very person of Christ, who is God the Son.

Out of compassion and love, Christ cured all kinds of diseases, and those who were possessed, lunatics, paralytics, and fed thousands of hungry crowds with bread and fish. At the same time, he preached God’s kingdom to all. “Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest.’” (Mt. 9: 35-38). This is also addressed to you and to me! All this involves the cross. For Christ, for you, and for me. Love and the cross are inseparable. To forgive those who have done you wrong and to love your enemies. This is Christ’s way. And so should ours be.

God the Holy Spirit. Sanctifier. The third incarnation of the one and only God is the Holy Spirit, God’s abiding, invisible presence in our midst, in every single one of us. This is the Spirit of Truth, the Advocate who will be with us always. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him….The Advocate, the holy spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (Jn 14: 23, 26).

Christ insists on such a loving and patient way that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, is one constant divine companion, and will lead us to be advocates of the truth, provided we stay as the disciples of Christ. “When the advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (Jn. 15: 26-27). In other words, our loving Creator, will never leave us, and will continue to love, teach, and protect us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. My goodness! What a life you and I are living. We are surrounded by our ever-loving and ever-forgiving God in three, different incarnations. There is no way we can escape Him, unless we deliberately turn our backs and deliberately deny Him as our God and Creator. But for as long as we love Him in return and follow His teachings, there is nothing else but peace and joy. What a life we are all experiencing. Let us all look forward to our coming death – the beginning of our life eternal. Amen.

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