Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Do you know when the Trinity was manifested for the first time? In the small village of Nazareth in the region of Galilee the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and said, “Hail, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Then he told Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of the Most High by the power of the Holy Spirit. The first public manifestation was at the baptism of Jesus.
“After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, ‘You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” (Lk. 3:21-22)
Even though the Holy Trinity is a mystery beyond our understanding, it is the means God has chosen to unite himself to those who choose to believe what he has revealed to us through the Scriptures and the Church. We do not have to understand in order to believe. As a matter-of-fact, the opposite is true. Much of what God has revealed to us is mysterious, and yet these mysteries touch our lives in such a profound way that it is possible for us to live in a supernatural relationship with Almighty God.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans he reminds them that if they are children of God, they are also heirs with Christ, “…if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17). Being a child of God does not make us immune to suffering. However, when we unite our suffering with Christ, he gives us the graces we need to persevere, and even at times experience joy during our trials.
We have been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Our purpose for being on this earth is to bring to completion the good work that was begun in us at our baptism. God has a great plan for humanity that can only be realized in relationship with him. It is for this reason he has given us the Church and the sacraments. We must remember that in our humanity we inherited a fallen nature and often we are tempted to want to live for ourselves at the expense of others. God has made it possible for us to overcome these temptations that lead to sadness and even hopelessness. He desires to pour his grace into the hearts of those who believe in him.
We need God; he created us to be in relationship with him. For this reason Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
The only way we can discover God’s plan for us that will allow us to reach our potential for happiness and peace in this life is by being connected to Our Lord through fervent prayer, faithfulness to what he has revealed to us through the Church and the Scriptures, and living the sacramental life.
In the last paragraph of the last chapter of the Gospel of Matthew it states, “When they (the Apostles) all saw him (Jesus) they worshiped but they doubted.” This would be the last time they would see Jesus before he would ascend into heaven.
Jesus did not say to them, “Do you still not understand?” He said, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you until the end of the age.” It isn’t about the Apostles; it is about Jesus who will be with them always. In the same way our baptismal commission to share the Good News is not about us; it has to do with our relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit he promised to send to us.
It would be good for us to make note of the promises that God has given us in the Scriptures; promises of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Spirit. One of those promises is again a mystery of our faith: through the prayers and actions of a priest, Jesus Christ himself will change bread and wine into his own Body and Blood. He loves us so much that he gives himself, body, blood soul and divinity to those who believe in him and are properly disposed. It is no casual thing that we receive this true and real presence of Jesus into our body and soul. Jesus wants us to cooperate with his presence and be transformed into his own likeness for our own good and the good of the whole Church.
St. John Paul II said, “In that little host is the solution to all our problems.” In this Holy Sacrament we have all we need for even the most difficult experience of our life if we truly believe.