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Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year A – 2023

Most people want to know God.
People of all ages and situations, of various background and experiences, try to discover if there is a God and…
If such a being exists, who is he?

Some specialists publish what they know about God.
Theologians and scripture scholars present what they have found about him.
Their language aims at being precise but… their texts are not always clear for all of us.

This may be the case with the name of today’s feast: the Holy Trinity.
These words translate accurately the Christian doctrine: God is ONE in THREE PERSONS.
While Christians throughout the world express their faith in this God, some people may wonder about the deep meaning of this expression.

If one of them asked me: ‘But who is this God really?’
I would repeat the words we heard in today’s first reading –
What God said of himself to his servant and friend, Moses (Exodus 34:4-6,8-9):

« God passed in front of him (Moses) and called out,
“God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient
so much love, so deeply true
loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin”. 

as he wants to be known in the threefold presence of FATHER, SON, AND SPIRIT.     

Note: text is available on a different theme, in French at:


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Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year A

If you mention the word ‘TRINITY’ to a group of theologians, or to some Scripture scholars, they will probably give you some lengthy explanations.
Exegetes, theology professors, spiritual authors will probably do the same.
Definitions and explanations, are their domain.
Expounding on concepts and themes is very much part of their expertise. 

Strangely enough, if you look for the word ‘TRINITY’ in the Bible, you will NOT find it!
You may think that it is amazing but it is true.
This word came to be used in the Christian language only late in the fourth century.
It was at that time that this term was used to express the faith of Christian believers.

But, you will find, yes, you will discover in the New Testament, the expression of this REALITY of a God who is one and who manifests Itself (this pronoun is not masculine or feminine) in three Persons.

It is in the chapters 14 to 17 of the gospel of John that we can perceive this most clearly.
There, we hear Jesus repeatedly speaking of the FATHER and of the SPIRIT as being one and himself being one with them.

The first reading of this feast of the Holy Trinity (Ex.34:4-6,8-9) tells us that God is “a God of tenderness and compassion, rich in kindness and faithfulness.”
So, what we celebrate on Trinity Sunday is this tenderness and compassion reaching us in a fatherly way, in the brotherly way of a Saviour, in the way of One who is our Advocate – for this is what they are to us and for us: the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

What more could be said?

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Feast of the Holy Trinity, C

There are things we try to describe and we just can’t express what we have in mind, or what we have seen. There are situations we do our best to explain to others and it seems we simply don’t have the words that would make people understand what we want to say.

Of course, this applies especially to… God! Scripture scholars and theologians do their best to tell us who God is, what his nature and his attributes are but even their most profound language falls short of what would need to be said.Huts, www.ceed-trust.orgimagesL0SUB5UL sun,

A true story from an African country conveys much wisdom in this respect. A group of Christians had gathered to share the gospel on the eve of Trinity Sunday. The person responsible to prepare the meeting soon confessed: « The Holy Trinity, who can explain that? I tried to prepare something to say but I just don’t know what I could say. So, instead, let us practice our hymns for tomorrow. » At this point, the catechist inspired, no doubt, by the Holy Spirit, said to those present:

“I can explain something about the Holy Trinity. » And he went on: « If at mid-day I am in my hut with the door closed (there are no windows in a hut) what do I see? I can see the rays of the sun passing under the door and going everywhere. Then, I know the sun exists and I feel the heat which warms me. This is the Trinity:

– the sun is the Father;
– the rays are the Son whom the Father sends;
– the heat which warms me is the Spirit.”

A prayerful silence followed…

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