My dear friends, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity which is the most fundamental mystery of our Christian faith. The faith of all of us Christians rests on the Trinity. We all are baptized in the holy name of the Trinity, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. From that time, we confidently pray in the name of the Trinity. We freely make the sign of the cross in the name of the Trinity. It is not for nothing that the Trinity is also referred to as the most ancient of all mysteries. All other mysteries derive from the Trinity three persons one God, which is the epitome of perfect harmony, unity and love. Mysteries are not God’s way of hiding anything from human beings. No, mysteries lay open before us but as mere humans our intellect is too small and inadequate to capture that meaning so we believe. Faith without mystery is not possible and mystery cannot be understood without faith. We thank God for the wonderful gift of this knowledge and awareness and so we say “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
But what a world we live in today. Look all around us, from the United States of America to Europe to Africa, there is division, discord, disharmony, distrust and terrorism. Racism in America, in Europe. Killings in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, but also in Nigeria, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kwara Oyo and in other places. Many live for disunity and hatred. Some even use god as a means of division. Such a pathetic world!
The Holy Trinity is the exact opposite of all this. It is, using our inadequate terms, the total and complete love of the Godhead. It expresses integrity, the fulness and completeness of divine love. It is obedience, fidelity, steadfastness, perseverance, faithfulness. Over the ages the love and integrity of the Trinity has never changed not diminished. I believe that this is why everything divine still functions in perfect rhythm. In contrast our own world is in disarray, turbulence and chaos.
The first reading of today, Ex, 34:4 reveals the name of God as kindness and faithfulness, slow to anger, rich in faithfulness and constancy (Ex 34:6). We humans are often the exact opposite. We surely need the same prayer which Moses prayed in that reading today for ourselves: “Let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins. And adopt us as your heritage” (Ex 34:9)
At the end of the second reading today, from the 2nd letter of Paul to Corinthians, love bursts through. Christians are admonished to greet one another with a holy kiss… This may be impossible today because of the pandemic and social distancing but the relationship among the Trinity cannot be locked down. We must cling therefore to those characteristics of the Godhead that can never be impeded; fidelity, kindness, love, humility etc. Nor can God’s grace be quarantined, isolated or locked down! So, we are told today reassuringly: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:13)
Jesus Christ invoked the Trinity when he gave the mandate to his Church to go forth and baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matt 28:19) The Church has put the same words in our mouths in prayer. At the beginning at the conclusion and at different times during the day we pray: “In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we do that, we invoke the power, integrity, the faithful love and the perseverance of the Trinity in all that is good. We pray at the one and same time to the Father creator, Jesus the Saviour and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier.
The Gospel of today reminds us that the face of the Trinity is Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…. (John 3:16) You cannot believe in Jesus without believing in the Holy Trinity for in this mystery, the part is the whole and the whole contains the part. This is why the Trinity is the model of love without envy, jealousy or rancour, of humility that does not irritate, of glory that does not diminish. Oh, how I remember those hymns of old that exalt the Holy Trinity! (Most Ancient of all mysteries before thy throne we lie… Take glory, Father, take glory Son, take glory Holy Ghost… The Trinity is the power of God the Trinity Father Son and Holy Ghost.)
In our life today, we must pay greater attention to the Trinity for it is community, and family, in the truest, most eminent sense. Only that can heal us and heal our world. In the ideal family there is love, forgiveness, harmony, peace, caring for the other, unity and peace. Model your family after the Trinity, model your group after it model your life after it and you will enjoy peace!
One of my favorite singers, Toots Hibbert, once sang a song entitled “Spiritual Healing” I believe what he said that what the world needs today is spiritual healing that will restore perfect love which transcends all human capacity. The Trinity is unity for we do not worship three Gods. Jesus said to Philip: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9), and he said The Holy Spirit will teach you all I have taught you.
We can only solve the problems we have today by living the life of the Trinity. Only that can bring us true growth. If the spirit grows in us our entire being grows. We can wipe out racism, ethnic bias, sectionalism, nepotism and discrimination. We can eliminate divisions, disharmony dishonesty and discord. We can look one another in the eyes and sing: We are one in Jesus, all of us are one We can dance to popular tunes which we all enjoy: “One love, One heart, let’s get together and feel alright”, “One love, keep us together”, “In Christ there is no east no west”. Our spirit will soar we will give more, love more, forgive more, care more and as Christians we will make a huge difference. God will be happy with us as his children.
If we grow in the Spirit, we can then cope with every situation which life throws at us. That is what St. Paul meant when he said: “Who can separate us from the love of Christ…All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom 8:14). “Can anything cut us off from the love of Christ – can hardships or distress, or persecution, or lack of food or clothing, or threats of violence… no, we come through all these things triumphantly, victorious by the power of him who loved us….(Rom 8:33-39). So, I pray for you today, by the love that unites the Trinity, all shall be well with you, your family and your country. in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen…
Homily of Most Reverend Emmanuel Badejo
Bishop of Oyo