May 31, 2015
ALL GOD HAS COMMANDED
Oneness…fullness…completeness…totality…wholeness…The Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity today seems to remind us of all the foregoing concepts – and more!
The readings today were all from books written well before the term “Trinity” was introduced in theological discourse. But Scripture that has come down to us through the centuries reflects the “lived theology” of the community of believers. Obviously, the reality of the Trinity preceded the terminology. The faith in the Trinity antedated the invention of a term (or a symbol) to stand for the truth held in faith in people’s minds and hearts, long before the word was uttered in their mouths.
All God has taught… all God has uttered… and all God has commanded! This represents the body of truths celebrated by the early Church in the liturgy. An ancient dictum says it all: Lex orandi, lex credendi. As the Church prays, so does the Church believe. What the Church holds in faith is what the Liturgy celebrates and proclaims.
Very early on, faith in the Triune God has been part of the whole structure, content and practice of prayer and worship of the incipient Church. Thus could St. Paul confidently teach: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…heirs with Christ.” (Rm 8:14-17)
The word “Trinity” is not found anywhere in Scripture. But the truth about this essential nature of the God who revealed Himself ever so gradually through history and, most especially in Christ, His Son is an incontrovertible fact that is clear in the same Scripture. The “lived theology” of Paul, the evangelists and the early Christians is a clear manifestation of the fullness, completeness and wholeness of their faith in the “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and the one God and Father of all.” (Eph 4:5) “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.” (2Cor 13:13) No less than Jesus himself, after convoking his disciples for the last time, reveals yet another facet in the nature of God again on a mountain, like he did during the Transfiguration, like he did when he started proclaiming the Kingdom. It was on the mountain that he gave them final instructions: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, 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.” (Mt 28:18)
Today, the Liturgical celebration forms part of a series of Solemnities called solemnities of the Lord in which we are invited to reflect on some aspects of our “one faith” in the “one God and Father of all.” That faith, we would do well to remind ourselves today, is one, whole, and entire, with nothing added, and nothing subtracted from what has been revealed to us in Christ. Today, we claim and proclaim, by way of a fitting celebration of worship, our faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as part of all God has taught and commanded… nothing more, nothing less, nothing else! “Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come.” (cf Rev. 1:8)