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May 27: The Most Holy Trinity [B]

First Reading Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40
Second Reading Romans 8:14-17
Gospel Matthew 28:16-20

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God….

The end and the beginning of human life are found in the Most Holy Trinity. We could reflect on this truth from the perspective of one’s own individual life, or that of all mankind, or that of all creation, or that of God Himself. The dogma of the Most Holy Trinity is the most profound and all-encompassing of all Christian beliefs. For that reason, this dogma can overwhelm disciples and preachers alike. But since a journey has to begin somewhere, one might as well begin reflecting on the Trinity in the light of one’s own self.

In the beginning, human life is radically marked by dependence. Not only is the human person dependent on others for the conception and nurturing of his life. Many of the facts of his life—such as physical traits, temperament, potential for intelligence—are inherited from others. As the old saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

By contrast, some would equate human maturity with the advance of one’s independence, as if the apple could pick itself up from the ground and move into the shade of an orange tree. Many define human maturity by one’s self-determination and personal autonomy. “No one’s going to tell ME what to do!” seems the creed of modern man. In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court illustrated this creed, supporting the notion of legal abortion by making the following claim: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Where can such logic end? Where can this creed possibly lead individuals? Where can this creed lead mankind as a whole, as well as the world in which we live? What hope can this creed afford?

If human maturity is defined by personal autonomy, then man’s only hope is man himself. For many unbelievers, this hope seems to bring joy. Unfortunately, the joy of such autonomy is incapable of ending in anything other than self-worship. Self-worship can only end in isolation. As a witness to the logic of this creed, the atheist Sartre professed that “Hell is other persons”.

Jesus Christ, however, reveals to us that Heaven is found amidst other persons. Indeed, God Himself is other Persons: three divine Persons, to be exact. This is the saving truth that the Church celebrates on this Sunday following Pentecost. The end and the beginning of the human person is the life of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who always are together, act together, and love together, these three being one in Him.

The Church’s life here below consists in inviting more persons into this saving Mystery. Her mission is to extend the love of the Father and the Son through this world, so as to draw those who live in this world into the life of Heaven. The love of the Father and the Son for each other is, in fact, the Person of the Holy Spirit. We pray for His coming not only on Pentecost, but throughout all our days here below, so that the rule of His Love would end for each of us in the joy that is eternal.