Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin celebrated Mass for Trinity Sunday, 30 May, at the Church of Our Mother of Divine Grace, Ballygall, which was televised by RTÉ. Describing the feast of Trinity Sunday, the Archbishop said, “Today’s feast celebrates the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is celebration of how God is, and a call for how we are to be.”
During his homily, Archbishop Farrell spoke of the Trinity as means of understanding the nature of God. He said “When it comes to describing how God is, God’s “inner” life, as it were, many turn to the use of verbal images and metaphors. For example, Saint Patrick used the shamrock. Nature provides us with other metaphors. One comes from the early Church: the early bishop Tertullian imagines the Trinity as a plant, with the Father as the root, the Son as the shoot breaking forth into the world, and the Spirit as that which fills the earth with flower and fruit.
“Even with such helpful images, our God remains a mystery, and that is as it should be. Any description is trying to express though a limited means of imagery, what can only be grasped by faith. Saint Paul would not have been able to define the Trinity, yet from his experience of God he was able with ease to describe the activity and presence of the three persons of the Trinity. For Paul, love characterises the intimate life of God.”
The senior Prelate continued, “Our faith in the Trinity is about a God who is for us, who lived as a blessing for the ‘little ones’ and mourners, confronted the power of evil, entered with compassion into the world of human suffering, broke down the barriers between human weakness and divine holiness and reconciled enemies. If Jesus—the very face of God, and the fullness of God’s presence— is “with us” what should we be doing? One way to recognize God’s presence among us is live in harmony and communion with every creature in our common home, eat with modern-day lepers and other outcasts, pray constantly, respond to God in faith, hope and love, eventually becoming unrestrictedly united with God. How much more is this necessary in these difficult pandemic days?”
Archbishop Farrell concluded, “The apostles and Paul and the earliest Christians bore witness to the truth of God, who came to dwell among them, who gave His life for them, who remained in their midst as the Holy Spirit. This was who God was, not because they could subtly define the Trinitarian nature of God, but because they had experienced “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” May we too experience the grace, love and communion of God … and put flesh on it for those around us, especially those isolated and those in need. May the God who is with us—Spirit, Son, and Father—show us how to be with each other. “And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.””