Reflection: The Most Holy Trinity

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

Mass is conducted in a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering


[1st Reading – Prov:8:22-31; Ps.8; 2nd Reading – Rom.5:1-5; Gospel – Jn.16:12-15]

The concept of the Most Holy Trinity is one of the greatest mysteries of the Catholic Faith.  A mystery is something that the mind knows and accepts as an independent existing reality, but at the same time, is unable to grasp or explain the details surrounding it.  One can accept some things of that reality because our senses tell us that they exist, but our mind struggles to put these things together in an orderly logical way to explain its integrity.  In other words, it means that it is impossible for the human mind to understand it and the words that we use to try to explain this phenomenon are quite often ‘similarities’ that do not always help the listener to understand what it is we are trying to explain.  Such words may shed light on one particular aspect, but can also be misleading for others.  Above all, quite often, we forget that the whole concept of such mysteries in the Church is imbued in ‘faith’ and therefore the person who ‘refuses to believe’ and lacks faith, have already started off in a disadvantaged position.

Yet, Jesus himself speaks quite often about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the interactive relationship that correlates between them.  Today’s gospel is an example of this, where Jesus talks quite explicitly and openly about the Trinity…

Jesus tells his disciples that he still has many things to say to them but since he knows that these things would be too much for them to grasp or understand at that particular moment in time, he promised them that he will ask the Father to send the Spirit of Truth to help them arrive at the complete truth.

The Holy Spirit in today’s Gospel is called the ‘Spirit of Truth’ while last Sunday he was referred to as the ‘Advocate’…  Whenever Jesus speaks about the Holy Trinity, each person in the Trinity (i.e. the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) has a particular ‘name’ by which he is usually known and Jesus uses different ‘names’ or ‘titles’ when he speaks about them at different times …  These titles give us glimpses of the function of that particular ‘person’ in relationship with the other persons of the Trinity and help us to understand the functional distinction between them.  For example, God the Father: He is known as ‘God’, the ‘Living God’, the ‘Lord’…  Jesus himself is known as the ‘Nazarene’, the ‘Son of God’, the ‘Son of Man’…  The title of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ indicates a ‘filial / paternal’ relationship…

Although we have different titles between these different persons of the Trinity, Jesus tells us that they are in fact One.  They are united to each other to such an extent that no one of them act on his own but does so together with the others …  Furthermore what is one’s, is also the other’s …  and what one starts is continued by the others… i.e. to arrive to the completion of truth!  Thus when Jesus says that the Spirit of truth will tell the disciples things that he takes from Jesus, in turn Jesus also means the same truth as that from the Father.

Is our faith ready to enter into this mystery of the Holy Trinity?

“Lord, help us to enter into the mystery of the Holy Trinity and to arrive to the complete truth to be able to participate in the same communion and relationship that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord!”

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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