On this Sunday after Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the unique identity of God – the Most Holy Trinity. This identity states that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three persons in one God. They are one and the same God. They are equal in themselves. They are distinct in person and in function but never act in isolation. For example, creation was the distinctive role of the Father but not without the Son and the Holy Spirit. Salvation was the particular function of the Son but not without the Father and the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is the distinctive function of the Holy Spirit but not without the Father and the Son. The distinctive roles of the three persons of the blessed Trinity does not make them different gods like deities with different constituencies. These three persons are not three gods but three persons in one God. The complexity in understanding this revealed truth makes it a mystery. We cannot fully comprehend how the Trinity is but we can understand to the extent that it has been revealed. God has revealed Himself but not entirely. What has been revealed is enough for our salvation. It is from the revealed part of the Trinity (Economic Trinity) that we draw very significant lessons in today’s celebration. First the Trinity is Holy. Holiness is the very essence of God and invariably the way to be united to God. I find so much wisdom in celebrating this mystery just after that of Pentecost. In Pentecost, the Spirit bestowed gifts on us.
These gifts are not ends in themselves but means to an end. This means that we are not saved on account of the gifts we possess, but on what we make out of the gifts. Our gifts must necessarily draw us closer to God by making us holy. If we “buga” about with our gifts but fail to produce fruits of holiness, we miss the main thing. Second, the Trinity is essentially unity. It is in the Trinity we see the unity of God. This essential unity of being one and the same God clearly differentiates it from polytheism. Though the three persons of the Trinity have distinct functions, it does not affect their essence of unity. This is something every Christian must continually emulate. The Spirit has endowed us with different gifts. These gifts are from the same Spirit and are given us as Children of God. The gifts do not suggest that we have different standing with God. It is wrong to interpret some gifts as higher than others so that those who possess such gifts are perceived to be greater than others. From the Trinity, we must learn not to allow our different functions after our common essence. Irrespective of our abilities, we are equal in the sight of God. Therefore, this celebration invites us to see ourselves just as God sees us. In the functioning of the different persons in Trinity, though they do not act in isolation, their particular functions took place as different times. In the beginning, the creating function of the Father took place. After the fall of man, the redeeming function of the Son started and was culminated in his birth, mission, passion, death and resurrection. After Christ ascension, the function of the Holy Spirit came to fore at the Pentecost and in the continuing life and mission of the Church. What do we learn from this? In as much as God has gifted us differently, all of us will not manifest at the same time.
“All of us no go shine at once”. Some will “shine” earlier than others. Some will not shine until the threshold of their lives. For some, their shinning may not be appreciated until after some years of consistency in obscurity. But one thing is certain, laslas, everybody go dey alright. You have no reason to be jealous of your neighbour because he/she is shining now and you are feeling left out. Some persons have been friends until when something good happened to one of them and that good disunited them. The one who is shining thinks that others are jealous of him/her, or that they are after his/her downfall; while the others think that the shining one has become pompous, proud and arrogant. See, what goes around, come around. If you gossip the rich that the source of their wealth is impure, when you become legitimately wealthy tomorrow, guilty conscience will make you think that everyone is gossiping you that your wealth is not genuine. Dear Children of God, this should not happen amongst us. If everyone shines today, the world will be dark tomorrow. Also, from the Trinity we learn collaboration. God has not created us to live in isolation. We need one another. Experiences in life seem to suggest that it is better to be on your own. However true it is that there are dubious, selfish and wicked people out there; but then living in isolation is never a way out. We must continue to work out the possibility of living and working together. This begins with oneself. The maltreatment you have received from others, do not act it on another. Be the change you desire! Lastly dear friends, the Trinity works only for our good. We too must learn to work for the good of our community and the world at large. Any good you can do today, never postpone it. God Bless You!
• Rev. Fr. EvaristusOkeke is a priest of the Archdiocese of Benin.