Receive the Holy Spirit
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity B

Frank Enderle
Reproduced with Permission

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the most important of all of the mysteries of our Catholic Christian faith. This celebration is, in essence, the “feast day” of God, the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a celebration of a profound mystery that is difficult to fathom. We can only begin to understand it through faith. The human mind, however knowledgeable it might be, is too small to fully comprehend this mystery.

We invoke the Most Holy Trinity, the central mystery of the life of the Church, continuously throughout the Eucharistic liturgy. From the beginning of Mass, when we make the Sign of the Cross in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, until the final Trinitarian blessing, the Holy Trinity listens to our prayers and petitions and blesses us. Our prayers during Mass are continually directed to God the Father, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. And it is in the Holy Mass that we Christians begin to understand, more clearly, a little more about the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

During Mass, the priest offers to the Father the bread and wine that will be transformed, through the action of the Holy Spirit, into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, our Savior. The invocation of the Holy Spirit during the Eucharistic Prayers during every mass assures us that the holy and pure sacrifice of Our Lord will be acceptable to God the Father. In reality, the presence of the Holy Trinity in all of the sacraments guarantees that these will be fonts of divine grace. In each sacrament, and in one constant movement, our prayers and petitions ascend to the one Trinitarian God from whom divine grace descends to us.

We Catholics understand that it is only through great effort and faith that we can even begin to penetrate the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. We know that some people would prefer to have a more “streamlined” and “less complicated” God. Instead of believing in God “as is” they try to create, on their own, a God in their own image, a God that is simpler and more understandable. To these people we can only say that faith means believing in things that are beyond proving. Faith is a gift of God that comes to us through the working of the Holy Spirit in our heart and in our soul.

There are also people who say, “God is very distant. God never listens.” And they prefer, at great risk to their own souls, to distance themselves from God and the Church. Looking for a God that they cannot find, they leave our Catholic Church. Having belonged to the only Church that contains the fullness of faith, they go from one ecclesial community to another, searching for a God who is more to their liking, an obedient God who they can manipulate like a puppet. After a long search many of them find that they feel empty. They do not fully realize that they have been looking for someone who is impossible to find outside of the great mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

We Christians begin our lives receiving the sacrament of Baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. During our lives we receive all of the sacraments in this same way. And in this same name we receive our final blessing as we bid farewell to this world. When we pass from this earth, if we have tried, during our life, to remain close to the Triune God when we arrive in heaven we will surely encounter the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit waiting for us and we will abide in the presence of the one true God forever.