June 10, 2022

The Most Holy Trinity / Msgr. Owen F. Campion

The Sunday Readings

Msgr. Owen CampionThe Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Sunday this weekend, and it uses the celebration to teach us about the Trinity, the mystery of three persons in the one God.

For its first reading, the Church offers us a passage from the Book of Proverbs. It is one of a series of books in the Old Testament that is known as the wisdom literature. The purpose behind the writing of these books was to reassure pious Jews that their belief in the one God of Israel, a divinity of mercy and eternal faithfulness, was completely in harmony with sound human reasoning.

This reading reveals the essential link between God and the quality of wisdom. Wisdom is of God. “The Lord begot me,” Wisdom declares in the reading. “From of old,” it continues to say, “I was poured out upon the Earth” (Prv 8:22-23).

In other words, God gives us wisdom, another gift of divine mercy and love. Without this wisdom, we cannot fully understand reality.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans furnishes the second reading. As so often appears in his writings, the Apostle Paul majestically presents the reality of Jesus and of life in him. Humanity is put at peace with God through the Lord Jesus, his incarnation, sacrifice and redemption.

God’s love comes to us through the Holy Spirit. This statement affirms the Spirit’s divine identity. Love is dynamic. It is not a commodity. Love is something essential to the lover. It is not incidental.

St. John’s Gospel provides the last reading. As is typical of all the parts of this Gospel, the reading literally glows with eloquence and grace.

This passage is a direct quotation from Jesus. In it, the Lord powerfully reassures the Apostles that the Holy Spirit will come to strengthen and empower them. “He will guide you to all truth,” the Lord tells the Twelve (Jn 16:13).

So, John establishes the place of the Apostles in the unfolding of salvation. It testifies to the esteem in which the Church today holds the Apostles and their successors.

The reading also reveals the Trinity, albeit obliquely. The Holy Spirit will convey God’s truth to the Apostles. As with love, truth is not a commodity. It is an awareness of what actually is. Only the wisest, namely God, possesses this unobstructed view of what actually is.

Finally, the reading reveals the place of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God will give glory to God in the bestowal of divine wisdom upon the Apostles. Jesus foretold the coming of the Spirit. God sends the Spirit. Guided and strengthened by the Spirit, the Apostles continue Christ’s works of salvation.


The Church teaches that the Holy Trinity is one of the greatest revelations of God. As such, the Church presents this teaching in its pronouncements, in prayer, and on this great feast. The Church will never compromise the teaching. It is at the root of Catholic belief.

From the moment that Catholic parents teach toddlers to make the sign of the cross, through studies at the highest levels of institutional education, Catholics hear of the Trinity. It is fundamental to Catholic tradition.

Nonetheless, even for believers, it can be a dry academic statement with little evidence.

In reality, it is relevant to everything that we are and to everything that we do. It explains creation. It explains salvation. It explains God. It even explains who and what we are. It explains our purpose in life.

God is love. We choose to follow the Lord. Therefore, we must share God’s love with all, just as Jesus shared God’s love with all. †

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