June 2, 2023

The Most Holy Trinity / Msgr. Owen F. Campion

The Sunday Readings

Msgr. Owen CampionThis weekend, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The first reading is from the Book of Exodus, second in the sequence of Old Testament books.

As its name suggests, in general it recalls the journey of the Hebrews through the Sinai Peninsula toward the land God had promised them after their escape from Egypt. The message of Exodus is emphatic. The Hebrews’ escape succeeded only because God guided them.

If they had not followed his guidance, they would have been at the mercy of the elements and the harsh realities of the sterile and forbidding desert. The pursuing Egyptian army and other threatening nations would have made easy prey of them otherwise.

Also essential to the story is the fact of the communication between God and Moses, the great prophet who led the Hebrews in their flight in God’s name from Egyptian slavery.

In this story, Moses climbed Mount Sinai. (Mountaintops were often seen as earthly places that were close to the heavenly God. Jerusalem’s temple was built on a mountain, for example.)

Moses admitted to God the people’s unfaithfulness and sin, yet he implored the merciful God to accept them.

St. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians is the source of the second reading.

Calling the Christians of Corinth to piety was a particular challenge for Paul since Corinth justifiably was known throughout the Mediterranean world of the first century as being a virtual cesspool of vice and licentiousness. A rich commercial center on the route between the eastern and western Mediterranean, it also was the site of greed and exceeding competition.

The great Apostle urged the Christian Corinthians to rely on Jesus and the strength of the Holy Spirit given in and through Jesus.

For its third reading, the Church gives us a selection from St. John’s Gospel. It is a story of Jesus instructing Nicodemus, an important figure in Jewish life in Jerusalem at the time.

Jesus explains that the Messiah is from and of God. Thus, the Messiah’s words are not just comments of another human being. They are from God. The Son is one with the Father. To hear the Son is to hear the Father.

Jesus tells Nicodemus that the Father sent the Son into the world of space and time to be with and redeem humanity in an act of divine love.

Finally, Jesus insists that the mission of the Son is not to condemn the world, but to give everlasting life to the just and truly humble. Anyone who accepts the Son receives eternal life.


With this feast, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church concludes a series of feasts tied to the resurrection of Christ celebrated at Easter. Jesus died, rose again and ascended to heaven in glory. He is the Son of God. He is God.

Then the Holy Spirit came and gave life to the first Christians, whom we succeed in the unfolding of history.

These are lovely thoughts, but for us, in June 2023, amid all our personal circumstances, what do these feasts mean?

Quickly and simply, they mean that we have turned to God, as did the first Christians. Christians follow the Lord, listen to him and set him as their supreme model.

This feast of the Holy Trinity calls us to reflect on the identity of Jesus, the Son of God, in the Holy Trinity, presenting us with direction, fueling our resolve.

God is one in three divine persons, the Holy Trinity. He is perfect. He is love. As shown in the life of Christ, God loves all without qualification or exception. So must we.

God shows us the way. He walks beside us and loves us. †

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