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by f. Luis Casasús, General Superior of the Idente Missionaries.

New York, June 16, 2019. The Most Holy Trinity. Solemnity.

Book of Proverbs 8,22-31; Letter to the Romans 5,1-5; Saint John 16,12-15.

The Church has included in the Office for today the beautiful antiphon inspired by St. Paul: Caritas Pater est, gratia Filius, communicatio Spiritus Sanctus, O beata Trinitas! the Father is charity, the Son is grace and the Holy Spirit is communication. That is, the charity of the Father and the grace of the Son are communicated to us by the Holy Spirit, who diffuses them in our heart.

We should not be afraid of calling the Most Holy Trinity a mystery, provided we understand what truly a mystery is.

A mystery is something which is not supposed not be solved by the mind. A mystery has to be lived; on the contrary, a problem is something that has to be solved.

Even in the world of science, mysteries have an essential role. As Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon said, mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.

The Most Holy Trinity is not a problem, but a mystery. Have you noticed how many times in the Gospels Jesus himself asks questions, rather than give answers? Pontius Pilate asks Jesus a series of questions and Jesus answers cryptically, as if to say, you are really missing the point. Our spiritual journey is rather about taking advantage of Jesus’ questions to enter this mystery. When you come to feel that something is a mystery, you feel reverence and awe. To be so deeply in wonder that you have again become a child is to enter into the mystery and the kingdom of God.

What is the best way to live this mystery, to experience the Trinity? First, we have to bear in mind that we don’t need to invent paths or methods; the Divine Persons are always moving closer to us before we move towards them.

What is then the proper and adequate response to Jesus’ claim that the Three Divine Persons will dwell in the soul that is in a state of grace?


Hospitality for the people in ancient cultures was a sacred duty and visitors were owed all the respect in the world. The spiritual dimension of hospitality is reflected in the New Testament: Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb 13:2). To be hospitable, fully available, is to be open to what is deepest and most unique in the other. This explains Jesus’ words to his good and generous friends: Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

The conflict is not between listening and service, but between listening and service that distracts from listening. Prayer is not opposed to occupation, but to slavery of sin.

When I meet a person on a train, for instance, he is at first someone in the third person. We talk about the weather, the war, the economy, but I feel as though I am filling out a questionnaire. However, it can happen that the walls break down, we discover an experience we have both shared, and a unity is established between the other person and me. He/she ceases to be “someone” and becomes John, Philip or Anne. The available person is one who is continually, actively open to the possibility of such a relationship.

This clearly holds when we meet the divine persons. To be hospitable is not to passively receive someone. True hospitality is creative in that it is an opening of oneself to the other, a presence to the other, the gift of oneself. This is the dialogue between the Christian and the Three Divine Persons.

This was what happened to another woman of the Gospel, Mary Magdalene, who was completely right about what she was supposed to do with Christ in the Pharisee’s house, because her spiritual hospitality was inspired beyond the cold and formal protocol of the host. She received and welcomed the Wisdom described in today’s First Reading.

Through the eyes of the divine persons, through their sensitivity, I am able to see possibilities in myself and my situation that I would have not seen otherwise. In their dialogue with me, Father, Son and Holy Spirit help me to articulate and choose these possibilities. Their stance towards me is that of appeal; they continuously offer me a point of view which I can accept or reject. This is true inspiration.

An anecdote to highlight our lack of awareness of the constant and ubiquitous divine presence and action in our lives.

A newly appointed professor spent weeks preparing his notes for the course he was going to teach. He had laboriously prepared for it, and had them carefully written out. On the first day of the academic year the young professor was nervous and, taking the advice of some colleagues, he took a shot of vodka to calm his nerves.

Well, this first day was his first big one, so he took a second shot, and a third. He went into his bedroom to get dressed and when he came back to his study, he could not find his notes. He began searching in all the desk drawers and shelves, but it was nowhere in sight. He searched for a half an hour. Nothing. It was getting close to time for the first class. He knew he could do nothing without the text. Finally, in desperation he lifted his eyes to heaven and prayed: Lord, help me find my notes. If you do, I will never drink another drop of vodka again.

When he looked down, there, right in front of him – as if by a miracle – he saw the notes. He lifted his eyes back up to heaven and said: Oh, never mind my promise, Lord. I found it myself.

This story may seem fun, but is a sad caricature of our poor response to the more or less conspicuous action of the Three Divine Persons.

One of the deepest (but clearly perceptible) forms of our conviviality and life in common with the Trinity are the so-called Uncial Impressions (Uncial Oil signifies both healing and union with God), because they represent my more or less incipient or intense identification with some of the divine persons.

Sometimes I feel the sonship or filiation, my filial nature, the confidence and mercy of our Heavenly Father; other times my brotherhood with Christ, my desire of imitating Him presides over my spiritual life. Finally, in some moments I experience the friendship of the Holy Spirit, his permanent assistance and the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus when He announced that the Holy Spirit will remind you of all that I have said to you (Jn 14:26).

It is so beautiful that we can talk to God as our loving Father. That we can walk with Jesus as our brother. And that we can live by the light and the gifts of their Spirit of love.

Mary was the first person in whom the Trinity came to dwell when the Father asked her to become the Mother of his Son by the power of their Holy Spirit. She was hospitable beyond any foreseeable limit.

A few days ago we celebrated the feast of the Visitation of Mary. An important remark which I feel is relevant today: Mary’s intention in visiting her cousin was generous and exemplary, but the presence in her of the Most Holy Trinity became noticeable to all and yielded extraordinary and unpredictable results.

After being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit when she conceived Jesus, Mary set out and went as quickly as she could into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth felt the blessed presence of Jesus and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ presence in the womb of Mary brought joy and confidence to Elizabeth and to John the Baptist as well.

Of course, the case of Mary is truly unique, but it makes us understand that how we perceive God’s love is how we will love to each other. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not only role models to imitate, but they operate in and with us.

We want to be comforted by easy answers, but God invites us to enter in the mystery of who He is. May we learn to be more content with the active and challenging presence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit than with the answers we somehow demand. May we allow the wonder of God guide us.

St Paul summed up this experience when he described the love of God in his Trinitarian greeting: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. This is the portrait of the Christian experience of God’s love and mercy through our Jesus Christ made present in the Holy Spirit, especially in the fellowship of the Christian community.

You can only give what you have received. This is why Jesus tells us that the greatest commandments are these: The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. ‘The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these (Mt 12: 37-40).

The concept and the experience of God as Trinity therefore reveals to us the key to true spiritual joy, which is the love of God manifested in our love for others, a love that is in imitation of the Blessed Trinity, a love that is mutually giving, caring, and confirming.

The Readings today show us the beautiful truth of our faith, the Holy Trinity.

One way to think about it is that we all make the Sign of the Cross every time we pray. We touch our head and we say, In the name of the Father, because he is the first person of the Trinity and our Creator. Then we touch our hearts and we say, and of the Son. This reminds us that God the Son proceeds from the Father and came down from heaven to the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then we touch our shoulders, moving from left to right as we say, and of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son; and in his love, the Spirit fills us, body and soul, with the life of God.