This liturgy is a special celebration of the Trinity and it is unlike almost any other. Most of the things that we celebrate during our liturgies are remembrances of events, birth, death, resurrection etc. But today we celebrate a doctrine-the Doctrine of The Trinity. The Trinity is an enigma, maybe the ultimate enigma. The Trinity is the perfect example of love, as in the love between parent and child. It is the perfect model of sacrificial love, marital love and the love and care of one person toward another. The love that moves from God to the Son and the Spirit and back again is something we may not always consider in our daily lives but it is a living image for us to prayerfully consider. It is a dynamic moving example of perfect and everlasting love
Gregory of Nazianzus, a 4th Century Theologian worked on this theological doctrine along with Gregory of Nyssa and Basil, the three of them were known The Cappadocian’s. Both Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil were bishops as well as Doctors of the Church.
Together with Gregory of Nyssa their work as theologians was pivotal in the formation of some of the most influential early theology and doctrine of the Church. Their most thoughtful and extensive theology created the basis and formation of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
In a lecture at Notre Dame University in 2012, Rev. J. Michael Joncas spoke about the Catholic Liturgy in an interesting was. He pointed out how Catholics engage in prayer in a different manner than other world faith traditions do. Fr. Joncas discussed the significant difference in the way we pray. The world’s religions have particular ways of praying, for instance Islamic people begin their prayer by kneeling toward Mecca. Jewish believers may be found praying at the Wall of Jerusalem. These two examples illustrate the orientation of the one who prays toward a particular place. In contrast those of us who are Catholics orient ourselves, our very bodies toward the Triune God by making the sign of the cross. Wherever we happen to be in the world we stop to mark ourselves when we pray we begin in the name of the Creator/Father, the Redeemer/Son, and the Holy Spirit. For millions of people throughout time and throughout the world, this a daily visible sign that is a remnant of Gregory’s theological thought.
The Trinitarian God is with us. The Creator, the Redeemer, and the Spirit that fills us. This image of our God, along with this doctrine, is a result of the work of countless people through the millennia. It most likely consumed Gregory. It would be a lifetime of work for any of us who would like to take on a real theological challenge.
I believe that this mystical, unfathomable reality is one of the most fascinating doctrines in life. One could read and pray and work for a lifetime and barely scratch the surface of any understanding. But God does reveal God’s self to us. The last words of today’s Gospel give us assurance of the presence of God in our lives.
“I will be with you always, until the end of the earth.” God gives us this promise, whether in joy or sorrow, war or peace, sickness or health, God is with us. Whatever we are experiencing in our lives, God is with us. When we cry out to God in anger, it is in essence a trusting prayer because even in our anger we recognize that God is near us. So in these last words of today’s Gospel we are assured that the Trinity, our God, is with us always…May God bless every one of you. The God who created us, together with the God who redeems us, and the Spirit that fills us.