The Octave of Pentecost is one of my favorite times of the liturgical year. During the past week, the Church has been relishing the Gift of the Divine Holy Spirit. The Church has been reflecting on the marvel and power of this Gift, Who is our Consoler and Strength. Where I live, in Half Moon Bay, we even have the beautiful Portuguese Holy Ghost Festival to celebrate His descent upon Mary, the Apostles, the disciples, and the whole Church.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us immediately aware of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. St. Paul writes: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us one with God the Son in His Sacred Humanity, through which we have access in one Spirit to the Father!
Thus, the Octave of Pentecost gives way seamlessly today to Trinity Sunday. Filled with the Spirit, aware of our Trinitarian life – to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit – we contemplate today in mystery the Three in One and One in Three. We confess the one true God, Who is three Divine Persons, not in the unity of a single subject but in a trinity of one substance. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. The only distinction among them is relation of origin. The Divine Persons have the same Divine Nature: they know with the one Divine Intellect, they love with the one Divine Will. They are not 1/3 of God, but all Three are entirely divine: They are each all that there is of God.
The Son is everything that the Father is, except that He is not the Father. The Holy Spirit is everything that the Father and the Son are, except that He is not the Father or the Son. Their relations among Themselves are all that distinguish them. Each Divine Person is in fact a Subsistent Relation. The Divine Persons are their Relations to Each Other!
In this sublime contemplation today, one beautiful truth emerges: God is Love. Trinity Sunday marks a new movement in the liturgical calendar. Until now, we have entered the mystery of Christ. Today, we enter the mystery of the Church’s life. She emerges entirely out of Divine Trinitarian Love, to Which she brings us by the power of her Divine Spouse.
Fr Joseph Previtali