The Trinity 30/1/18
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Catechism of the Catholic Church
ccc237 – The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God.” To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in the work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1: 1-2, In the beginning God (Hebrew – Elohim, a plural noun) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Gen 1: 26, Then God said, let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.
(God loved the Son and the Holy Spirit so much that he wanted a bigger family).
ccc253 – The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity.” The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire:……
ccc254 – The divine persons are really distinct from one another. God is one but not solitary.” “Father,” “Son,” “Holy Spirit,” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: “He is not the father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son…….
When we look at each other we see one person and one being.
When we consider God, he is three persons and one being.
This is outside our experience and we struggle to get our heads around it.
ccc243 – Before his Passover, Jesus announced the sending of “another Paraclete” (Advocate), the Holy Spirit. At work since creation, having previously “spoken through the prophets,” the Spirit will now be with and in the disciples, to teach them and guide them “into all the truth.” The Holy Spirit is thus revealed as another divine person with Jesus and the Father.
Numbers 11: 25 – And the Lord came down and spoke to Moses. Then he gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was upon Moses. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied.
John 15: 26 – “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father–he will testify about me.”
John 14: 16-17, And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
John 16: 7 – “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”
God; the Father above us, the Son alongside us, the Holy Spirit within us.
The Holy Spirit
YouTube hymn – Holy Spirit, we welcome you
No 873 in our hymn book
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle within them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Catechism of the Catholic Church
687 …Those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because He dwells with them. John 14: 17
689 It is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals Him.
The Holy Spirit shows us Jesus.
We come to the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
Let’s have a look at that first Pentecost.
Acts 2: 1-12 and 37-41
At what point is the Church born?
- In the upper room
- When they go out into the street
- When they preach the word
- When people respond to the word
- Are these all links in a chain
What enables this to happen?
What transforms fearful disciples into bold witnesses for Christ?
The Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5: 22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
How do we feel about the fruit of the Spirit?
The Gifts of the Spirit
Isaiah 11: 2 – The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
- wisdom – knowledge
- understanding – piety
- counsel – fear of the Lord
How do we feel about these gifts of the Spirit?
Now let’s look at the gifts of the Spirit mentioned by St. Paul in
1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
- a word of wisdom
2. a word of knowledge
5. working of miracles
7. discernment of Spirits
9. interpretation of tongues
How do we feel about these gifts of the Spirit?
The gifts or charisms are for a purpose.
ccc 799 – Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up to the good of men and to the needs of the world.
A note about tongues
Tongues can cause people some problems.
It is important to realise that there are two kinds of tongues:
- A message given in tongues (unintelligible language) which is interpreted by another member of the congregation. It is a particular gift given to some.
- Tongues which is a personal prayer language and gives praise to God. It is a universal gift, potentially given to all.
St Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians refers to tongues as a gift to be exercised carefully as worship in the Corinthian church was becoming chaotic. 1 Corinthians 14: 4-5, 18-19 & 39-40
Paul says “strive for the higher gifts”, 1 Cor 12 vs 31, remembering that they are to build up the church, 1 Cor 12: 27-31.
The twelfth chapter ends with “I will show you a still more excellent way”, and then we are into chapter 13 and that great passage about love (a fruit of the Spirit).
That is to say that the more excellent way is love, also translated as charity.
In summary so far the Holy Spirit
- Convicts us of sin leading to repentance and reconciliation
- Shows us Jesus
- Gives us consolation
- Dwells within us
- Bears fruit
- Gives us gifts to build up the Church
1 Cor 6: 19 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God.
We receive the Holy Spirit at baptism. John 3: 3-5
And we continually look to the indwelling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Jesus, having risen, ascends to heaven in order to send the Holy Spirit.
John 16: 7, 15: 26 & 14: 25-26
As it says in the Creed
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who has spoken through the prophets.
Jesus in human form was only able to be present in one place at a time; through the Holy Spirit Jesus is able to be present always and everywhere.
In the mass Father Neil asks God the Father to send his Spirit to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, making Jesus present wherever mass is said.
As St Peter said in Acts 2: 16-18
“This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yes, and on my menservants and maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit and they shall prophecy.”
Catholic Charismatic Renewal, which has always had an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. In Britain there are a number of Charismatic Renewal weekend conferences.
These events look something like this;
YouTube clip Celebrate Conference