POPE FRANCIS ON THE MOST HOLY TRINITY YEAR C
Saint Peter’s Square
Sunday, 12 June 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno and blessed Sunday!
Today is the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and in the Gospel of the celebration Jesus presents the other two divine Persons, the Father and the Holy Spirit. He says of the Spirit: “He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come”. And then, regarding the Father, he says: “All that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16:14-15). We notice that the Holy Spirit speaks, but not of himself: he announces Jesus and reveals the Father. And we also notice that the Father, who possesses everything because he is the origin of all things, gives to the Son everything he possesses: he keeps nothing for himself and he gives himself fully to the Son. Or rather, the Holy Spirit speaks not of himself; he speaks about Jesus, he speaks about others. And the Father does not give himself, he gives the Son. It is open generosity, one open to the other.
And now let us look at ourselves, at what we talk about and what we possess. When we speak, we always want to say something good about ourselves, and often, we only speak about ourselves and what we do. How often! “I have done this and that…”, “I had this problem…”. We always speak like this. How different this is from the Holy Spirit, who speaks by announcing others, and the Father the Son! And, how jealous we are of what we possess. How hard it is for us to share what we possess with others, even those who lack the basic necessities! It is easy to talk about it, but difficult to practice it.
This is why celebrating the Most Holy Trinity is not so much a theological exercise, but a revolution in our way of life. God, in whom each Person lives for the other in a continual relationship, in continual rapport, not for himself, provokes us to live with others and for others. Open. Today we can ask ourselves if our life reflects the God we believe in: do I, who profess faith in God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, truly believe that I need others in order to live, I need to give myself to others, I need to serve others? Do I affirm this in words or do I affirm it with my life?
The One and Triune God, dear brothers and sisters, must be manifested in this way – with deeds rather than words. God, who is the author of life, is transmitted not so much through books as through witness of life. He who, as the evangelist John writes, “is love” (1 Jn 4:16), reveals himself through love. Think about the good, generous, gentle people we have met; recalling their way of thinking and acting, we can have a small reflection of God-Love. And what does it mean to love? Not only to wish them well and to be good to them, but first and foremost, at the root, to welcome others, to be open to others, to make room for others, to make space to others. This is what it means to love, at the root.
To understand this better, let us think of the names of the divine Persons, which we pronounce every time we make the Sign of the Cross: each name contains the presence of the other. The Father, for example, would not be such without the Son; likewise, the Son cannot be considered alone, but always as the Son of the Father. And the Holy Spirit, in turn, is the Spirit of the Father and the Son. In short, the Trinity teaches us that one can never be without the other. We are not islands, we are in the world to live in God’s image: open, in need of others and in need of helping others. And so, let us ask ourselves this last question: in everyday life, am I too a reflection of the Trinity? Is the sign of the cross I make every day – the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit – that Sign of the Cross we make every day, a gesture for its own sake, or does it inspire my way of speaking, of encountering, of responding, of judging, of forgiving?
May Our Lady, daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Spirit, help us to welcome and bear witness in life to the mystery of God-Love.
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity Year C, 16 June 2019
“What is man that thou art mindful of him” we prayed during the Psalm (8:4). These words came to mind as I was thinking of you. Before what you have seen and suffered, before the crumbled houses and buildings reduced to ruins, this question comes to mind: What is man?. What is he if what he raises can crumble down in an instant? What is he if his hope can crumble to dust? What is man? The answer seems to lie in the continuation of the sentence: what is man that thou art mindful of him? God remembers us just as we are with all our frailties. In the uncertainty that we feel within and on the outside, the Lord gives us one certainty: He remembers us. He is re-mindful of us, that is, he returns to us with his heart because he cares for us. And while here on earth many things are quickly forgotten, God does not leave us in oblivion. No one is despicable in his eyes. Each of us has an infinite value for him: we are small beneath the sky and powerless when the earth trembles but to God we are more precious than any thing else.
Memory is a keyword for life. Let us ask for the grace to remember each day that we are not forgotten by God, that we are his beloved, unique and irreplaceable children. Remembering this gives us the strength not to surrender before life’s setbacks. Let us remember our worth when we are faced with the temptation to feel sad and to continue dredging up the worst, which seems to be never-ending. Bad memories also appear when we are not thinking of them. But they dole out pain: they leave behind only melancholy and nostalgia. But how difficult it is to free oneself from bad memories! That adage — according to which it was easier for God to take Israel out of Egypt than Egypt out of of Israel’s heart — has merit.
In order to free the heart from a past that keeps returning, from negative memories that imprison, from paralyzing regrets, we need someone to help us carry the burden we have within. Indeed, today Jesus says there are “many things that we cannot bear” (cf. Jn 16:12). And what does he do in the face of our weakness? He does not remove our burdens as we would like, we who are always seeking quick and superficial solutions; no, the Lord gives us the Holy Spirit. We need him because he is the Comforter, that is, the one who does not leave us on our own under life’s burdens. He is the One who transforms our enslaved memory into free memory, past wounds into memories of salvation. He accomplishes in us what he did through Jesus: his wounds — those terrible lesions hollowed out by evil — by the power of the Holy Spirit have become channels of mercy, luminous wounds in which God’s love shines, a love that is uplifting, that enables us to rise again. This is what the Holy Spirit does when we invite him into our wounds. He anoints the bad memories with the balm of hope because the Holy Spirit is the builder of hope.
Hope. What hope is this? It is not a passing hope. Earthly hopes are fleeting. They always have an expiration date. They are made with earthly ingredients which sooner or later spoil. The hope of the Holy Spirit has a long shelf life. It does not expire because it is based on God’s fidelity. The Holy Spirit’s hope is not even optimism. It is born deeper; deep in our heart it rekindles the certainty that we are precious because we are loved. It instils the trust that we are not alone. It is a hope that leaves peace and joy within, irrespective of what happens outside. It is a hope that has strong roots that none of life’s storms can uproot. It is a hope, Saint Paul says today, that “does not disappoint us” (Rm 5:5) — hope does not disappoint! —, that gives us the strength to bear every trial (cf. Rm 5:2-3). When we are suffering or wounded — and you know well what it means to be suffering, wounded — we are led to ‘build a nest’ around our sorrows and our fears. But the Spirit releases us from our nests, helps us take flight, reveals to us the marvellous destiny for which we are born. The Spirit nurtures us with living hope. Let us invite him. Let us ask him to come into us and be close to us. Come, Spirit Comforter! Come to give us some light, to give us the meaning of this tragedy, to give us the hope that does not disappoint. Come, Holy Spirit!
Closeness is the third and final word that I would like to share with you. Today we are celebrating the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity is not a theological riddle, but rather the splendid mystery of God’s closeness. The Trinity tells us that we do not have a solitary God above in heaven, distant and indifferent; no, he is Father who gave us his Son, who became man like us, and who, in order to be even closer to us, to help us bear the burdens of life, sends us his very Spirit. He, who is Spirit, enters our spirit and thus comforts us from within, bringing God’s tenderness into our heart. With God the burdens of life do not rest on our shoulders: the Spirit, whom we name each time we make the sign of the Cross precisely as we touch our shoulders, comes to give us strength, to encourage us, to bear the burdens. Indeed, he is an expert in resuscitation, in raising up again, in rebuilding. It takes more strength to repair than to build, to recommence than to start from scratch, to reconcile than to just get along. This is the strength that God gives us. Therefore those who draw near to God do not lose heart, but go forward: they recommence, try again, rebuild. They also suffer, but manage to start over, to try again, to rebuild.
Dear brothers and sisters, I have come here today simply to be close to you; I am here with you to pray to the God who is mindful of us, so that no one forget those who are in difficulty. I pray to the God of hope that what is unstable on earth not cause our inner certainty to waver. I pray to the God-with-us, that he inspire concrete gestures of closeness. Nearly three years have passed and the risk is that, after the initial emotional media response, attention may subside and promises be forgotten, increasing the frustration of those who see the territory becoming increasingly less populated. But the Lord urges us to remember, to repair, to rebuild, and to do so together, while never forgetting those who are suffering.
What is man that thou art mindful of him? God who remembers us, God who heals our wounded memories, anointing them with hope, God who is close to us so as to raise us up again from within: may this God help us to be builders of good, comforters of hearts. Each one can do some good, without expecting others to begin. ‘I will begin; I will begin; I will begin’: each one must say this. Each one can comfort someone, without expecting his troubles to be resolved. Also by carrying my cross, I try to approach others to comfort them. What is man? He is your great dream, Lord, of whom you are always mindful. Man is your great dream, Lord, whom you always remember. It is not easy to understand it in these circumstances, Lord. Men and women forget about us; they do not remember this tragedy. But you, Lord, do not forget. Man is your great dream, Lord, of whom you are always mindful. Lord, enable us too to remember that we are in the world in order to give hope and closeness, because we are you children: “God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3).
St Peter’s Square
Feast of the Most Holy Trinity Year C
Sunday, 22 May 2016
Today, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, the Gospel of St John gives us part of the long farewell discourse pronounced by Jesus shortly before his Passion. In this discourse, he explains to the disciples the deepest truths about himself, and thus he outlines the relationship between Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus knows that the fulfillment of the Father’s plan is approaching and will be completed with his death and resurrection. Because of this he wants to assure his followers that he won’t abandon them, because his mission will be prolonged by the Holy Spirit. It will be the Holy Spirit who continues the mission of Jesus, that is, guide the Church forward.
Jesus reveals what this mission is. In the first place, the Spirit guides us to understand the many things that Jesus himself still had to say (cf. Jn 16:12). This doesn’t refer to new or special doctrines, but to a full understanding of all that the Son has heard from the Father and has made known to the disciples (cf. v. 15). The Spirit guides us in new existential situations with a gaze fixed on Jesus and at the same time, open to events and to the future. He helps us to walk in history, firmly rooted in the Gospel and with dynamic fidelity to our traditions and customs.
But the mystery of the Trinity also speaks to us of ourselves, of our relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, through baptism, the Holy Spirit has placed us in the heart and the very life of God, who is a communion of love. God is a “family” of three Persons who love each other so much as to form a single whole. This “divine family” is not closed in on itself, but is open. It communicates itself in creation and in history and has entered into the world of men to call everyone to form part of it. The trinitarian horizon of communion surrounds all of us and stimulates us to live in love and fraternal sharing, certain that where there is love, there is God.
Our being created in the image and likeness of God-Communion calls us to understand ourselves as beings-in-relationship and to live interpersonal relations in solidarity and mutual love.
Such relationships play out, above all, in the sphere of our ecclesial communities, so that the image of the Church as icon of the Trinity is ever clearer. But also in every social relationship, from the family to friendships, to the work environment: they are all concrete occasions offered to us in order to build relationships that are increasingly humanly rich, capable of reciprocal respect and disinterested love.
The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity invites us to commit ourselves in daily events to being leaven of communion, consolation and mercy. In this mission, we are sustained by the strength that the Holy Spirit gives us: he takes care of the flesh of humanity, wounded by injustice, oppression, hate and avarice.
The Virgin Mary, in her humility, welcomed the Father’s will and conceived the Son by the Holy Spirit. May she, Mirror of the Trinity, help us to strengthen our faith in the trinitarian mystery and to translate it in to action with choices and attitudes of love and unity.
Saint Peter’s Square
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Year C
Sunday, 26 May 2013
Today is the Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity. The light of Eastertide and of Pentecost renews in us every year the joy and amazement of faith: let us recognize that God is not something vague, our God is not a God “spray”, he is tangible; he is not abstract but has a name: “God is love”. His is not a sentimental, emotional kind of love but the love of the Father who is the origin of all life, the love of the Son who dies on the Cross and is raised, the love of the Spirit who renews human beings and the world. Thinking that God is love does us so much good, because it teaches us to love, to give ourselves to others as Jesus gave himself to us and walks with us. Jesus walks beside us on the road through life.
The Most Holy Trinity is not the product of human reasoning but the face with which God actually revealed himself, not from the heights of a throne, but walking with humanity. It is Jesus himself who revealed the Father to us and who promised us the Holy Spirit. God walked with his people in the history of the People of Israel and Jesus has always walked with us and promised us the Holy Spirit who is fire, who teaches us everything we do not know and from within us guides us, gives us good ideas and good inspirations.
Today we do not praise God for a specific mystery, but for himself, “for his immense glory”, as the liturgical hymn says. We praise him and we thank him because he is Love, and because he calls us to enter into the embrace of his communion which is eternal life.
Let us entrust our praise to the hands of the Virgin Mary. She, the most humble of creatures, thanks to Christ has already arrived at the destination of the earthly pilgrimage: she is already in the glory of the Trinity. For this reason Mary our Mother, Our Lady, shines out for us as a sign of sure hope. She is the Mother of Hope; on our journey, on our way, she is Mother of Hope. She is also the Mother who comforts us, the Mother of consolation and the Mother who accompanies us on the journey. Let us now pray to Our Lady all together, to Our Mother who accompanies us on the way.
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Sunday, 26 May 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In his greeting the Parish Priest reminded me of something beautiful about Our Lady. Our Lady, as soon as she had heard the news that she was to be the Mother of Jesus and the announcement that her cousin Elizabeth was expecting a child — the Gospel says — she went to her in haste, she did not wait. She did not say: “But now I am with child I must take care of my health. My cousin is bound to have friends who can care for her”. Something stirred her and she “went with haste” to Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1:39). It is beautiful to think this of Our Lady, of our Mother, that she hastens, because she intends to help. She goes to help, she doesn’t go to boast and tell her cousin: “listen, I’m in charge now, because I am the Mother of God!”. No, she did not do that. She went to help! And Our Lady is always like this. She is our Mother who always hurries to us whenever we are in need.
It would be beautiful to add to the Litany of Our Lady something like this: “O Lady who goes in haste, pray for us!”. It is lovely, isn’t? For she always goes in haste, she does not forget her children. And when her children are in difficulty, when they need something and call on her, she hurries to them. This gives us a security, the security of always having our Mother next to us, beside us. We move forward, we journey more easily in life when our mother is near. Let us think of this grace of Our Lady, this grace that she gives us: of being close to us, but without making us wait for her. Always! She — lets us trust in this — she lives to help us. Our Lady who always hastens, for our sake.
Our Lady also helps us to understand God and Jesus well, to understand Jesus’ life well and God’s life, and to understand properly what the Lord is, what the Lord is like and, God is. I ask you children: “Who knows who God is?”. Raise your hand. Tell me? There! Creator of the earth. And how many Gods are there? One? But I have been told that there are three: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! How can this be explained? Is there one or are there three? One? One? And how is it possible to explain that one is the Father, another the Son and the other the Holy Spirit? Louder, Louder! That girl is right. They are three in one, three Persons in one.
And what does the Father do? The Father is the beginning, the Father who created all things, who created us. What does the Son do? What does Jesus do? Who can tell me what Jesus does? Does he love us? And then? He brings the word of God! Jesus comes to teach us the word of God. This is excellent! And what then? What did Jesus do on earth? He saved us! And Jesus came to give his life for us. The Father creates the world; Jesus saves us.
And what does the Holy Spirit do? He loves us! He gives you love! All the children together: the Father creates all, he creates the world; Jesus saves us; and the Holy Spirit? He loves us! And this is Christian life: talking to the Father, talking to the Son and talking to the Holy Spirit. Jesus has saved us, but he also walks beside us in life. Is this true? And how does he walk? What does he do when he walks beside us in life? This is hard. Anyone who knows this wins the Derby! What does Jesus do when he walks with us? Louder! First: he helps us. He leads us! Very good. He walks with us, he helps us, he leads us and he teaches us to journey on.
And Jesus also gives us the strength to work. Doesn’t he? He sustains us! Good! In difficulty, doesn’t he? And also in our school tasks! He supports us, he helps us, he leads us, he sustains us. That’s it! Jesus always goes with us. Good. But listen, Jesus gives us strength. How does Jesus give us strength? You know this, you know that he gives us strength! Louder, I can’t hear you! In Communion he gives us strength, he really helps us with strength. He comes to us. But when you say, “he gives us Communion”, does a piece of bread make you so strong? Isn’t it bread? Is it bread? This is bread, but is what is on the altar bread? Or isn’t it bread? It seems to be bread. It is not really bread. What is it? It is the Body of Jesus. Jesus comes into our heart.
So let us all think about this: the Father has given us life; Jesus has given us salvation, he accompanies us, he leads us, he supports us, he teaches us; and the Holy Spirit? What does he give us? He loves us! He gives us love. Let us think of God in this way and ask Our Lady, Our Lady our Mother, who always hurries to our aid, to teach us to understand properly what God is like: what the Father is like, what the Son is like, and what the Holy Spirit is like. So be it.
SEE AS WELL:
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY REFLECTION 2
ADORATION, MAN’S PRINCIPAL MISSION https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.org/solemnity-of-the-most-blessed-trinity-adoration-mans-principal-mission-in-life/
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY AV SUMMARY AND FULL TEXT: GLORY BE TO THE FATHER, TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT. https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.org/solemnity-of-the-most-holy-trinity-glory-be-to-the-father-and-to-the-son-and-to-the-holy-spirit-av-summary-full-text/