POPE FRANCIS’ REFLECTION ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY (YEARS A, B, C).
Below you have some addresses and a homily given by Pope Francis on different years for your personal reading and meditation.
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.
May 26, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, which leads us to contemplate and worship the divine life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: a life of communion and perfect love, origin and aim of all the universe and of every creature: God. We also recognize in the Trinity the model for the Church, in which we are called to love each other as Jesus loved us. And love is the concrete sign that demonstrates faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And love is the badge of the Christian, as Jesus told us: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). It’s a contradiction to think of Christians who hate. It’s a contradiction. And the devil always seeks this: to make us hate, because he’s always a troublemaker; he doesn’t know love; God is love!
We are all called to witness and proclaim the message that “God is love”, that God isn’t far and insensitive to our human affairs. He is close to us, always beside us, walking with us to share our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and our struggles. He loves us very much and for that reason he became man, he came into the world not to condemn it, but so the world would be saved through Jesus (cf. Jn 3:16-17). And this is the love of God in Jesus, this love that is so difficult to understand but that we feel when we draw close to Jesus. And he always forgives us, he always awaits us, he loves us so much. And we feel the love of Jesus and the love of God.
The Holy Spirit, gift of the Risen Jesus, conveys divine life to us and thus lets us enter into the dynamism of the Trinity, which is a dynamism of love, of communion, of mutual service, of sharing. A person who loves others for the very joy of love is a reflection of the Trinity. A family in which each person loves and helps one another is a reflection of the Trinity. A parish in which each person loves and shares spiritual and material effects is a reflection of the Trinity.
True love is boundless, but it knows how to limit itself, to interact with others, to respect the freedom of others. Every Sunday we go to Mass, we celebrate the Eucharist together and the Eucharist is like the “burning bush” in which the Trinity humbly lives and communicates; for this reason the Church placed the feast of Corpus Domini after that of the Trinity. Next Thursday, according to Roman tradition, we’ll celebrate Holy Mass at the Basilica of St John Lateran and then, we’ll have the procession with the Most Holy Sacrament. I invite all Romans and pilgrims to participate in order to express our desire to be “a people made one in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (St Cyprian). I await everyone next Thursday at 7:00 pm, for the Mass and the Corpus Christi Procession.
May the Virgin Mary, perfect creation of the Trinity, help us to make our whole lives, in small gestures and more important choices, an homage to God, who is Love.
15 June 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning and happy Sunday!
Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Holy Trinity, which reminds us of the mystery of one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the communion of Divine Persons who are one with the others, one for the others, one in the others: this communion is the life of God, the mystery of the love of the Living God. Jesus revealed this mystery to us. He spoke to us of God as the Father; He spoke to us of the Spirit; and He spoke to us of Himself as the Son of God. Thus He revealed this mystery to us. After He rose, He sent the disciples to evangelize to the peoples, He told them to baptize them “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). This command is entrusted by Christ in all ages to the Church, which has inherited the missionary mandate from the Apostles. He also directs it to each one of us who, through the power of Baptism, are part of his Community.
Therefore, today’s liturgical solemnity, while making us contemplate the amazing mystery from which we come and toward which we are going, renews for us the mission of living in communion with God and living in communion among ourselves on the model of the divine communion. We are called to live not as one without the others, above or against the others, but one with the others, for the others, and in the others. This means to accept and witness in harmony the beauty of the Gospel; experiencing love for one another and for all, sharing joy and suffering, learning to ask and grant forgiveness, appreciating various charisms under the guidance of Pastors. In a word, we have been entrusted with the task of edifying ecclesial communities which increasingly become families, capable of reflecting the splendour of the Trinity and evangelizing not only with the words but with the power of the love of God that lives within us.
The Trinity, as I said, is also the ultimate goal toward which our earthly pilgrimage is directed. The journey of Christian life is indeed essentially a “Trinitarian” journey: the Holy Spirit guides us to full knowledge of Christ’s teachings, and also reminds us what Jesus taught us. Jesus, in turn, came into the world to make the Father known to us, to guide us to Him, to reconcile us with Him. Everything in Christian life revolves around the Mystery of the Trinity and is fulfilled according to this infinite mystery. Therefore, we seek to always hold high the “tone” of our life, remembering what goal, what glory we exist for, work for, struggle for, suffer for; and what immense reward we are called to. This mystery embraces our entire life and our entire Christian being. We remember it, for example, each time we make the sign of the Cross: in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And now I invite you, all together, and out loud, to make this sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!”.
On this last day of the month of May, the Marian month, let us entrust ourselves to the Virgin Mary. May she who, more than any other being, knew, worshiped, loved the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, lead us by the hand; help us to grasp in the world’s events the signs of the presence of God, the Father and Son and Holy Spirit; enable us to love the Lord Jesus with all our heart, to walk toward the vision of the Trinity, the marvelous destination toward which our life is drawn. Let us also ask her to help the Church to be the mystery of communion and hospitable community, where all persons, especially the poor and the marginalized, may find welcome and feel themselves the wanted and beloved children of God.
31 May 2015
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.
May 22, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
The Bible readings for this Sunday, feast of the Most Holy Trinity, helps us to enter into the identity of God. The second reading presents the departing words that Saint Paul bids to the community of Corinth: “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13). This — as we say — “blessing” of the Apostle is the fruit of his personal experience with God’s love, that love which the Risen Christ revealed to him, which transformed his life and “impelled” him to take the Gospel to the peoples. Beginning from his experience of grace, Paul could exhort Christians with these words: “… rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another” (v. 11). The Christian community, even with all its human limitations, can become a reflection of the communion of the Trinity, of its kindness, of its beauty. But this — just as Paul himself testifies — necessarily passes through the experience of God’s mercy, of his forgiveness.
It is what happens to the Hebrews in the Exodus journey. When the people break the covenant, God presents himself to Moses in the cloud in order to renew that pact, proclaiming his own name and its meaning. Thus he says: “the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity” (Ex 34:6). This name implies that God is not distant and closed within himself, but is Life which seeks to be communicated, is openness, is Love which redeems man of his infidelity. God is “merciful”, “gracious” and “rich in charity” because he offers himself to us so as to fill the gap of our limitations and our shortcomings, to forgive our mistakes, to lead us back to the path of justice and truth. This revelation of God is fulfilled in the New Testament thanks to the Word of Christ and to his mission of salvation. Jesus made manifest the face of God, in substance One and in persons Triune; God is all and only Love, in a subsistent relationship that creates, redeems and sanctifies all: Father and Son and Holy Spirit.
Today’s Gospel “sets the stage” for Nicodemus, who, while playing an important role in the religious and civil community of the time, has not ceased seeking God. He did not think: “I have arrived”; he did not cease seeking God; and now he has perceived the echo of His voice in Jesus. In the nighttime dialogue with the Nazarene, Nicodemus finally understood that he had already been sought and awaited by God, that he was personally loved by Him. God always seeks us first, awaits us first, loves us first. He is like the flower of the almond tree; thus says the Prophet: “It blooms first” (cf. Jer 1:11-12). In fact Jesus speaks to him in this way: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). What is this eternal life? It is the immeasurable and freely given love of the Father which Jesus gave on the Cross, offering his life for our salvation. And this love with the action of the Holy Spirit has shined a new light on the earth and into every human heart that welcomes him; a light that reveals the dark corners, the hardships that impede us from bearing the good fruits of charity and of mercy.
May the Virgin Mary help us to enter ever deeper, with our whole being, into the Trinitary Communion, so as to live and witness to the love that gives meaning to our existence.
June 11, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today, the Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, a celebration for contemplating and lauding the mystery of the God of Jesus Christ, who is one in the communion of three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. To celebrate with ever new wonder God-Love, who freely offers us his life and asks us to spread it throughout the world.
Today’s Bible readings help us understand that God wishes to show us not so much that he exists but rather that he is the ‘God with us’, close to us, who loves us, who walks with us, is interested in our personal life story and takes care of each one, beginning with the least and the neediest. He “is God in heaven above” but also “on the earth beneath” (cf. Dt 4:39). Therefore, we do not believe in a distant entity, no! In an indifferent entity, no! But, on the contrary, in the Love who created the universe and who engendered a people, became flesh, died and rose for us and, as the Holy Spirit, transforms and leads everything to fulfilment.
Saint Paul (cf. Rom 8:14-17), who experienced first hand this transformation brought about by God-Love, tells us of God’s desire to be called Father, indeed, ‘Dad’ — God is ‘Our Father’ —, with the total confidence of a child who abandons himself in the arms of the one who gave him life. Acting in us — the Apostle again recalls — the Holy Spirit ensures that Jesus Christ is not reduced to a character of the past, no, but that we feel he is near, our contemporary, and feel the joy of being children loved by God. Lastly, in the Gospel, the Risen Lord promises to remain with us forever. And thanks precisely to his presence and to the power of his Spirit we can serenely carry out the mission that he entrusts to us. What is the mission? To proclaim to all and witness to his Gospel and thereby expand our communion with him and the joy that comes from it. God, walking with us, fills us with joy and in a way, joy is a Christian’s first language.
Thus, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity leads us to contemplate the mystery of God who unceasingly creates, redeems and sanctifies, always with love and through love, and enables every creature that welcomes him to reflect a ray of his beauty, goodness and truth. He has always chosen to walk with mankind and forms a people who may be a blessing for all nations and for each person, excluding none. A Christian is not an isolated person; he or she belongs to a people: this people that God forms. One cannot be Christian without this membership and communion. We are a people: the People of God. May the Virgin Mary help us to joyfully fulfil the mission of witnessing to the world, thirsty for love, that the meaning of life is precisely the infinite love, the tangible love of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
27 May 2018
“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).
16 June 2019
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/
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