The Holy Trinity, Year A

Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9; Daniel 3:52-56; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18

First Reading: In today’s first reading, we hear that God appeared to Moses and gave him a series of self-description. After the title “Lord,” we hear that God is merciful. Divine kindness and fidelity assure us that God will never abandon the covenant.

Psalm (Daniel 3): The canticle we sing today is a song of victory over persecution. In the third chapter of the Book of Daniel, we hear of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were thrown into a fire under the orders of King Nebuchadnezzar because they refused to worship an idol. This is part of the song they sang when the angel of the Lord drove the flames out of the furnace.

Second Reading: At the close of his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives instructions and prays what was then an exceptional blessing for the community, a blessing that we use in our Eucharistic celebrations.

Gospel: Today’s Gospel continues our reading from Jesus’ discourse at his Last Supper with the disciples. Although Jesus is giving his farewell, he promises not to abandon his disciples. He will ask the Father for another advocate. Jesus as Jesus comes as an advocate from the Father and does what the Father bids him, the Father will send his disciples the Spirit of truth.

Reflection: Today’s Gospel passage is one of the most often-quoted passages from John. In a few words, the evangelist expresses the saving mission of Jesus Christ, who is God’s love made visible. While the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in this passage, the total unity of Father and Son is clear; to know the Son is to know the Father; to believe in the Son is to believe in the Father. The same loving God who spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, “slow to anger and rich in kindness” (Exodus 34: 6), is the God who sends his Son not to condemn but to save

It is awesome to think that God invites us to share in such a great mystery as the Holy Trinity! It seems as though God’s graciousness never ends – not only with sending the Son but, further, with inviting us into God’s saving work. In this context we might think of the simple, ordinary ways we reach out to others – a smile, a helping hand, a kind word – as ways we actually manifest the mystery and majesty of our triune God. Such love as this can only be matched by those who share in divine life!

We are to be in relationship with each other as the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity are in relationship with each other. This sounds impossible to us humans who experience hurts, broken relationships, lack of graciousness so much of the time. Perhaps this is why the mystery of the Holy Trinity has been revealed to us: as God’s beloved who have been saved by the Son and given life in the Spirit, as those created in God’s image, we can aspire to healing unity.

Question for reflection: How do I express God’s infinite love in my discipleship?

Copyright © 2017, Scott W. Eakins. All Rights Reserved.

1 thought on “The Holy Trinity, Year A”

  1. John 3:1    Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night …

    I still, from boyhood, have the picture of Nicodemus in conversation with Jesus at night in my mind’s eye.

    Bishop Haines pointed out that likely it was dangerous at that time and place to be out and about at night. Luke (11.7) adds to the local color when he tells the story:

    “… a friend says … from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ “

    Nonetheless Nicodemus goes out and talks with Jesus. Because of the security concerns neither does he venture forth out of idle curiosity. Nor is there any hint of skepticism on the part of Nicodemus.

    Nicodemus is a principal/ἄρχων/archōn of the Jews. Jesus, the Christ, is in the beginning/ἀρχή/archē. A kind of summit meeting is taking place.

    Why at night? The darkness cannot overcome the light. [cfr. John 1.5.] So any time is suitable to talk of truths with the Word.

    Also note what John has to say just prior to this meeting of Nicodemus and Jesus [John 2.23-25]:  

    “While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.”

    Nicodemus saw the opportune time to talk was away from the crowds and face to face.

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