Invitation to Community --- Holy Trinity Sunday 2018 B

Friends, Pentecost was celebrated last Sunday. It revealed the last person of the three divine persons. The Holy Spirit is revealed as another divine person in relation to Jesus and the Father. Today, we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity- God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. For Israel, God appeared as the end (Deut 6: 4-5). God revealed himself progressively to the people he chose for himself. To help us understand the doctrine of the Trinity, the Church Fathers make a distinction between 'theologia' and 'oikonomia'. In the first place, they mean the innermost life of God, while the other refers to how God through his work reveals himself to the world in the economy of salvation. God has left traces of his triumphal essence in his creation and in the revelation that took place during the Old Testament era. "The whole Bible sings of Trinity. Every book and event in the Bible is heavy with meaning. An understanding of the original language of the Scripture and its cultural contexts is required in order to better understand the meaning of what they describe. Therefore, I turn to the Hebrew language and culture in the search for God's nature. There is much in Christianity that is thoughtful, the teaching on the Trinity is definitely one of them. As humans, we are all social beings, who by nature are called to discover and live in community. The love for the other is the one thing that makes this living a life in community possible.

Although the word "trinity" (Ha Shilush Ha-kadosh) does not appear directly in the scripture, it is nevertheless a Hebrew concept originating from both the Old Testament (Tenakh) and the New Testament (Brit Chadashah). God the Father sent His Son and the Holy Spirit to reveal His wonderful mystery. The Holy Spirit is the first who through faith generates faith in us so that we can know the Father and the Son. In the creed, we confess that there is one God in three persons- one by nature, substance and essence. The teaching on the Holy Trinity springs from the Church's living faith, with baptism as its starting point. This religious mystery is central to the Christian faith and Christian life. It's about who God is in himself. It is thus the source of all other religious mysteries, i.e. the most fundamental and essential belief in the hierarchy of Christian beliefs. The foundation of Christianity is that through the incarnation, the Second person in the Godhead has become human through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. In Jesus, God and humanity are united. He is identical to the Old Testament JHWH.

God manifests himself as a trinity in the scripture. The creation story is narrated in the third person, "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth." In the priestly blessing of the Old Testament, a threefold form is used: "The Lord blesses you and protects you. The Lord lets his face shine on you and shows you mercy. The Lord turns his face to you and gives you peace "(Numbers 6: 24-26). This form is similar to what we have with the prophet Isaiah: "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord's Sabaoth ..." (Isaiah 6: 3).

We can see that the idea of ​​God as Trinity does not remove the idea of ​​a single God but transcends Rabbinical Judaism and Islam's idea of ​​absolute monotheism by understanding unity as a community. Reality is multidimensional, and nothing exists in isolation. In reality, there is a built-in community. Jesus is true God and true human. We are both spirit, body and soul. Our mission here in the world can also be said to be triple: love of God, fellow human being and oneself. God (YHWH) has sent Jesus and the Holy Ghost into the world (John 3:16). Isaiah 48: 12-16 confirms the same: "Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called! I am God, I am the first and I am the last ... Now the Lord has God sent me, and his spirit ... In this text, the one who calls himself the first and last says at the same time that he is sent by God and his spirit.

God as Trinity is everywhere in the Bible. Jesus speaks of God as Trinity, commanding the disciples to baptize in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Jesus equals himself with the Father (John 8:58), 10:30; 14: 8-9). The Father is God (Isaiah 64: 8; Mal 2:10; John 8:54). Jesus is God (1 Timothy 3:16; John 1: 1-14; 9:38; Titus 2:13; Heb 1: 8-9; 5: 6; John 5:18; Romans 9: 5; Phil 2: 5-11). That Jesus is King of Kings means He is God (Isa 44: 6; Rev 22:13), Only God is King of Kings. The Holy Spirit is also God (Acts 5: 3-4; John 4:24; Luke 12:10; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Acts 13: 2; Hebrews 3: 7-7; 11). In addition, Jesus' disciples preached and proclaimed a threefold God with their triadic form 1 Cor 12: 4-6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Pet 1: 2, Ephesians 4: 4-6, Matthew 28:19. The Old Testament is called Tanakh as an acronym and is divided into three namely the Torah (the teaching), Nevi'im (the prophets), and Ketuvim (the scriptures). Similarly, the New Testament (B'rit Chadashah) is also divided into three: besieged Hage'ulah (gospel), Iggerot (letter), and Hitgallut (revelation).

We do not believe in three gods, but on one God in three persons: the trinity of the same being. Each of them is God altogether. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not simply three different ways for God to exist. The father is begets, the Son is born, and the Holy Spirit proceeds. It was only at Nicea year 325 and Constantinople in 381 which the Church declared the dogma that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are divine persons. Paul's letter has many places where he greets the churches in the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:13). Jesus commands his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father and Son and of the Holy Ghost.

To many Christians, a trinitarian God is an abstract concept that is not relevant to everyday life. But of course, this view is wrong. That God is a trinity of persons has consequences for us. That God lives, we can still see in the human endeavour to truth, solidarity and fellowship. It is a trinitarian God that allows people to live in community. God's life is a constant invitation to us to live in fellowship, and he has willed this. At the moment God created humankind, he took his habitation in her. Each is the temple of the trinity - the Father, the Son and the Spirit live in us. This means that the constant love exchanges of the divine persons are ongoing in your hearts. This is a staggering knowledge that brings hope and joy.

We experience the world as a three-dimension of space, time and matter. Space is also three-dimensional, width, height and depth. Time consists of ancient times, present and future. Matter science teaches has three components of proton, electron and neutron. We experience ourselves as body, soul and spirit. Alef, the Hebrew alphabet's first letter has three parts and has a symbolic number 26. This is also the same number as the holy name YHVH. There are three parts of alef yet an alef; there are also three people in God, yet one God. Strange that Judaism sums up Alef as follows: Alef is 111 (alef = 1, lamed = 30 and pey = 80). Of interest, we can also note that when we place the first letter of Torah (ie Bet in the word "Bereshit") along with the last letter of the New Testament (i.e. Nun in the word Amen), the word (Son) becomes the result.

If we are united and keep peace with each other, we can be sure that the God of peace will be with us. Community is a gift from the Holy Spirit to those who are united and keep peace. God's love transcends everything we can think or desire. He proves his boundless love by sending his only son to us. He is merciful and gracious, long-suffering and great in kindness and faithfulness (Exod 34: 4b-6).

That God is Trinity has implications for us Christians. Trinity is a relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of the three persons helps to fulfil the Trinity plan. We humans are created to live and be in relationship. This means that, as the image of God, we see the image of the Trinity in every human being we meet, showing them respect and love, and always being discovered and appreciating the dignity that the Lord has, from the beginning, crowned each of us.

To deny any human being the dignity that God has equipped her with is to deny the God of the Trinity. Like the Trinity, we live as people in relationships with each other. Our mission is to contribute to the positive development of the world. Therefore, we are called to work for peace, hope and love, which are the primary gifts God has given us in the Holy Ghost. This is precisely what the community demand. Chikezie Onuoha MSP.

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