Homily Thoughts – Trinity Sunday


Last Sunday, we celebrated the sending of the Spirit, which sealed God’s new covenant and made a new creation. Today is the second of three feasts that cap the Easter season—Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi.

We've all heard people say that “things happen in 3's.” There are many things unique about that number. Pythagoras said it was the first real number – the minimum number of point to establish a geometric pattern. When it comes to humor, three is the minimum number of pieces of information that you need for a humorous story – two to establish a pattern, - one break it in a way that evokes humor. Once there was a rabbi, a priest, and a minister walking down the road… And, while I don’t have a joke at the beginning of today’s homily I will say that there’s a humorous saying among theologians that you can’t talk about the Holy Trinity for more than a couple of minutes before getting into heresy. Anyone got a stop watch?

Seriously, the pattern of three appears in religious and cultural symbols from many ancient traditions and is woven into our scriptures. One such symbol that has come to associated with the Holy Trinity is that of three interlocking rings, referred to as Borromeam Rings, where, if any single ring is removed, the two remaining rigs fall apart. While I’m not inclined to dwell too much on numerology or symbology, it’s difficult to miss that:

  • Three Wise Men came to Jesus bearing three gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.

  • Jesus spread Christianity for three years – according to the Gospel of John.

  • Jesus predicted that Peter would deny knowing him three times before the cock crowed.

  • Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.

  • Regarding Saul after his encounter with the risen Christ “And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank”.

  • The 3 attributes of God are omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.

The number 3, symbolized by the - Trinity Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer), has come to mean wholeness, and completion. And this is the reason for our feast day today.

Our first reading gives us a sense of the sweeping history of God’s intimate involvement in the lives of his chosen ones. It speaks of God’s constant intervention in the lives of those he loves. Moses is telling us that God, out of love, called Abraham and chose his descendants to be His own people. Through the Israel, He revealed to the nations that He alone is Lord and there is no other. We live in a family called by Father God.

In our second reading, Paul reminds the Romans of this fact: we have been called, like the Israelites, out of slavery and we are not only followers but children, not only children, but joint heir