Jesus Christ – Person of the Trinity
Scientism, Selfishness and Death
Modern Man worships Scientism. Scientism is an idolatrous belief that only that which can be scientifically measured can be trusted. Scientism rejects the Divine and reduces Man to molecules. Rejecting the Divine, Man becomes obsessively Selfish, pursuing rampant materialism and living to feed the passions. Embracing selfishness, Man lives a walking Death, empty, with broken relationships, isolation, addiction, emotional turmoil, ill health and the loss of hope of Heaven.
Jesus Christ reveals the Mystery, Love and Life of the Trinity
In contrast to false knowledge of Scientism, Jesus reveals the Mystery of the Trinity. A mystery is a reality that cannot be explained by reason (i.e. Scientism) but is only revealed by God (cf. CCC 237). The Trinity is a profound mystery that can never be fully grasped by humans (cf. Vatican I: De Fide cath., iv.). In contrast to the Selfishness of Man, Jesus reveals that God is Love (1 John 4:8) and there is a Perfection of Love in the Trinity (CCC 221). Jesus reveals that by accepting the Grace of faith in the Mystery of the Trinity, Man is transformed by Love, saved from the Death of sin and given eternal Life in unity with the Trinity (CCC 260, 1024).
The Mystery of the Trinity
The Trinity is One (CCC 253) – “Not three gods, but One God in three persons.” “The three persons do not share the one divinity, but each of them is God whole and entire.” Each of the Three Persons is “consubstantial” (i.e. of the same substance), having the same Divine Essence or Divine Nature.
The Divine Persons are really distinct from one another (CCC 254) – “God is one, but not solitary.” The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not just “modes” of the one God; they really are three separate persons. The Persons of the Trinity are revealed throughout Scripture:
- God the Father is revealed in Scripture – The Fatherhood of God is a recurring theme in the Old Testament: “Israel is my firstborn son” (Exod 4:22); “You are the sons of the Lord your God (Deut 14:1); “Thou O Lord are our Father” (Isa 63:16). Jesus affirms God the Father in the New Testament: “…no one knows the Father except for the Son…” (Matt 11:27); “Our Father, who art in heaven…” (Matt 6:9); “I came from the Father…” (John 16:28).
- Jesus is revealed as the Son of God in Scripture – All of the Old Testament is about Jesus Christ – Quote – By calling God, Father, Jesus is confirming that He is the Son. Jesus proclaims that He is the Son: “…the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God…” (John 5:25); “…because I said, ‘I am the Son of God…’” (John 10:36); “Are you the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus.” (Mark 14:61-62).
- The Holy Spirit is revealed in Scripture – The Spirit is present throughout the Old Testament: the Spirit of God over the waters of Creation (Gen 1:2), the pillar of fire (Exod 40:36-38), etc. At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit is revealed as a dove (Luke 3:22). Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit at the Last Supper (John 14:16-17) and before the Ascension (Acts 1:1-9). The Holy Spirit comes to the Apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2:4).
The Divine Persons are relative to each other (CCC 255) – “Not divided in Unity” “…the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relations which relate them to one another…”
The Love of the Trinity
God reveals His love in the relationship of the Three Persons so we can know, love and imitate the love of the Trinity in our hearts and families:
- The Trinity is the model of Love – “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and the Trinity is “an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and He has destined us to share in that exchange” (CCC 221). In the Trinity, God demonstrates the mysterious nature of love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; it is both relational and communal.
- The Trinity infuses the Soul with Love – The love of the Trinity finds a home in the Christian heart (CCC 260): “If a man loves me [Jesus]…my Father will love him, and we will come and make our home with him” (John 14:23). It is by the indwelling of the Three Persons of the Trinity that we are capable of love and the desire to love our neighbors.
- The Love of the Trinity lives in the Christian family – The Christian family is to be a communion of persons, modeled on the relational self-giving love and communion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (CCC 2205). The love of the Three Persons can thrive in our families.
Life in the Trinity
The Trinity permeates the Life of Faith – While the word “Trinity” does not appear in Scripture, the Holy Trinity is a revealed Truth that permeates the Catholic Faith (CCC 261). For example:
- The Three Persons are found in the Creed(s); the Creed is, in fact, Trinitarian – “I believe in one God, the Father…” (CCC 198). “I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God…” (CCC 422). “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life…” (CCC 683).
- The Three Persons are present in the Sacraments; for example, in Baptism, the Eucharist and Reconciliation – We are baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). The Eucharist is “thanksgiving and praise to the Father” (CCC 1359-1361), the Son is “substantially contained” in the Eucharist (CCC 1375) through the “action of the Holy Spirit…” (CCC 1375). In Reconciliation, God the Father gives the Jesus the Son the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5); the sinner “undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 1448).
Working as One, each Person of the Trinity plays a role in salvation – God purposefully reveals the work of each of the Three Persons in Scripture. God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth (Gen 1:1; CCC 279), working together with the Son and the Spirit; “Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity” (CCC 292). The Son’s divine mission in the Incarnation is as the Redeemer (Gal 4:4-5), “anointed [by the Father] with the Holy Spirit” (CCC 453). The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier: “God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal 4:6). The Spirit draws us to life in the Father and the Son (CCC 683).
Man is raised to new life in the Trinity – “In the communion of grace with the Trinity, man’s living area is broadened and raised up to the supernatural level of Divine life. Man lives in God and by God” (John Paul II; General Audience 9/20/00). In this new life, every Catholic is called to evangelize the world to draw all people into the life of the Trinity (CCC 849-856).