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The Holy Trinity

“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Christians constantly invoke the name of the Holy Trinity. Indeed, we worship the Holy Trinity, and the Holy Trinity alone. In the Bible, as we read it chronologically, so to speak, the first time we see the Holy Trinity in one place at one time is at Jesus Christ’s baptism where the Holy Spirit is present in the form of a dove, and God’s commanding voice is heard. Matthew writes, “And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

(Mt. 3:16-17)

    Also, as we read the Gospel according to St. John—what is commonly called the “theological” Gospel—the Holy Trinity is present in Christ’s definitive act of love as he offers his life for us on the Cross. Upon his death, John writes that Jesus said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (Jn. 19:29) This is crucial because the only God we really know is the God that the human person Jesus Christ reveals as he offers his life for us. “He who has seen me, has seen the Father.” (Jn. 4:19) Therefore, as Christ offers his life on the Cross to save us, we indeed are offered his Spirit—which is ultimately the Spirit of the Father who is at work in the person of Jesus Christ. Where Christ is—there too is the Father and the Holy Spirit—the Trinity.

    In Christ, we learn that the Holy Trinity is: God the Father, his Son, and his Holy Spirit. Or, in other words: God the Father, the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit of God. Because God the Father is divine, his Son, Jesus Christ, shares with his Father that exact same divinity. Because God the Father is divine, his Holy Spirit shares that exact same divinity with his Father, too. We would never know this if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never lived on earth as a human being, died on the Cross and rose from the dead. And because Jesus Christ is God’s Son, then we can worship him and say, just like Thomas said when he saw the marks of the crucifixion on Jesus’ body after Jesus’ resurrection, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn. 20:28)

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