Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trinity Sunday June 15, 2014

Let’s get perspective:

·        What we experience through the senses is not fully real. It is not unreal; but it is not fully real.
·        What is fully real is the Person of the Son of God: “Heaven and earth will pass away, my Words will not pass away.”(Matt. 24, 35).
·        I experience the Word of God every time I love, i.e. go out of myself “to the peripheries.” That is, there is a revelation of the Word of God as consciousness because I am acting out the imaging of the Word Who is Self-Gift to the Father. As He is the intelligibility of the Father’s Persona as His Word, I experience myself as Word whenever I transcend (go out of) myself. That is, I experience reality in the fullest way I am capable of. As the divine Person of the Son assumes the full humanity of Jesus of Nazareth – a human will[1] – and obeys the Father through the Virgin and St. Joseph (in the smallest and most insignificant of human acts such as taking out the garbage in Nazareth), so also we become another Christ by replicating a similar type of action with His dynamic of Self-transcendence. This would mean that, as “other Christs” we are within the dynamic of the Trinity as “sons in the Son.”
·        And since there is only one Christ as in Galatians 3, 16 and 28 Who as only heir subsumes in Himself all the heirs of Abraham – one heir to the promise to Abraham – there is only one son. The entire world becomes the one single heir of Abraham in so far as they are all Christ. Hence, the meaning of Gal. 2, 20: “I live; no not I. Christ lives in me.”
·        And I am able to love with the Heart of Christ and give myself by going “to the peripheries” only if I have been loved, affirmed and moved by the Holy Spirit.
·        The prototype of this act of faith and engendering Christ within is the Virgin.

* * * * * * * * * * *
·        That the Virgin said yes and the son of God assumed an entire – complete and total – humanity as His own, means that the entire physical cosmos of the creation was assumed by Him – because a human nature is capable of subduing all matter by “work.” Technology is showing us this: if you throw enough technology at a material technological problem, you can master it. Thus, if a divine Person, who is the Creator of the entire universe, has assumed a human nature into Himself as Himself (not only “His own”), then under both an ontological and dynamic rubric, He is the alpha and omega of it.
·        Therefore, Jn. 12, 32: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men (things) to myself.” That is, by drawing all men to Himself, by restoring their humanity in Himself (by my obedience to the Father on the Cross), I will be placed at the summit of all human activities. But the great insight that was given to St. Josemaria Escriva was that the Lord was not to take them from the world, but that they go through the many conversions to become Him. Such that: “I live; no, not I. Christ lives in me.” Christ will be universally present in the world by the conversions of all through baptism to a living obedience of faith (Dei Verbum #5).
Such a perspective puts the Trinity in the world, and all men within the dynamic of the Trinity.
* * * * * * *
Here is the background scandal of the revelation of the Trinity and the Incarnation itself:
Years ago, Karl Rahner pronounced that per impossible “if the Trinity should have to be suppressed as false doctrine, a great part of religious literature could still remain unchanged after this occurrence. The suspicion could arise that, for the catechism of the mind and heart (unlike the printed catechism), the representation of the incarnation on the part of the Christian would not have to change at all if ever there were no Trinity.”

            Cardinal Bruno Forte explains that “the beginnings of this Trinitarian neglect, which effectively translates into the non-Christian monotheism of many Christians, can be associated with the preoccupation that the various worlds with which Christianity has come into contact-from the Jewish to the Greco-Hellenistic-have had against the proclamation of the so-called ‘Christian scandal.’ We are referring to their ‘pious’ concern to safe guard the divinity of God. The Christian faith never ever renounced, it is true, its disturbing and problematic proclamation. It continued to confess – even in the most elaborate forms of theology and dogma – the unheard of humanity of God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ. This confession, however, was wed to the ‘pious’ preoccupation of the cultures being evangelized. And it was precisely for this reason that the Christological and Trinitarian ‘scandal’ has always been considered in the light of the mystery of divine unity. Forte continues to show that “the one God precedes and forms the foundation for the triune God: the divinity of the Absolute comes first and encompasses the personal relativity. The distinction between the two tracts – De Deo Uno and De Deo Trino – is nothing more than the logical outcome of this approach.”

            He continues: “The first tract can well serve anyone who believes in God. It has the force of rationality and universality which could easily threaten to suffocate the second. Not only that. The material proper to the second tract becomes an effort to reconcile the trinity of Persons with the unity of the divine essence, with hardly a reference to the concrete historical revelation of the Three. The Trinity is thus reduced to a sort of celestial theorem within a prior monotheistic doctrine, without effective consequences on the level of the concept of God and the salvation of mankind.  The dynamism of the event of revelation is set against a static horizon. The mission of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as well as the living plurality of the relationships of the Three, are moderated by the metaphysical concept of the immutable and eternal One. The unifying quietude of the Supreme Being reigns over all and absorbs everything in our human discourse about God.”[2]

          What is at stake is: either we ignore the Trinity as an intractable mystery and carry on with life as we sense it, or we find that life does not work within a reductive epistemology and non-transcendent metaphysic and anthropology and we have to undergo conversion. And so, the fathers of Vatican II have opted not to ignore the Trinity as an “”extraneous celestial theorem but the affirmation that man must be understood from above, not from below. Hence, Jesus Christ is not an “exception” to man but the very meaning of man (GS #22). The anthropology, instead of being Greek and from below follows on the Trinitarian and Christological dynamic: “man, the only earthly being God has willed for itself, finds himself by the sincere gift of himself.” Hence, every man is called to become another Christ. Sexuality, work, marriage, freedom, mission (apostolate) – all take on the dynamic of giving self as image of the Trinitarian inner Life. Each pope (Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis) has carried through the epistemology of the “I-gift” in all their teaching. It is all centered on this feast which demands adequate recognition and celebration.


234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith".56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".57
237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God".58 To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel's faith before the Incarnation of God's Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

[1] “I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (Jn. 6, 38).
[2] Bruno Forte, “The Trinity As History,” Alba House (1989) 3-6

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