Bawat isa sa atin ay may iba’t ibang katangin, hindi lang isa. Nasasabi natin na “maganda/ gwapo na mabait pa”. Yung tipong mabait, masipag, matulungin, maka-Diyos, makabayan, mapagmahal, etc. Sabi nga ng lyric sa kanta, “Nasayo na ang lahat…” Minsan maririnig natin sa iba, “marunong ka din pala magalit?” o di kaya, “marunong ka din pala magluto?” o kaya “marunong ka din pala tumawa?” at iba pa. And we usually say, “That’s the other side of me.” We don’t say, “That’s another me or you?” In human language, the same principle we can also apply in our understanding of God. God, though absolutely One, but in Three Persons. In the course of time or in the fullness of time Jesus revealed to us “the Other in God.” We never say, “another gods”. The mystery of the Holy Trinity can only be understood in this way. The Trinity is one of the Dogmas of our Catholic Faith.
What is Dogma? In Catholic perspective, dogma is a teaching of the Church revealed implicitly or explicitly from the deposit in sacred scripture or sacred Tradition by virtue of Papal promulgation or Solemn definition in a council and preserved by the Magisterium. Dogma cannot be contradicted; once declared it cannot be altered though may be further explained, defined, or developed without changing its essence and is binding to the faithful, e.g., Blessed Trinity, Immaculate Conception, & Purgatory. Please take note of those underlined words.
Not everything in Scriptures is self-explanatory. Not even a genius can fully comprehend the word of God. That is why the Lord Jesus sent another Advocate, the Holy Spirit for this purpose. The Holy Spirit, the Other in God is the one teaching and leading us to the truth about who God really is. Sino ba naman sa tingin natin ang kayang magpaliwanag at magpa-intindi sa atin ng Salita ng Diyos, kundi ang Diyos din mismo, ang kanyang Banal na Ispiritu? Iyan ang kahalagahan ng role o papel ng Holy Spirit sa ating Simbahan. In the course of history of our Church, the Spirit of God was the one leading, teaching, enlightening and guiding the Church. Sa ating karanasan bilang tao, may mga bagay na hindi madali intindihin. Sometimes, it takes time for us to get it.
Sinabi ni Hesus sa ating ebanghelyo ngayon, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now” (Jn 16:12). Sinabi pa niya sa ibang bahagi, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later” (Jn 13:7). Little wonder then why the dogma of the Holy Trinity came out late. It is not the work of man but the inspiration of the Holy Spirit constantly present in the Church. “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (Jn 14:26). In here sacred Tradition plays an important role in the Church, the one constantly unfolds the mystery implicitly hidden in sacred scriptures. Does it make sense to you now? In Scriptures, there contained an implicit message. The Holy Trinity is one example.
What is the significance then of the dogma of the Holy Trinity in our lives today when division, indifference, individualism and egotism become the norms? Christian faith is nothing other than allowing oneself to receive what is bestowed by that God “who, in his essence, is love and surrender. It invites all of us to unite, to be one in love. Loving relationship is the key. What kind of unity? Von Baltazar captured it in the following statement, “Not the “natural unity” between God, cosmos, and humanity is the sustaining ground and healing goal of our reality, but rather the “relational unity” between the Creator’s love, which bestows itself freely upon the world, and creaturely love, which, in human beings, empowers a free response.” This also reminds us of the prayer of Jesus to his Father in chapter seven of St. John, “I pray… so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me…” (Jn 17:20-24) The Holy Trinity is our model to achieve this unity, this oneness with our God. The Spirit love and surrender is the key. Again, there is only One God. In God’s love there is no another gods, only an Other in God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. After all, the mystery of the Holy trinity is not something to be solved like science; rather, the mystery of our God is an invitation for us to live, an invitation to love and surrender. Amen.
~ Rev Fr Edgar Ma. Benedi-an, OSM
Source: Neo Jeremiah Voice of the Young Prophet Newsletter – June 16, 2019 issue.