Trinity Sunday

Homily by Fr. Cliff Fumbelo on today’s Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity! 🙏


The MYSTERY of the Trinity is a fundamental and central Christian doctrine that accounts for the DEEPEST MEANING of human existence. It is a MYSTERY not only because we cannot fully understand it even if it is revealed to us, but also because the more we dwell in it the more we are drawn deeper into understanding the wonderful truth about God and about ourselves. It is the deepest meaning of human existence because the triune God is both the source and summit of human existence. Therefore, in the mystery of the Trinity is hidden our identity, nature, dignity, mission and purpose.

In our worship of God, we experience him in so many ways. For instance, we encounter him as the Creator, Father, and Sustainer of all. We also encounter him as the Son, Redeemer, and the Infinite Wisdom. At the same time, we experience him as the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, the Comforter, the Love, and the Advocate in all things. We believe and profess that God is triune; that He is at once Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

These three persons participate coequally, coeternally and consubstantially in the nature of the Godhead. This suggests a mutual indwelling of the persons, where one exists in the other two and the other two in the one. We believe that the Father is the source of life and love and is constantly giving. His perfect self-giving is His emptying of life and love to Son. In response to this self-giving, the Son opens himself to receiving perfectly and totally the life and love that comes from the Father. Since it is the nature of life and love to give and not to hold, the Son reciprocates by giving it back to the Father entirely, totally and perfectly. This mutual exchange of life and love between Father and Son is so perfect that it is also an eternal and perfect existence called the Holy Spirit.

It is from this crossfire of life and love in the Trinity that we come. The Communion within the Trinity is source and goal of our nature, identity and purpose. Therefore, communion with the Trinity is the goal of our worship.

1.”For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” (3:16): Love is the one word that defines God. It expresses WHO He is and HOW He relates to us. In revealing Himself to us as the Most Holy Trinity we see WHO God is; the mystery of love. A love that is completely expressed in perfect reciprocity and mutuality. Love also expresses HOW God relates to us especially that he GAVE His ONLY Son to us. In this verse, GIVING refers to God’s offer to humanity of grace and truth through the Lifting Up of the Son on the Cross. God in his eternal love returned to the sinful world and loved it in the surrender of his only-begotten Son (cf. 3:35). Jesus’ death on the Cross is therefore, the highest manifestation of the measure of God’s love for us (Having loved his own who were in the world he loved them to the end Jn 13:1).

I am also called live in the LOVE of God. To love up to the end.

2.”that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (3:16): Faith is our response to God’s love. We are able to love God because He is the one who has loved us first; “this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10).

The gift that faith gives us is eternal life. Through faith we experience the birth that initiates the new eternal life. Eternal life consists in knowing God as the one TRUE God and Jesus as the savior and redeemer who is sent by God (Jn 17:3).

3.”For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (3:17): Love never fails. Love does not condemn or destroy. Rather it builds and saves. Jesus is the expression of this love of the Most Holy Trinity which St Paul in 1 Cor 13:4-8 sings of. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

Just as the Trinity is the unity of love, we are also called to live in unity. We are called to live in unity and not in uniformity. We are to be a unity that does not destroy nor distort our diversity, but rather a unity that benefits from our variety. This is what the unity of the persons in the Trinity is; they who are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Fr. Cliff Fumbelo
St. Dominic’s Major Seminary