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Ordinary Time: May 26th

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity


May 26, 2024 (Readings on USCCB website)



Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in profession the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.


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The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptized. The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ. Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God.

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity was introduced in the ninth century and was only inserted in the general calendar of the Church in the fourteenth century by Pope John XXII. But the cultus of the Trinity is, of course, to be found throughout the liturgy. Constantly the Church causes us to praise and adore the thrice-holy God who has so shown His mercy towards us and has given us to share in His life.

Today's Memorial of the St. Philip Neri is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

Commentary on the Sunday Mass Readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle B:
The First Reading is Deuteronomy 4:32-34; 39-40. In today's reading from the book of Deuteronomy we see how privileged the Chosen People of Israel were, how wonderful God had been in his dealings with them, and how all he asked for in return was that they should keep his commandments, which were for their own good....They quickly forgot all that he had done for them and turned to adore lifeless idols, pagan "gods" who could not help either themselves or anyone else. This was ingratitude and meanness of a high order, but let us remember that everything that God did for the Jews, he did for us, too. Through his dealings with them he was preparing the way for the Incarnation.

The Second Reading is Romans 8:14-17. In today's four verses, St. Paul stresses the change which Christianity has brought to Jew and Gentile. Man is no longer a slave of sin or of the world: he has been made a son of God through Christ's life, death and resurrection and is therefore a freeman... If we can—and we can and should—call God our Father, Abba, it is because the Holy Spirit moves us to do so and the Holy Spirit does this because we have indeed been made sons of God by the incarnation of his Son. Because we are adopted into God's household, heaven is our inheritance provided we obey Christ's commands.

The Gospel is from St. Matthew 28:16-20. The reason why these five verses, that conclude the final chapter of St. Matthew's gospel were chosen for today's Mass is evident. The three Persons of the Blessed Trinity are mentioned by name in this pericope.

All those who would enter the new kingdom of God, the Church, were to be dedicated in the ceremony of baptism to the Blessed Trinity; they were to enter into a fellowship with the three divine Persons. Whether Christ himself gave the exact words for the form of baptism does not concern us here, but from 2 Cor. 2:21, it would appear that this form was in use from the earliest days of the Church. We are aware that we ourselves were dedicated to God in our baptism and destined to have an eternal fellowship with the Trinity in heaven. We are aware, too, of the part played by the three divine Persons in making that eternal happiness and friendship with the Trinity available to us. While the essence of the Trinity, or the way in which there can be three Persons in the one God, is a mystery which our limited minds cannot even begin to solve, we have no hesitation in accepting the existence of this deepest mystery of our religion. It was no less an authority than Jesus Christ himself who revealed it to us. With his guarantee for its truth, we are left in no doubt as to the existence of this mystery. We can safely wait for a greater, if not a complete understanding in heaven.

Today, as we honor the Blessed Trinity, our predominant thought must be one of gratitude to each of the three Persons for all they have done and are still doing for us. First, to God the Father, who in his love planned not only our creation as intelligent human beings, the highest and noblest of his creatures on earth, but planned to give us adopted sonship as well. Secondly, let us show our deepest gratitude to the all-obedient, all-loving Son of God, who carried out to the letter the divine Father's plan for our adoption, by sharing with us our humanity so that we could share in his divinity. Thirdly, let us be eternally grateful to the Holy Spirit—the fruit of the love of Father and Son —who has come to dwell in the Church and in each member of the Church, in order to fill our hearts with a true love of God, and to direct our faltering steps toward the everlasting happiness which awaits us beyond the grave.

We know only too well how unworthy we are of this love of the Blessed Trinity which has been poured out on us. The greatest saints were unworthy of this infinite love. Our unworthiness should not, and must not, stop us from availing ourselves of this divine love and from doing what we can to prove how we value and sincerely appreciate the love and goodness of the Blessed Trinity for us. In return for this love, Christ asked us, his followers, to keep his commandments. This is the one genuine proof we can give of our gratitude for all that these Three Persons have done for us.

We are so weak that we often let the passing things of this world turn our thoughts and actions away from God and from our own eternal interests. We forget Christ and his commandments at times and let the world rule our hearts and minds. However, even for sinners like us there is hope and encouragement in the infinity of God's love. Let us not forget it: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit know all our weaknesses, they knew them before they arranged to make us sharers in their own eternal happiness. They know, also, that those of us who try and try again to rise above our human weakness will finally share with them their heaven.

This possibility is open to all of us. The Blessed Trinity will excuse nobody from heaven. If some fail, the fault will be entirely and completely their own. May God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit goat us the courage and strength to overcome our human weaknesses! May they give us the grace to live and die in their love so that we may share their eternal kingdom of happiness!
—Excerpted from The Sunday Readings, Cycle B, Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.

Trinity Sunday
The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast is this: There is one God and in this one God there are three Divine Persons; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal, incomprehensible God! The Father is not more God than the Son, neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit. The Father is the first Divine Person; the Son is the second Divine Person, begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity; the Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son. No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth. But I submit humbly and say: Lord, I believe, help my weak faith.

Why is this feast celebrated at this particular time? It may be interpreted as a finale to all the preceding feasts. All three Persons contributed to and shared in the work of redemption. The Father sent His Son to earth, for "God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son." The Father called us to the faith. The Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, became man and died for us. He redeemed us and made us children of God. He ever remains the liturgist par excellence to whom we are united in all sacred functions. After Christ's ascension the Holy Spirit, however, became our Teacher, our Leader, our Guide, our Consoler. On solemn occasions a thanksgiving Te Deum rises spontaneously from Christian hearts.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church's Te Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons; for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honor of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God. Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us. The Father created and predestined us; on the first day of the week He began the work of creation. The Son redeemed us; Sunday is the "Day of the Lord," the day of His resurrection. The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple; on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.
—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Symbols of the Trinity: Equilateral Triangle; Circle of Eternity; Three interwoven Circles; Triangle in Circle; Circle within Triangle; Interwoven Circle and Triangle; Two Triangles interwoven in shape of Star of David; Two Triangles in shape of Star of David interwoven with Circle; Trefoil; Trefoil and Triangle; Trefoil with points; Triquetra; Triquetra and circle; Shield of the Holy Trinity; Three Fishes linked together in shape of a triangle; Cross and Triangle overlapping; Fleur de Lys; St. Patrick's Shamrock.

Highlights and Things to Do:

  • Depending on the ages of family members, research symbols of the Trinity and create something for the centerpiece of your family table, or something for your family altar, such as a small banner or poster. It can be as little as a 4 x 6 photograph or something to use every year as a backdrop or wall hanging.
  • Think of different foods to serve that can reflect the symbolism of the Trinity. One example is clover leaf rolls. These rolls are formed with three balls of dough put into one hole of the muffin tin for each roll. They are easy to make. Use your favorite roll recipe (you can even buy frozen bread or roll dough), or search on the Internet for one of many examples. See Catholic Cuisine for other ideas.
  • The Directory on Popular Piety explains some of the pious exercises related to the devotion of the Holy or Blessed Trinity. Three very simple prayers are the Sign of the Cross, Gloria Patri (Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, etc.) and the Trisagion (meaning "thrice holy"): "Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us." This is just one version, there are many others, and it is usually found in the Eastern liturgies.