The Most Holy Trinity


Exodus 34:4-6,8-9
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
John 3:16-18


Someone once wrote that the Trinity is not a doctrine to be understood but arms to hold us and a heart to love us.  And Trinity Sunday is not a day to explain the Trinity using shamrocks as a visual aid, as the Irish nuns taught us.

It’s a day to allow us ourselves to be beloved by the Father who loved the world so much, He sent his only Son to be our saviour, who says with us through his Spirit.

I was told a lovely story a little while ago about a man who had died.  He hadn’t lived the best of lives 

and he had a fair bit of Purgatory to get through.    But he was basically a good-hearted person who tried to be a good husband and dad and he had looked after his parents.  

So some of his friends got together and went and told St. Peter what a good friend he had been, how, despite his faults, he had tried to help others. They asked St. Peter if St. Peter would let him out of Purgatory early.  And St. Peter said, “No,  the gates are closed. They can’t be opened -sorry, it’s not possible.” 

So then his family went to see St. Peter. They knocked on the gates of Purgatory and asked Peter to remember how good a dad and husband he had been and would St. Peter open the gates and let him out early.  And St Peter said, “No, rules are rules.” 

Finally, his mother went down to the huge metal gates of purgatory and knocked on them.  When St. Peter said, “What do you want?   I can’t open the gate to let her son out, the man’s mother replied simply, “I am his mother, I just want to go in and stay with him.”   -And immediately, the gates swung open.  

I guess the lesson of today’s feast is that love sets us free.   We celebrate this Trinity Sunday when God knocked on the doors of the world and said, “Will you let me in”.  And love came in to set us free.   

Tom McDonough CP is the current provincial of the Passionists of Holy Spirit Province.