UNITED IN PRAYER
A PRAYER RESOURCE FOR FAMILIES, INDIVIDUALS AND HOUSEHOLDS.
Holy Trinity (Year A)
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
God our Father, who by sending into the world
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
Sing or listen
Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9
R: To you glory and praise forevermore.
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.’
Note for parents: The Trinity is a hard thing to understand as an adult and we use a variety of metaphors to try and explain it to our children. A wonderful way to encourage children to see the work of the Holy Trinity is to use Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity. Invite a conversation with the following guide:
Six hundred years ago not many people went to school, not many kids learned how to read and write. And if you didn’t know how to read and write, then you wouldn’t be able to read a Bible. So to help people understand God 600 years ago, church ministers used to paint pictures so that people who couldn’t read and write could still learn about God. What can we learn about God from this picture? How many people are in this picture? All three people have exactly the same circle, the same “halo” (nimbus) around their heads. That’s the glow of God. Now these three people are wearing four colours – green; brown; blue; gold. Six hundred years ago, blue was the colour people painted God. Blue was God’s colour. Three people, all with circle halos around their heads. All wearing blue, the colour of God. So the painter of this picture was saying that these three people are God.
What are the three people holding? They are all holding a long stick. Exactly the same length. Look at their hands. What hand is holding the stick? All three right hands are holding the stick. Now look at their other hands; all the left hands have two fingers pointing down. We can see that the painter is saying that these people are the same; same halos; same blue, the colour for God; same way of holding a staff in the same right hand; same way of point their fingers. Three people, who are God, who are all exactly the same.
Yet as well as being exactly the same, these three people are also different. One person has green, the side closest to us. Green is the colour of spring, the colour of things that grow; that green person is the Holy Spirit of God – who wants you, and this church, to be green and grow. One person has brown. Brown is the colour of dirt. That brown person is Jesus, who came to earth, put his feet on the ground, felt dirt between his felt. One person is gold. That person is God the Father; gold because of the beauty and God who created a beautiful earth. The painter is using a picture to tell us about God. That God is three persons: Spirit in green to help us grow; Jesus in brown walking in the dirt; the Father in gold who created this beautiful earth.
Adapted from: https://buildfaith.org/exploring-the-trinity-with-children/
This feast is not a time to try and explain how three goes into one. The Trinity is not something that we can understand or figure out with our reasoning, intellect or our brain. The Trinity is a mystery that we are called to experience with our hearts not with our heads. When we use the word ‘mystery’ to talk about and describe the Trinity, we are talking about a reality that is so endlessly rich and profound that it will never be exhausted.
Through the Trinity, God creates and loves us, Jesus liberates and saves us and the Spirit encourages and strengthens us. The Trinity is a community of love and life that we are invited to be part of and share in. The Trinity offers us a model of sharing, belonging and community. It also challenges our individualism.
News of what is going on around the world; of crisis, riots, violence and conflict has been confronting in new ways over these last weeks and months. We have been reminded through this pandemic in particular of Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si “that we are all interconnected.” Our human lives are grounded in relationship – with God, with one another, with the Earth. Through the relationship presented to us in the Trinity, we experience an example of community and something that we are called to into relationship with ourselves.
In the Christian tradition, when we begin our prayer, we do so by making the sign of the cross and calling on the power and presence of the Trinity. On the Feast of the Trinity, perhaps we could say these prayers slower and let their meaning become part of us in a more intimate and personal way.
Pope Francis reflects on today’s readings saying;
We are all called to witness and proclaim the message that “God is love”, that God isn’t far and insensitive to our human affairs. He is close to us, always beside us, walking with us to share our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and our struggles. He loves us very much and for that reason he became man, he came into the world not to condemn it, but so the world would be saved through Jesus (cf. Jn 3:16-17). And this is the love of God in Jesus, this love that is so difficult to understand but that we feel when we draw close to Jesus. And he always forgives us, he always awaits us, he loves us so much. And we feel the love of Jesus and the love of God.
The Holy Spirit, gift of the Risen Jesus, conveys divine life to us and thus lets us enter into the dynamism of the Trinity, which is a dynamism of love, of communion, of mutual service, of sharing. A person who loves others for the very joy of love is a reflection of the Trinity. A family in which each person loves and helps one another is a reflection of the Trinity. A parish in which each person loves and shares spiritual and material effects is a reflection of the Trinity.
How are you being called today to be a reflection of the Trinity?
Let us pray in praise and thanksgiving:
God, the Father almighty, you have loved us from all eternity; Glory, praise, and honour to our God!
God the Son, Word of the Father, you have revealed the Father to us in time: Glory, praise, and honour to our God!
God the Holy Spirit, bond of love, you draw us into one; Glory, praise, and honour to our God!
Holy Trinity, one God: Glory, praise, and honour to our God!