Trinity Sunday (A)
June 03, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.






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 professing 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,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (RM)

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us
your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to
acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the
power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep
us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to
see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with
the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever
and ever.  Amen. (BCP)

O blessed Trinity,
in whom we know the Maker of all things seen and unseen,
the Savior of all both near and far:
By your Spirit enable us so to worship your divine majesty,
that with all the company of heaven
we may magnify your glorious name, saying:
Holy, holy, holy.
Glory to you, O Lord most high.  Amen. (BCW)

First reading Exodus 34:4b–6, 8–9

Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets. Having come down in a cloud, the Lord stood with Moses there and proclaimed his name, “Lord.” Thus the Lord passed before him and cried out, “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own.”

Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55,


Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;

and blessed is your holy and glorious name,

praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.  R/.

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,

praiseworthy and glorious above all forever. R/.

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. R/.

Blessed are you who look into the depths

from your throne upon the cherubim,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. R/.

Second reading 2 Corinthians 13:11–13 

Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Gospel Acclamation


Gospel John 3:16–18

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Catena Nova

God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that those who believed in him might not perish, but might have eternal life. As you see, the reason for the Son’s coming was to enable people heading for ruin to be saved by believing in him. Could anyone have imagined the great generosity, wonderful beyond description, which God has shown to us? By the grace of baptism he has freed us from all our sins! But why continue? The mind cannot count, words cannot enumerate all the rest of God’s gifts. However much I said would leave much more unsaid. Who could ever have thought of the way of repentance which God in his indescribable love for us has provided for our race, or of the wonderful commandments that we may, if we wish, gain his grace after baptism? Do you not see, beloved, how boundless God’s blessings are? I have counted a great many, but there are many more which I have not yet been able to mention. How can a human tongue tell all God has done for us? Yet although the blessings he has lavished on us are many and great, to those walking in the way of virtue he has promised others much greater and more inexpressible when they have left this world for the next. To show us their sublimity in a few words the blessed Paul said: No eye has seen, nor ear heard, no human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. Do you not see the excellence of these gifts, and how God’s blessings surpass all human understanding? No human heart has even imagined them, says St Paul. If then we desire to reckon them up and give thanks for them as best we can, that in itself will win for us an increase of grace and help us to grow in virtue. It will make us ready to rise above present circumstances and place all our hope in the giver of such great gifts, longing for him more and more every day. (St John Chrysostom)

We acknowledge the Trinity, holy and perfect, to consist of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this Trinity there is no intrusion of any alien element or of anything from outside, nor is the Trinity a blend of creative and created being. It is a wholly creative and energizing reality, self-consistent and undivided in its active power, for the Father makes all things through the Word and in the Holy Spirit, and in this way the unity of the holy Trinity is preserved. Accordingly, in the Church, one God is preached, one God who is above all things and through all things and in all things [Eph. 4:6] . God is above all things as Father, for he is principle and source; he is through all things through the Word; and he is in all things in the Holy Spirit. Writing to the Corinthians about spiritual matters, Paul traces all reality back to one God, the Father, saying: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone [1 Cor. 12:4]....This is also Paul’s teaching in his second letter to the Corinthians [13:13]: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. For grace and the gift of the Trinity are given by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Just as grace is given from the Father through the Son, so there could be no communication of the gift to us except in the Holy Spirit. But when we share in the Spirit, we possess the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the fellowship of the Spirit (St. Athanasius of Alexandria).

This I give you to share, and to defend all your life, the one Godhead and power, found in the Three in unity, and comprising the Three separately, not unequal in substance or nature, neither increased nor diminished by superiorities or inferiorities; in every respect equal, in every respect the same; just as the beauty and the greatness of the heavens is one. This is the infinite conjunction of three infinite Ones, each is God when considered in Himself; as the Father, so the Son; as the Son, so the Holy Spirit.  No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three I think of him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of that One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light (St. Gregory Nazianzen).

Paradoxically, the One moves from itself into the Three and yet remains One, while the Three return to the One and yet remain Three. The single divinity of the Trinity is undivided and the three Persons of the one divinity are unconfused. We confess Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, divided yet without division and united yet with distinctions. (St. Thalassius the Libyan) 

And that same Father says to each soul in His infinite loving kindness, "Thou art Mine and I am thine: I am thine and thou art Mine, for I have chosen thee from all eternity." … When we unite ourselves to God by love, then we are spirit: but when we are caught up and transformed by His Spirit, then we are led into fruition. And the spirit of God Himself breathes us out from Himself that we may love, and may do good works; and again he draws us into Himself, that we may rest in fruition. And this is Eternal Life; even as our mortal life subsists in the indrawing and outgoing of our breath. (Bl. John of Ruysbroeck)

As soon as we have celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost we greet with song the feast of the Holy Trinity on the following Sunday, a well-chosen place in the calendar for immediately after the descent of the Holy Spirit preaching and conversion began and faith through baptism and confession in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Rupert of Deutz)

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, let me entirely forget myself that I may abide in you, still and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity; let nothing disturb my peace nor separate me from you, O my unchanging God, but that each moment may take me further into the depths of your mystery ! Pacify my soul! Make it your heaven, your beloved home and place of your repose; let me never leave you there alone, but may I be ever attentive, ever alert in my faith, ever adoring and all given up to your creative action. 

O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, would that I might be for you a spouse of your heart! I would anoint you with glory, I would love you - even unto death! Yet I sense my frailty and ask you to adorn me with yourself; identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute yourself in me that my life may become but a reflection of your life. Come into me as Adorer, Redeemer and Savior. 

O Eternal Word, Word of my God, would that I might spend my life listening to you, would that I might be fully receptive to learn all from you; in all darkness, all loneliness, all weakness, may I ever keep my eyes fixed on you and abide under your great light; O my Beloved Star, fascinate me so that I may never be able to leave your radiance.

O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to him a super-added humanity wherein he renews his mystery; and you O Father, bestow yourself and bend down to your little creature, seeing in her only your beloved Son in whom you are well pleased.

O my “Three,” my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in whom I lose myself, I give myself to you as a prey to be consumed; enclose yourself in me that I may be absorbed in you so as to contemplate in your light the abyss of your Splendor! (St. Elizabeth of the Trinity)


I am the Most Blessed Trinity.  My Pronouns Are….
With so much attention being given to issues of gender and gender identity these days — much of it politicized and weaponized — often against very vulnerable populations frequently the target of violence,  I thought it might be helpful to see if the Christian doctrine of God might shed some light on human beings made in the image and likeness of the Most Blessed Trinity.
I begin with an unimpeachable source — Pope St. John Paul II — taken from his apostolic letter "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" (Mulieris dignitatem; 1988).   In this teaching of the papal magisterium we read the following:
[B]iblical language. . .points indirectly to the mystery of the eternal “gener­ating” which belongs to the inner life of God.  Nevertheless, in itself this “genera­ting” has neither “masculine” nor “feminine” qualities.  It is by nature totally divine. . . .Thus, even “fatherhood” in God is completely divine and free of the masculine bodily charac­teristics proper to human fatherhood. . . .All “generat­ing” in the created world is to be likened to this absolute and uncreated model.  Thus every element of human generation which is proper to man, and every ele­ment which is proper to woman, namely human “fath­erhood” and “mother­hood”, bears within itself a likeness to, or analogy with the divine “generating” and with that “father­hood” which in God is “totally different”, that is, comp­letely spiritual and divine in essence… (no. 8).
           One thing to note here is how the pope makes an an arguably revolution­ary statement which liberates Christian God-language from being neither patriarchal nor matriarchal — and so pronouns, despite conventional usage, are likewise variable.  
          My second source is a favorite theologian of both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Hans Urs von Balthasar.  He sees the trini­tarian mystery in such a way that both “masculine” and “feminine” — words always uses by way of analogy — ways of relating to one another are present between the first and second Persons of the Trinity:
In trinitarian terms, of course, the Father, who begets him who is without origin, appears primarily as (super-)masculine; the Son, in consenting, appears initially as (super-) feminine, but in the act (together with the Father) of breathing forth the Spirit, he is (super-) masculine.  As for the Spirit, he is (super-) feminine.  There is even something (super-) feminine about the Father too, since, as we have shown, in the action of begetting and breathing forth he allows himself to be determined by the Persons who thus proceed from him; however, this does no affect his primacy in the order of the Trinity. (TheoDrama vol. V, 91).
    One could say here that the binary relation between Father and Son, while affirming the distinction of Person, is non-binary in other respects. 
    In his doctoral dissertation on Balthasar's views on questions of gender, Claudio Giuliodori adds with respect to christology:
[I]n [Christ] there does not exist only the masculine component, but also the feminine one. If the human and divine coexist in full har­mo­ny in him. . .the masculine and feminine also compenetrate one another in such harmony that in him there is neither male nor female (Gal. 3:28), because in the singular and unifying synthesis of his Person there no longer exist any antithe­ses and oppositions, but all is in accord with the trinitarian commu­nion (Intelligenza Teologica, 169-9 passim; trans. mine).
          This, of course, is the reason why the Nicene Creed — whose faith we celebrate today in a special way — is careful to speak of the Incarnation as God becoming human, avoiding the word for male in Greek and Latin and using instead the generic word for human: something difficult in English which lacks an easy way to distinguish the two words.
          So then a balthasarian understanding of sexual differen­tiation is careful to integrate elements arising from “unity of substance” with those emerging from “distinction of person” in the male-female analogue to the trinitarian mystery. Nor, as noted above, does Balthasar limit his understanding to the level of being — at what “distinguishes” a person relative to another — but extends it to the level of function as well i.e. what “signifies” the quality of interpersonal relation.  For just as the divine Persons assume fluid attitudes or activities toward one another in virtue of their interrelation­ship, signifying their particular way of being in relationship to another Person, so do, by analogy, the genders: as with the trinitarian Persons’ being-in-relation­ship, attitudes and activities between the genders are not rigidly or exclusively construed.
        To sum up, from a Christian perspec­tive the unity-in-diversity or equality-in-distinction, of gendered human personhood is a particular reflection of the trinitarian nature of Archetypal Being.  The trinitarian God, who is essentially relatedness and unconditional self-giving — what the Christian Scriptures call agape as in todays gospel — has created in Its image and likeness "male and female" in their own variously construed interpersonal relations.  
But what might all this mean for today's controversies surrounding "gender ideology?"  It seems to me, given the interchange among the divine Persons of various ways of both being and acting, now one and now the other, that hardened or even complementary views of what constitutes gender should be carefully assessed so as not to stylize or tie them to forms which are, after all, highly conditioned by time and place.  What the Creator has made male and female in the image and likeness of "God" means for Christians the Trinitarian God whose reflection by analogy in embodied human persons ought to reflect the very fluidity and interchangeability of the divine Persons themselves in their relationship to One Another.  
         I conclude with the Benedictus antiphon from today's Lauds from the Liturgy of the Hours and a more honest — if difficult in English — translation than the one provided in the official text:
Benedícta sit creátrix et gubernátrix ómnium,
sancta et indivídua Trínitas,
et nunc, et semper, et per infiníta sæculórum sǽcula.
Blessed be the Creatrix and Governess of all things.
the Holy and Undivided Trinity,
Now and always, and unto unending ages of ages.

Nicene Creed

Intercessions (Joe Milner; The Sunday Web Site)

For the Church: that the unconditional love of the Trinity may strengthen and inspire each of us, deepen our love for one another, and help us to witness God’s love and mercy to others.

For a spirit of wonder and awe: that we may behold the marvelous deeds of God in nature, in relationships, and within ourselves and be motivated to cooperate with God in greater commitment and sincerity.

For a new experience of grace and mercy in our lives: that God’s love will free us from our past failures, give us courage to make amends, and help us renew and rebuild our significant relationships.

For all who are ill: that God will renew and restore all who have physical ailments and give strength to their caregivers.

For a healing of the wounds of racism: that God will heal all who have been impacted by discrimination, open hearts to the dignity of each person, and help all to work together against poverty, disease, and malnutrition.

For victims of human trafficking: that God will free them from captivity, awaken hearts to the suffering that exists, and bring forth a new attitude in society that respects the dignity of each person.

For refugees: that God will protect all who have fled their homes from harm, guide them on their journey, and lead them to hospitable communities.

For an end to violence in our cities: that God will give courage to all who are working for peace in neighborhoods, help the voices of those who have experienced injustice to be heard, and turn the hearts of those prone to violence toward new ways of working for change.

Merciful and gracious Father,
you showed the fullness of your love
when you gave your only Son for our salvation
and sent down upon us the power of your Spirit.
Complete within us the work of your love,
that we who have communion in Christ
may come to share fully
the undying life he lives with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Chant

Offertory Hymn (St. Hildegard of Bingen)


Laus Trinitati,
que sonus et vita
ac creatrix omnium in vita ipsorum est,
et que laus angelice turbe
et mirus splendor arcanorum,
que hominibus ignota sunt, est,
et que in omnibus vita est.

Praise be to the Trinity,
who is sound, and life,
and the creatrix of all things in their very life;
and who is the praised one of the angelic host,
and the wonderful radiance of secrets
that are unknown to men,
and the life in all things.

Communion Chant

Closing Hymn (John Stainer)


God so loved the world.
God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoso believeth, believeth in Him
should not perish, should not perish
but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world.
God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through Him might be saved.

God so loved the world.
God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoso believeth, believeth in Him
should not perish, should not perish
but have everlasting life,
everlasting life, everlasting, everlasting life.

God so loved the world.
God so loved the world.
God so loved the world.