“FOR IN HIM DWELLS THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD”
Saint John 3. 1-15
THE FEAST OF THE HOLY TRINITY: 15 June Anno + Domini 2014
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In the Name + of Jesus
Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity: let us give glory to Him because He hath shown mercy to us.
What Adam knew of the Holy Trinity before the “fall” is not recorded for your edification. It is sinful to be preoccupied in speculating on that which The Lord has not revealed.
Theology is words about God but theology is not the study of God. God is not an insect under a microscope to be studied—He is Creator who shares Himself with His creatures; through the Word.
If even your closest friends, your spouse, your parents, don’t ever truly “know” and understand you—the inner you—the real you—like only you can; because only you are inside your head; how much less can any created being truly know the full depth of Trinitarian essence? The answer is one cannot. Thus, the Word of God comes to give the love and mercy of God to man. You have been given faith to respond with the angels: Holy, Holy, + Holy, is the Lord of hosts; of Him and through Him + and to Him are all things! Hallelujah!
The Word came to a man of the Pharisees.
Nicodemus was a secret supporter of The Christ, along with Joseph of Arimathea. Nicodemus wanted to know more about Jesus because Nicodemus believed in God…he was like Philip and Bartholomew of Bethsaida BEFORE they had been brought into the presence of Jesus.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee because he belonged to the Pharisee “party” of the day. Was this man a sinful hypocrite? Yes he was most certainly just like all of us. He visited Messiah at night for fear of being seen just like he and all of us sin in darkness so others won’t know what we’re really “up to.” A dark and midnight heart pumps out not blood but black brackish trespasses. Nicodemus and we need the Light of the world which brings Life.
Nicodemus was aware of the miracles of the Rabbi from Nazareth. He knew they were incredibly awesome and that no one could do them apart from God “being with him.” Nicodemus is close to THE TRUTH of Jesus.
The Feast of The Holy Trinity is a later feast day in the Churches history appearing in the fourth century to combat the heresy of Arianism. Arianism denied the true Divinity of Jesus. This Feast bespeaks the only saving reality—the truth about Jesus of Nazareth. One can believe what He did… leading a life of obedience and dying on the cross; but unless one believes WHO lead the obedient life—and that it was PERFECTLY and SINLESS in law-keeping; and WHO died for the sins of the entire world—shedding Blood and giving a Body that would atone for all men…then believing in Jesus is meaningless.
Knowledge of The Trinity, of God, cannot be obtained by mans knowledge or work. Man does not discover but rather God reveals and gives. God bestows faith and trust; by The Word. Saint Peter could never have made his famous confession, said Jesus, had not the Father given Him the revelatory knowledge of The Son.
At this night-time meeting Jesus gospels Life—how one is made alive—really alive unto life everlasting. Jesus is talking about the Sacrament of Holy Baptism and the work of God The Holy Ghost. Unless a baby is born, which happens from conception to delivery without cooperation of the baby, it does not live a natural life. Unless a man “be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” says Jesus. So Who is Jesus? Nicodemus own answers prove the Lords point. The Pharisee is clueless and lost in darkness of death. Jesus speaks God, Jesus speaks the Holy Trinity’s message: “I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and the of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
This is a mystery. Yes. Creatures are no mysteries because they can be weighed, x-rayed, probed, recorded, and even dissected and analyzed at the most elemental levels. The Creator cannot be so apprehended. The gifts of The Holy Ghost cannot be claimed, decided for, chosen, or boxed up. Of course the true God is a mystery—He is Sacrament: “The wind bloweth where it listeth…”
Nicodemus and all of us do not understand. Jesus gives us understanding by coming to us and making His home with us. His presence gives us faith to trust and cling to Him.
Nicodemus was not a “master of Israel.” The Sanhedrin were to have been faithful teachers of The God of the Scriptures but they had failed to cling to the true understanding of the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. To believe in the Old Testament means to believe in The Christ Who is the entire content of Hebrew Scripture.
The Father talks to no one directly. The Holy Ghost speaks to no one directly. The Blessed Three-in-One speaks Law and Evangel through The Only-begotten and ever existing Son by His Word. Jesus speaks and witnesses of what He knows and sees…of the things of God, for He alone is THE WORD. Jesus alone has descended from Heaven, from the right hand of majesty, to make known the heart of God, the true mind of TRINITY. “What does this mean?”
Jesus does not talk about triangles, schematic charts, triquetas or trefoils. The Christ is the face of the Trinity. The Creed named after blessed Martyr Bishop Saint Athanasius, confesses it the way The Word reveals it in Scripture. The Apostle Paul speaks the Truth of: The Father, in The Spirit, by The Son, the Word, when he writes to the Colossians “for in Him (Jesus the God/Man) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Yes.
It has been said that all Theology is Christology! Yes. But even more focused, ALL CHRISTOLOGY is CROSSOLOGY. To know The Holy Trinity, to believe in GOD, is to cling to the Crucifix and He Who is enthroned thereon. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” This is a scandal to the pagan, the mixed-up monotheistic heresies of Judaism (and Islam); and this is foolishness to the tri-theists, and multi-theists of Greeks and all their heathen brood (from pantheists to atheists). But we know nothing and preach nothing save JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED! [1 Cor. 23; 1 Cor. 2.2].
God is love and God is mercy and God is forgiveness. God is three-in-one and one-in-three. The Father is God, The Spirit is God, The Son is God. There is One God. There are Three Persons. It is mystery, it is Sacrament. To believe this is pure gift; GRACE! Look to the Cross to find The Christ. Not the Cross of 2,000 years past only, but the Cross today in your midst as the Fruit of the Tree, the Presence of the Body and Blood of your
Crucified, Risen, Ascended, and PRESENT LORD as it is placed into your ears (draped about, with and in you) and as you receive Him in His precious Body and most Holy Blood.
Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity: He gives glory to His own in absolving, forgiving, clothing + and feeding because He shows mercy to us…in the Name + of Jesus…which is
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost