Preacher’s Sketchbook: Trinity Sunday

May 31, 2012

Each week, a Dominican member of the Provincial Preaching Advisory board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.


St. Maximus the Confessor, Commentary on the Our Father

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BY THY NAME: THY KINGDOM COME. The words of the prayer point out the Father, the Father’s name, and the Father’s kingdom to help us learn from the source himself to honor, to invoke, and to adore the one Trinity. For the name of God the Father who subsists essentially is the only-begotten Son, and the kingdom of God the Father who subsists essentially is the Holy Spirit.

St. Maximus the Confessor, Commentary on the Our Father

Our Father. Thus at the beginning of this prayer we are directed to honor the consubstantial and superessential Trinity as the creative Cause of our coming into existence. Further, we are also taught to speak to ourselves of the grace of adoption, since we are worthy to call Father by grace the one who is our Creator by nature.

Bl. John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them

Man became the image of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons, which man and woman form from the very beginning… Man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. He is, in fact, “from the beginning” not only an image in which the solitude of one Person, who rules the world, mirrors itself, but also and essentially the image of an inscrutable divine communion of Persons.

Bl. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio

Underlying all the Church’s thinking is the awareness that she is the bearer of a message which has its origin in God himself (cf. 2 Cor 4:1-2). The knowledge which the Church offers to man has its origin not in any speculation of her own, however sublime, but in the word of God which she has received in faith (cf. 1 Tm 2:13). At the origin of our life of faith there is an encounter, unique in kind, which discloses a mystery hidden for long ages (cf. 1 Cor 2:7; Rm 16:25-26) but which is now revealed: “In his goodness and wisdom, God chose to reveal himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of his will (cf. Eph 1:9), by which, through Christ, the Word was made flesh, man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit and comes to share in the divine nature” (Dei Verbum 2).

Bl. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio

It should nonetheless be kept in mind that Revelation remains charged with mystery. It is true that Jesus, with his entire life, revealed the countenance of the Father, for he came to teach the secret things of God. But our vision of the face of God is always fragmentary and impaired by the limits of our understanding. Faith alone makes it possible to penetrate the mystery in a way that allows us to understand it coherently.

Bl. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio

By faith, men and women give their assent to this divine testimony. This means that they acknowledge fully and integrally the truth of what is revealed because it is God himself who is the guarantor of that truth. They can make no claim upon this truth which comes to them as gift and which, set within the context of interpersonal communication, urges reason to be open to it and to embrace its profound meaning. This is why the Church has always considered the act of entrusting oneself to God to be a moment of fundamental decision which engages the whole person.

Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity

Love is always mysterium—more than one can reckon or grasp by subsequent reckoning. Love itself—the uncreated, eternal God—must therefore be in the highest degree a mystery—“the” mysterium itself.

Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity

As mediator [Jesus] is God himself and “man himself”—both with equal reality and totality. But this means that God meets me here not as Father, but as Son and as my brother, whereby—both incomprehensibly and quite comprehensibly—a duality appears in God: God as “I” and “You” in one. This new experience of God is followed finally by a third, the experience of the Spirit, the presence of God in us, in our innermost being.

Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week

The Cross itself has become God’s glorification, the glory of God made manifest in the love of the Son. This glory extends beyond the moment into the whole sweep of history. This glory is life. It is on the Cross that we see it, hidden yet powerful: the glory of God, the transformation of death into life.

Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week

The old manner of human companionship and encounter is over. From now on we can touch Jesus only “with the Father.” Now we can touch him only by ascending. From the Father’s perspective, in his communion with the Father, he is accessible and close to us in a new way.



Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Sunday Preacher’s Resource

 Trinity Sunday (Year B)

Additional Preaching Resources

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