Paul on Paul – 30th May 2021

The Father is Not the Son who is not the Spirit; but All are God and God is Three in One.

Feast of the Holy Trinity; Year B
Romans 8: 14-17

“All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God; for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share his suffering, so as to share his glory.”


The mystery of the Trinity is the central Christian mystery of God’s identity. But, it is also central to Christianity’s purpose – to fundementally change us as created humans. It is this that Paul makes reference to in his letter to the Romans in c.60AD.

It has been noted before that Love is active and it needs someone who loves, one who is loved and love passing between them – and this is one view of the Trinity. The Father loves, the Son is the Beloved and the Holy Spirit is the love that flows between them.

In baptism, which changes our nature as humans, and in Confrimation even moreso, we ‘recieve the Holy Spirit’. We receive “…not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption…”. Baptism, then, should not create upon us a burden, or a “Catholic Guilt” for us to be worried about a God who judges or condemns us. It should, instead, create in us an openness to God and welcome us into the mystery of the Trinity.

If we recieve the “spirit of adoption”, then the Holy Spirit brings us, really, into God’s Love. We enter into the same relationship as the Father and the Son – we are literally called to be like Christ. We, as Christ did asked to call God “Abba” – which is what we would now call ‘dad’. We are asked to enter into an intimate relationship with Him – a relationship of ever-flowing love.

Paul’s letter to the Romans is called the Letter of God’s Love and Hope – and as we peer into the mystery of the Trinity, we can see why. The unity of the Trinity is the cenral mystery of our One, True, Living God. When we enter the Church, we enter into by the Holy Spirit of Love – is what unifies us to the Paschal scarifice as “…heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ…”, and leaves us fully open, and fully receptive to the Love of the Father which lets us, in the fulness of time, “… share his glory“.

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