The Unity of the Trinity Calls us to Unity and Harmony


1st Reading – Deut. 4:32-34. 39-40; 2nd Reading- Rom. 8:14-17; Gospel – Matthew 28:16-20

The Unity of the Trinity Calls us to Unity and Harmony

To you the people of the Parish of Church of the Annunciation, Kpaduma, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you” (1 Cor. 13:13).

Gathered here, we all experience the joy of saying we have “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all” (Eph. 4:5-6).

Today is my first pastoral visit, during which I will by God’s grace, confirm 311 candidates.

I must commend the parish priest, Rev. Msgr. Aloysius Udoh, and his assistant, Fr. Peter Odoh, for the good work they are doing in shepherding the people of God placed in their care. I thank also, the entire parishioners for keeping the faith and contributing to building the Church of Christ. May God bless you all abundantly.

We often begin our prayers as Catholics by making the sign of the Cross and saying, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This enables us to share in God’s Trinitarian life of love. The mystery of the Trinity (three persons in one God) remains a sublime truth beyond the full comprehension of the human mind. Some find it perplexing, even illogical. The sign of the Cross reminds us also of the Cross of Christ. This great Solemnity of the Trinity was instituted in 1334 by Pope John XXII.

The Church reminds us that the three Divine Persons are distinct but not divided or separated. Instead, they work together in perfect unity. They have the same mission, which is, the salvation of the world. Despite being three distinct Persons, they have one essence. Our finite minds struggle to grasp this profound reality, but we don’t succeed. We are called not to understand it fully, but to believe it fully.

In our first reading, Moses reminds us of the wonderful and mysterious nature of the works of God and how we should be obeying His commandments. St. Paul on the other hand in our second reading tells us that the reason the disciples are God’s Children is that they have God’s Spirit in them. The Spirit that they received at baptism and at Pentecost is “the spirit of sonship”, and it makes them cry out, “Abba, Father!” It is not the “spirit of slavery, bringing fear into their lives.” This same Spirit was “poured into our hearts”, and “given to us to drink”, and we became God’s children. St John was moved to write, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are” (1 John 3:1).

As we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity, may we be united in love for God and one another. Let the spirit of hatred give way to love, let the spirit of corruption give way to sincerity and progress.

This feast reminds us further, that there is One God who is also the Father of all, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Traditionalist, rich, poor, white, black, boy or girl, man or woman, etc., we are all sons and daughters of the same One God.

Looking at the perfect harmony, the arrangement of times and seasons, the creation of over 8.1 billion human beings on earth with unique but similar features, points to the reality of one who is the uncaused Cause as St. Thomas Aquinas would say; one who stirs the affairs of the universe but remains unmoved; one who changes things but remains unchanged. If we can trace our existence as human beings to a Being who is infinite and immutable, it is therefore needless for Christians and Muslims to see each other as rivals. We must not allow mere external and accidental differences manufactured by disordered desires to truncate the genuine plan and design of God. We may pray differently, communicate differently, and dress differently, but it does not take away the fact of our common humanity; we must express mutual trust and cordial acceptance of one another despite our seeming differences.

I wish to quote extensively from His Royal Highness, Lamido Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, who paid a visit to the Our Lady of the Apostles (OLA) Sisters on May 15th, 2024, in Cork, Ireland. The Sisters established his alma mater – St Anne’s Primary School, Kakuri, Kaduna. They also founded the Queen of Apostles College- now Queen Amina College- and St Gerard’s Hospital among others, all in Kaduna.

He remembered to go and pay his respects to a wonderful woman, his headmistress, Sr. Katherine Devane, who passed away at the age of 95. He said this woman made a profound impact on his life. He wanted to thank the OLA sisters, the SMA fathers, and the Catholic Church for the education he received.

He observed that throughout his period in the Catholic school, there was no attempt to convert Muslim pupils to Christianity. In fact, their matrons made sure they (the Muslims) prayed, and during Ramadan, food was prepared at the right time for Muslims.

He said Sr. Katherine was a Catholic sister who showed so much love to a Muslim boy: “She showed me the kind of care and concern I would expect from a mother.

“I learned from an early age that there are wonderful people in every religion. After Sr. Katherine, no one could ever tell me all Christians were bad people and only Muslims were good. No one could teach me hatred or enmity for someone, simply because they were of a different faith, or stop me from loving those who love me and being kind to those who are kind to me simply because they are not Muslims.

“As I learned more about my religion and more of the Qur’an, I saw that the Qur’an teaches us to be kind and good and caring and just to all those non-Muslims who did not fight us for our faith or persecute us Q60:8-9 for instance). The only people we have problems with should be those who decide to fight us or stop us from being Muslims by force, without provocation.

“Yet we see people preaching hate and anger. Non-Muslims think this is Islam but in fact, it is the ignorance of the people and their misfortune in not knowing the power of Love. Just as Islamophobic Christians and misguided militia do not live by the teaching of Christ.

“Sr. Katherine taught- and gave- me LOVE at an early age. And in this, she influenced my life, and my worldview, even before I went to King’s College. She gave me an open mind to other faiths, and I have had the fortune since then, of having many friends- brothers and sisters- who are Christian. They have in some cases, shown me more love and loyalty than many of my blood relatives.

“Of course, I also have many Muslim friends – brothers and sisters – who have done the same. It only proves that there are good people and bad people everywhere. A bad Muslim or bad Christian is just a bad person. A good Muslim or good Christian is a good human being. Period.

“I just had to come to Sr. Katherine to tell her how much I love her. And to thank her for what she did in my life. And thank God for meeting her at the right time in my life- that is to say, at the beginning. I pray for my country Nigeria, that God brings us peace and that we learn that love and mercy are what we need, not hatred and bloodshed.

“Rest in peace, dear Sister.”

As we celebrate the unity of the three persons in one God we must do away with the dehumanizing religious, tribal, racial, and cultural discriminations, to appreciate and promote our oneness in God, despite our differences. We must do away with the spirit of division, hatred, and all forms of segregation and realize that we are one people with one God, living and working together for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

May our communion with each other draw us closer as sons and daughters of the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient Father in heaven.

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