KOTA KINABALU: At the beginning of his sermon on Trinity Sunday, the parish priest of St Simon Catholic Church Likas, Fr Cosmas Lee, cited the common dictum (slogan) of the many Catholic institutions of formation and education: “Raro solus, nunquam duo, semper tres (Rarely alone, never two, always three)”.
“The idea is, in our formation years as we grow, we should not build exclusive relationships, that we should be open to all – that to relate to everyone is important,” he said, adding that such upbringing helps develop healthy relationships.
“I urge young people to take it seriously, especially when you’re supposed to be studying. Before we get into truly individualistic relationship, we must live by the nature of God in whose image we are made.”
He related how sometimes he would jokingly ask Catholic couples on the size of their families.
“How many children? If they say ‘one’, I say ‘fail’; if they say ‘two’ – still fail; if three, just pass. More? Pass (credit). Five and above? Distinction!” At this, the congregation laughed.
“We know how difficult it is to raise children. People complain about money, time and attention. But it is extremely important that the child grows up among the siblings – in community.”
Fr Cosmas said that if the child is the only offspring in the family, “it will be a miracle that he/she does not become a Little Napoleon”. He went on to say if there are two siblings in the family, the child would probably turn out to be a “chronic businessman”.
However, he said, if the child grows up among three siblings or more, he/she would learn to relate and “eventually to struggle to love like God – the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit”.
“There isn’t much use actually to go into the theological explanation of how God is one and then three. You just say that in substance, in essence, that in nature, in being – God is one.
“In this one God, there are three divine, distinct, persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We have tried to understand it through philosophy, through theology, but in the end it is impossible truly to understand with our little human creature mind.
“It is a mystery of God that has been revealed to us through Scriptures, especially through Jesus, the Son. But the truth is the whole world is founded on one God in whom are three divine persons and that has to be the ground, the pattern of our life that we live as individual persons – yet in community.”
Referring to the first reading that day, he said:
“The Church has taught us through the Book of Proverbs that Wisdom, the Word, which was incarnate, that became flesh – in other words – the Son, was co-eternal with the Father.
“He had always been with God, the Creator. He is co-eternal, He is consubstantial with the Father. And in all the big and small things of the world, the Father and the Son are at work together in perfect unity.”
Meanwhile, citing St Paul’s letter to the Romans in the second reading, he said:
“Paul tells us that in the life of the disciple, in the life of the one who has faith in Jesus, that faith justifies him. And that’s why we can boast about being justified and be saved.
“What we can boast about is our suffering in Jesus because suffering brings patience; patience brings perseverance…
“We know this hope in us is not deceptive because the Spirit is dwelling in us. Because the Spirit convicts and convinces us that, indeed, we are sons and daughters of God. All these readings talk about God working together and is seen as one.
“In Jesus’ words to the disciples in the Upper Room, He talks about sending us the Spirit who is the Truth, and will lead us to the complete Truth. And the Spirit will say everything to us of what was Jesus’. And what was Jesus’ is the Father’s… perfect harmony of God, the Father, the Son and the Spirit.”
He also said that in today’s world, the individualism, subjectivism attitudes are centre stage. “God is not like that. God is Father, Son and Spirit – God the Father, working together with the Son and the Spirit, created all things; Jesus the Son, listening and obeying the Father came on earth and stayed united, loving His Father to the very end; and God the Spirit, is us – our life that empowers us to God the Father by the way of Jesus.”
“When we make the sign of the Cross, ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’, let these grow in our heart… we must be reminded that all our life as an individual person and in community, must always be lived and prayed, through our Lord Jesus, Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
“That’s the Godly principle and formula of Christian life,” he said, concluding the sermon.