Most Holy Trinity-May 26, 2024

After High School, my older brother Antonio went into mandatory military service. After those twelve months, he decided not to attend college. Instead, he became an entrepreneur. For over 35 years he operated different types of businesses in our town, such as a small cinema, a pool hall, and a nightclub. Now he is a commercial property owner and rents out units to small businesses.

The small movie place Antonio ran was his first business venture. It was during the Betamax movie era, which he would project on the wall. To advertise the movies, Antonio would walk through the main streets in town around 5:00 pm, with a megaphone announcing the movie of the evening. I vividly remember the time he was showing Raiders of the Lost Ark. When a friend of mine heard him announcing the movie, he said to my brother, “I thought the Ark had already been found.”

As I reflected this past week on the readings and theme for today’s solemnity, the Most Holy Trinity, this memory came to mind. Today I will be talking about the Ark of the Covenant that Moses built in the desert, which was a symbol of God in the Old Testament. I will present the Ark along with other symbols used in the desert that were hidden representations of the Holy Trinity.

God instructed Moses to build an Ark to be in the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle. The Ark was to contain the tablets with the Ten Commandments. Alongside the Ark, Moses was to place a table that would contain the bread of the presence and a lampstand (known as the Menorah with seven branches). The Ark was to be always hidden with a veil.

In the desert, God did not directly reveal the mystery of his own reality as the Holy Trinity to Moses. However, God revealed the mystery indirectly through symbols. The Ark represented God the Father, who is always hidden from our sight, and who was present in the Law of the Covenant. The bread of the presence represented God the Son, the true bread that came down from heaven. The lampstand represented the Holy Spirit, the fire of God that bestows his seven gifts on the Church.

In today’s first reading from the book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people of Israel that they should be proud of their intimate knowledge of God, knowledge that no other nation in the world had. Moses says, “This is why you must know, and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4: 39). In the gospel reading, the Lord at his Ascension tells the disciples, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28: 18). In other words, the Lord is saying that he is God.  

The presence of God in the Ark is truly remarkable in the religion of Israel. By the special gift of the Law of the Covenant, God is present to Israel and the people can live in the presence of God. There is an intrinsic connection between the reality of God and his commandments. They go hand in hand. Moses concludes his words to the people in the first reading this way, “And you must keep his statutes and commandments which I command you today…that you may have long life” (Deuteronomy 4: 40). Similarly, the Lord concludes his dialogue with the disciples referring to the commandments, “Go, make disciples… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28: 20). 

The Ten Commandments are wrapped up in the knowledge of the mystery of God. Today, on this solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we worship the mystery of God, and we thank the Lord for revealing his mystery to us. Today we also acknowledge that the revelation of God’s mystery necessarily compels us to live in the holiest way, the way depicted through God’s Commandments. Let us humbly ask the Lord to grant us his grace to always abide by his holy precepts.