After the entrance procession and the Sign of the Cross, the priest greets the congregation with one of three greetings.The first option for the priest’s greeting is distinctly Trinitarian:
2 Cor 13:141. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,This greeting highlights three gifts from God – grace, love, and communion – and associates each with a different Person of the Trinity. Let's look at these three pairings more closely.
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The introduction to the Gospel of John uses the word "grace" four times in quick succession: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.… And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (Jn 1:14-17) As brief as that may seem, it is an excellent introduction to the concept of grace in the divine economy: grace comes to us through Jesus Christ. The doctrine of grace is fundamental to Christianity: “Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” (Catechism 1996)
The love of God. St. John could very well be called the evangelist of love. From his inspired hand we read that “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son” (Jn 3:16), that “love is of God” (1 Jn 4:7), and the profound but simple “God is love.” (1 Jn 4:8) It is from John that we learn of the “new” commandment to love one another, not merely as we would wish to be loved, but as Jesus loves us. (Jn 13:34) And how does Jesus love us? As God the Father has loved Him. (Jn 15:9) If our love is to be genuine, it must not just model itself after God’s love, it must be a true participation in His love, which includes obedience to Him. (1 Jn 5:2-3)
The communion of the Holy Spirit. The word “fellowship” in this greeting has been changed to “communion.” Communion is deeper and more intimate than fellowship. It means “in union with,” and the basis of this union is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us that makes us sons and daughters of a common Father, and sisters and brothers of a common Savior. Two people in fellowship may agree on some things and enjoy each other’s company from time to time, but to be in communion with Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit means that Jesus abides in you and you abide in Jesus. (Jn 15:4; 1 Jn 4:16) God exists in an eternal communion, not just a fellowship, and the “communion of the Holy Spirit” makes us participants in that divine and eternal relationship.