The Holy Trinity
Deut 4:32-34,39-40; Rm 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20
On the Holy Trinity feast day the priest was preaching about Holy Trinity. Suddenly it began to rain. The priest used the rain to explain the unity in diversity of the trinity. He said something like this: The water that is falling is water, but it can exist in three different forms: gas, solid, and liquid-that is, in steam, in ice and in falling rain. Of course an analogy like this falls short of the reality. But it offers an insight into the Trinity. As there are not three different kinds of water but only water in three different forms, so there is only one God in three different persons.
Trinity is not a myth but a mystery. Myth is unreal but conceivable. A mystery is real but incomprehensible. This Mystery ( Holy Trinity) which has been hidden from ages and from generations but was made manifest by Christ.
Like all mysteries, Trinity is also a mind-boggling puzzle. We need not be surprised at this, because it is about the all powerful God who made the stars and the planets. It is about a God whose center is everywhere.
It is not only the Trinity that is a mystery; in fact nothing about God can adequately be explained. Even Jesus did not give a direct response to questions relating to God and the supernatural. For example, what is the Kingdome? They asked. A mustered seed he answered (Mt.13:31).
The Bible does not define it nor does it explain the creed of three persons in the one God. The mystery of trinity cannot be formulated but is revealed through events. Christ event being the core-message, the Gospels speaks about Jesus’ relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Whatever may be the illustration we may use to explain the Holy Trinity, this One-God-in-Three Persons is beyond our understanding. We do not have the intellectual capacity to comprehend it. Yet we know that the Trinity is the source and the dynamic center of the life of the Church.
There are only vague and hidden references to the Trinity in the Old Testament. But the New Testament gives clear teachings on the Holy Trinity.
1) At the annunciation, God the Father sends His angel to Mary, God the Holy Spirit overshadows her and God the Son becomes incarnate in her womb.
2) At the baptism of Jesus, when the Son receives baptism from John the Baptist, the Father’s voice is heard and the Holy Spirit appears as a dove.
3) At the ascension, Jesus gives the missionary command to his disciples to baptize those who believe, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In John, chapters 15-18, we have a detailed account of Jesus’ teaching of the role of each person of the Holy Trinity. 1) God the Father creates and provides for His creatures. 2) God the Son redeems us and reconciles us with God. 3) God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, strengthens us, teaches us and guides us to God. There is so much unity and harmony in the Triune God.
Whatever may be the depth of our understanding of the Trinity, it will remain a mystery. Hence instead of worrying ourselves about how can one God be three persons? It is better to ask a more useful question, which could be this. What is it like to be God? To know what it is like to be God, we must get closer to God and start living a life of intimacy with him. And to live such a life of intimacy with God is not impossible for Christians because our God already dwells in every believer. As St.Paul says. The love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Rom.5:5). God is closer to us than we imagine.
We can follow Christ’s example and live in harmony with God. Those who are close to the Trinity will start living their lives in the right way.
Today the church invites us to reflect on the great mystery of God’s love, and concern what God the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit are for us. The church invites us to reflect one the meaning of the confession of faith:
I believe in God, the Father. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only son. I believe in the Holy Spirit.
In the context of today’s readings we can say: the Father is the power of God. The son is the wisdom of God. The Holy Spirit is the love of God.
Angelus Silesius says: “Do not seek God in our space-your heart is the only place in which to meet him face to face”.
Today’s feast reminds us all that we too are created in the image of the Holy Trinity. And so we have to give up all that is individualistic and selfish in us in order to be communicators and sharers of God’s love in the community as the Holy Trinity does. In spite of the differences of opinion, outlook and attitude, we have to learn to live in harmony. That is God’s creative plan.
The feast of the most Holy trinity reminds us of his unfathomable love for each one of us, a love that never gets exhausted. Through this love we are transformed, we become heirs of God’s kingdom.
So let us try to cherish in our families, communities and society the love of God and the neighbor so that we may be credible witnesses of Christ’s message and that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.