The Holy Trinity appears to be a simple statement of fact but within it’s simplicity lies its complication. But as we often discover, “Out of the mouths of babes we often find gems.
One day at a confirmation being held in Newark, the archbishop asked the children for a definition of the Holy Trinity. A girl answered very softly, “The Holy trinity is three Persons in one god.” The archbishop, who was almost deaf, replied, “What … I didn’t understand what you said, “ The young girl who appeared to be a well versed theologian gave a pleasant little smile and replied, “You are not supposed to understand. The Holy Trinity is a mystery.
Often in our daily lives we attest to the truth of the Holy Trinity as we trace the trinity on ourselves as we make the sign of the Cross. We start by touching our forehead, bringing God into our minds. Then we bring the Holy Trinity down into our hearts and with our hearts filled with compassion we touch our hearts the seat of our compassion. And finally tough our shoulders indication the embrace in which we hold the burdens of our family, friends and our petitions.
Today the Church celebrates God’s revelation of Himself to us. This is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
The trinity feast goes back to the 12th century England and to the archbishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas Becket, who celebrated a Liturgy in honor of the Trinity in Canterbury cathedral. By the 14th century this tradition was celebrated throughout the entire universal church.
The belief in the Trinity is seen in the New Testament and can be referenced in a biblical concordance in about 40 different places, dating its acceptance back almost two thousand years.
We open each liturgy invoking the Trinity. We close it by calling upon those same persons. Throughout the Christianworld infants are received into our community through Baptism in the name of the Trinity and finally we are committed into the arms of the mysterious Trinity as we will be sent on the behalf of the Church, by the officiating clergy at our Funerals.
We speak about the Trinity and we seem to be drawn to it and as Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “The most wondrous think in the world is the mysterious.”
Our world is filled with mysteries. We live with them very comfortably. Science is a search for the unknown.
We might ask, where the Trinity came from: a Theologist would explain “The Blessed Trinity is the perfect community of life and love. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit live eternally, love eternally and pour out divine love and life in the world through the Body of Christ, which is the Church. We learn that God the Father’s love seeks to increase itself infinitely and embrace the whole world through the passion and death of His Son, reconciling us to Him, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life. The people of God, then, must be people of life. God’s perfect plan provides a place for life to come into the world; the marriage of man and woman in total self-giving. The self-donation of man and woman in marital life is the blessed earthly sign of Christ life giving death on the cross that brings us new life through redemption.
Man and woman joined in matrimony are the privileged cooperators in God’s will that life should go on. In marriage God joins both the life-giving and love-giving aspects of man and woman into one reality. “What God has joined man must not divide.” Thus love and life in marriage must not be divided. The two have been brought together as one gift by God.
It seems pretty difficult to understand who someone is and this question is even more difficult when we attempt to understand who we ourselves are. As an exercise we might ask ourselves, who of us understands themselves. 1/Most of us are still trying to figure out how water rises from the earth through the trunk of a plant and finds its way out to the leaves of the tree? 2/ The why and how of homing pigeons still mystifies us. 3/ How about the infamous common cold? Many cures not withstanding that mystery is not solved.
There are so many things which we don’t intuitively know the answers for. 4/ The New York Times, the self-acclaimed expert of most all things admitted with an uncharacteristic humility that they doubt humans will ever understand how the brain works. (I’m rather sure that if the NY Times admits to ignorance, the subject has to be a mystery)
5/Walt Whitman the author described mystery and reality as being two sides of the same coin.
As early as the first days of the Christian Era thegeniuses and the great thinkers wrestled with the concept of the Trinity, most struck out while every once in a while someone would hit a home run. As did holy St. Patrick who resorted to the lowly three leaf clover for his argument in explaining the Trinity.
6/ We know God is the Awesome One who existed before all times and who is his goodness created the universe and all within it. God the Creator is the God that we refer to when we say, “God the Father.”
But this Awesome God is also an Awesome Lover. In the Gospel of John we are told how God sent his Son to save the world from the evil that the world had turned to. God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. God’s son was sent not to condemn the world but that the world might be save d through him. There is a personal element here. The Son is sent not just to the world in general but to each of us so that we might be saved through him.
The Power of Love, the Power that binds us as one is itself the very spirit of God. The unity that we enjoy, the power of God that we possess, is the presence of God acting in our lives, and that is the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We belong to this Awesome God, this Awesome Love, and thisAwesome Presence. We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God’s life dwells within us. God dwells within us.
We carry God in the fragile vessel of our humanity, we seek his presence and love and power and pray to him within us and all around us. He is ours and we are his. This is the Gift of the Almighty to each of us, a gift that should not betrivialized with concepts of Force. But wemust know it as a gift that should be treasured withreverenceandrespect. How beautiful it is to be alive to God! How sad it is when we forget his.
The celebration of the most holy trinity is a celebration of the dignity we have received by being admitted into the mystery. The Mystery is God, His Power and Love and Presence are greater than our minds’ can measure and explain. He possesses us, and we possess him, not for ourselves but to continue his presence in the world.
And so let us celebrate the Holy Trinity as we make the sign of the cross. In the name of the Father and…