Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. The very mention of the name---Trinity---conjures up the ancient struggle to try to understand the mystery of how a God of three persons is possible. Three yet one and one yet three is a concept we can’t wrap our minds around! We have used a variety of visual aids, shamrocks, geometric shapes, and other analogies trying to understand, but we have come to realize that we don’t understand. We believe that the Trinity is as much a mystery to ponder as a relationship to be experienced. It is only through Jesus that the mystery of the Trinity is made knowable as Father, Son and Spirit.
Trying to understand the Trinity, we consult expert Fr. Richard P. McBrien who stated: We relate to God and God relates to us as Parent, as Son, as Brother, and as abiding and living Spirit. That is the way we express our most fundamental relationship with God, and God’s fundamental relationship with us. Therefore, when we reflect on the doctrine of the Trinity today, we can do so because the doctrine is already there, as a given aspect of our Christian experience, consciousness and faith.”
It is the mystery and beauty of this fundamental relationship between God and all of his creation that is the heart of the Trinity. “I shall not solve the most difficult of Christian mysteries, I shall not bore you with technical theology,” said Farther Walter Burghardt, the great author and homilist, “but I feel I must tell you of a God who does not dwell in outer space far from humanity. Our Trinity, God, three in one, is a God for us. Yet not only for us but with us, and through the power of the presence of the Spirit, within us.”
When Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection, he reflected a radically different image. This was not Father-God, the Yahweh of the Old Law, but the God who raised his Son from death not willing to see his life ended. Nor is this the storyteller-Jesus who forgave sins and fed the hungry, but Jesus the Christ, who was obedient unto death working to establish the kingdom. It was this resurrected Jesus who released the Spirit-God into the world and made him present to every person for all time. Our Trinitarian God is attached forever to all humanity, and bound to us in love.
At the appointed time, Jesus returned, but was only recognized by some of his followers. What if Jesus appeared today in our church? Who would recognize him? Theologian Justo Gonzalez contends, “The Trinity represents a Godhead whose very existence is that of a sharing Being, coequal in power, awe and authority. That means that, “poverty and all other forms of want and need are at odds with the doctrine of the Trinity and are a contradiction of the faith of those who claim and profess a Triune God.” This three-in-one God has promised to be with us as we travel through life, a promise reflected in our Gospel: “Behold, I am with you always until the end of the age.” Can we see him?
----Deacon Wilson Shierk