Today is the day we take time to reflect and celebrate on the Christian understanding of God, three persons and one nature. Christianity is monotheistic but radically different from the other two major monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam. The Trinity is a mystery- possibly your priest at Mass will leave consideration of the Trinity at that point- but to say only that tells us nothing, for everything is ultimately mysterious.
So what can we say about the Trinity? First, it is not a mathematics puzzle (or a theological version of the Rubik’s Cube) where we try to find out 1+1+1=1. Rather the starting point is that the Christian view of God is relational, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct yet each fully God. Communion with difference is essential to God and, this difference is reflected in creation by the amazing diversity of animals and plants. So why should we care? The Christian view of God as triune means that we are created for community/communion with other people, nature and God- no one is a ‘lone ranger’. Second, most of us view God, influenced by Enlightenment thought, as a distant being remote from daily life. God is seen as far, far away and has seemingly left the world for humanity to sort out on its own. But this is not a proper vision of the Christian God of the Trinity. God is everywhere and always with us, as the stories of the Old and New Testaments remind us. Furthermore, the Son becoming human out of love meant taking on the fullness of the human condition, exceptsin, in order to save us from within the human state. This linking of human and divine natures did not end with the Resurrection or the Ascension- Christ has brought human nature to the essence of Godself. There is no longer an unbridgeable gap between God (eternal, formless, beyond time and limits) and humanity; we have in Christ a link to God to whom we can appeal and gain help in our daily life. Finally, the Trinity shows us a God who is ultimate mystery (how to understand a person with no body; beyond history and time; yet who is transcendent and well as present everywhere) beyond the human reason to fully understand. But this mystery is LOVE. We are called to love, seek communion, and realize our God is not far away but right with us now, regardless of where we are. These are things to celebrate!
MDA doctors bring healing and encounter how the Holy Spirit has touched people, many very poor economicaly, perhaps that same Spirit is moving us to help this healing work.
Happy Trinity Sunday!
Brother John Kiesler, OFM