Readings: Proverbs 8:22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16: 12-15
Today is Trinity Sunday- the day which celebrates how revelation has taught us who God is and how God’s activity for creation has been evident throughout history. Trinity- ‘oh my God, say many priests on this day- what can be said aside from the fact that ‘Trinity is a mystery’!
Let me give it a go- as they say. Today we celebrate first of all a God who encourages us to think, reflect and argue, as well as love. Why do I say this? As you may (or may not) know the term ‘trinity’ appears nowhere in the Bible. The early church wrestled with two seemingly irreconcilable issues: a belief in ONE God and the resurrection appearances of Christ showing his divinity. After centuries of reflection, arguments and false starts, during which, of course, there existed a popular belief (meaning belief of the people) that Christ and the Father were God, the Church accepted a view that God has shown Godself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are not masks of God nor three separate gods but point to difference as well as unity (three persons and one God). God allowed us to reflect, argue and ponder on Scripture to come to a view of Trinity (guided by the Holy Spirit). Second, Trinity Sunday points to a God who is mysterious; a God who cannot be figured out or put into a category which we can understand. God is beyond us; a God who is beyond time, space, location and is pure dynamic love. Third, it points to a God who is active in creation, redemption and sanctification; Christianity does not speak of God as a Divine Being who is an ‘old man’ sitting on a cloud and impassively watching the human drama from afar. No, God is active in love and calls all creation to love. Finally, Trinity points to diversity and the centrality of relationship. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united as One but are each distinct; they are not carbon copies but defined by relationships. This points to diversity in creation (why is there not just one type of dog?) and among us (each person is unique!)- a diversity which mirrors the difference within the Godhead. It also tells us that relationship is central to all life- a self-evident fact perhaps- and the Trinity calls us to relationships of love, mutuality and respect.
A God who allows us to think, who is beyond our understanding yet allowed us to learn something about God through revelation, a God who is active through all time and one who points to the value difference and unity as well as relationships. That is something to celebrate today.
Please support the Mission Doctors as they serve and establish relationships with God’s poor on our behalf.
God bless and Happy Trinity Sunday.
Brother John Kiesler, OFM