The Triune God Isn’t All That Scary After all.

This Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, or Trinity Sunday! We priests often joke that a new seminarian is often appointed to preach on this day by the Pastor because no one can explain the Holy Trinity!

I know that many will suggest that the Trinity is an obscure doctrine that we’re better without, to bring more simplicity to the Christian faith, but I have found that the Trinity is more than a doctrine, it’s a way of seeing God. I believe there is richness in seeing God in all of God’s diversity within a great mystery that is often unfathomable and indescribable! The doctrine of the Holy Trinity arose out of a desire to explain how God was to be perceived in both revealed and experiential ways.

In the Trinitarian Godhead, we first have the Creator God who brought all life into being. It is the God we read about at the beginning in Genesis, the God who is sovereign and yet who has placed responsibility for the earth into our human hands. It is the God Who breathed his Ruach – His breath – that caused our animation in His own image. And it is this same God whom Jesus knew throughout His boyhood and His ministry as a close personal relationship with his Father.

Then there is God incarnate; Jesus the Son, our Christ, who shared our human life, in all its frailty, vulnerability, and fragility, even to the point of death itself, save sin. He was raised from the dead for the life of the world and to lead us home one day to His Father in Heaven, too.

And finally, running through the Salvific history of the people of God, there is the life-giving Spirit of God. This Spirit breathed over the waters of creation at the beginning of time, hovered over Jesus at His baptism, and Who was poured out on the people of God at Pentecost that we just celebrated last Sunday! The Spirit – as wild as wind and unpredictable as fire, but as gentle as a dove – opens us to a deeper understanding of one another in all the varied and different languages we hold as our own and then brings us together as one in Him. The Trinity, then, reminds us of the different faces of God, yet the way in which these are held together in the one true God.

If we can set aside the need to understand the unexplainable inter-relationships between the three faces of God, there lies at its heart a clear sense of God’s presence in the world in three profoundly different ways. If we can do that, we find a level of peace never known before deep within us. We are calm within Him Who loved us before we were even known!

I believe that in our current age of brokenness and meanness and unsociability, with all that our world is going through, relationality and mutual belonging are hugely important. As Christians, when we participate actively in Christ, we share in that relationship with God. It’s not just an individual matter, it is our corporate identity as followers of Jesus. By willingly being taken into relationship with our God, we are then automatically taken into a richer relationship with each other.

At the Pentecost Mass last weekend, a day that celebrates the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the one true holy Church, Pope Francis’ message focused on two points: strength and kindness. He said that the Holy Spirit provides strength—the energy that helps in the face of difficulties and kindness that brings strength to be in relationship without constraints.

The Holy Father added that it is important for Christians to remember that evangelization for the Church is meant for everyone, not just a privileged few. So is the Holy Spirit! It is – as in all things – a relational journey of love and hope for a future together yet to come, far away from our brokenness and need for individuality and power.

May the Spirit of God bring us deeper into the hope of tomorrow, together.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come…

Monsignor +Jim 

Leave a Comment