There is a profound mystery that the Feast of the Holy Trinity recalls: both the unspeakable reality of God and the manner in which this mystery has been given to us. This is the only day of the year when we are called to ponder a teaching of the Church rather than a teaching of Jesus.
Though the mystery of one God in three persons is the core belief of Christianity, so many of us struggle to explain this central teaching. Monotheistic Christians do somersaults trying to explain why such a belief doesn't make them polytheists.
Within our Christian communities, the doctrine of the Trinity is called many things these days besides amazing or awesome. Some people call it archaic, obsolete or patriarchal. Others, believing that ancient confessional statements and doctrines no longer serve us, have totally abandoned Trinitarian language for something far less complicated.
Others still have chosen a favorite member of the Trinity and have put all of their theological eggs into one basket. Some, concerned that the Trinity expressed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit portrays the Godhead as overly male, have worked to change the language.
Some people have opted to ignore the Father-Son relationship. Others are enraged that we could even tinker with the ancient language of faith. The doctrine of the Trinity was originally formulated to give words to our faith. Just as the early Christians who lived in a hostile world needed to put some definitive language to what they believed Christ had revealed to them, so to do we need a common language and common confession in a world that is increasingly hostile to Christianity.
The Trinity holds us accountable, and keeps us from the temptation of worshipping a one-dimension deity. The full view of God found in the Trinity lifts up a God who is more than a Creator who made the world at one shining moment in history, and then left it to run its course. We do not worship and adore a process, but a provider who continues to create and move among us.
We cannot explain the whole thing because it remains very mysterious. But we must explain each and every day, in faithful and articulate language, what God has done among us, what God is doing now and what God promises will be accomplished.
Mysteries explained cease to be mysteries. The doctrine of the Trinity challenges our secret desires to know God fully and eliminate all mystery. This was the great sin in the garden at the beginning of biblical history that caused the fall from grace. I often think that the desire to dispel all mystery still burns deep within us.
God is communication between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity celebrates the peace and unity of the divine persons in whom that circular dance of love continues, always in relationship with others. The Trinity, three Persons in one God, mystifies the human mind.
God delights in us human beings fashioned by God's hand. As we celebrate this mysterious feast of the Holy Trinity, let us be thankful for the manifold ways that God’s abundant love has been poured out upon us, making our families and parishes communities reflecting God’s own communitarian life.
Though we may struggle in understanding the Holy Trinity, we nevertheless take it into our very hands each time that we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross. Words once spoken over us at baptism become the words with which we bless ourselves in the name of the Trinity. Herein lies the meaning of this unique, one God in three Persons.
Glory to you, Holy Trinity,equally great to the end of the ages.We adore you, we praise you, we give you thanksbecause you were pleased to reveal the depth of your Mysteryto the humble, to little ones.Grant that we may walk in faith and joyful hopeuntil the day when it will be ours to livein the fullness of your love and to contemplate foreverwhat we now believe here below:God who is Father, Son and Spirit! Amen.
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.,
C.E.O., Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation
-Watch Fr. Rosica’s Reflections online by clicking HERE.