June 7, 2020
By designating the first Sunday after Pentecost “Trinity Sunday,” the Church directs the spotlight on one of the most important mysteries of our faith. However, in doing so, the Church has placed a heavy burden on preachers. It is hard work to think of fresh images to help the faithful wrap their minds around the truth that God is three Divine Persons in one Divine Being. Quite honestly, no matter how much light is shed on this “threeness” God has Self-revealed, there is no image that properly and fully reflects how this can be…how God can be THREE IN ONE.
I must admit, however, that as I was gathering my own thoughts in preparation to preach this weekend, I ran across a reflection that was impressive. An unidentified Episcopal minister told her congregation that being pregnant with twins gave her a deeper sense of the Blessed Trinity.
It seems to me that was a fine starting point, but nevertheless, fails to capture fully the relationship between The Creator, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. Still, it leaves us, like that minister…pregnant…with a sense of how three distinct persons can share a special union with one another. The “sense,” however, will not give birth to a real experience of the Triune God until we, ourselves, are reborn into Eternity.
Maybe “a sense of It” is all we can hope for until we are part of the Reign of God and share fully in the Divine Life. Here and now, maybe the best we can do is focus on each Personality.
Our Creator presents an image of a loving and forgiving parent…slow to anger and quick to forgive. Jesus is Divine assurance of how valued we are and how eager God is to be present to us…part of our lives, so that we might be part of The Divine life. Moreover, The Lord shows us what great things we are capable of when we do our best to imitate His example of perfect obedience to The Father.
Finally, the Holy Spirit pours out over all creation the resources needed for humanity to take full advantage of the “new beginning” that has been won for us through the perfect obedience of The Son to the will of The Father. The Holy Spirit has been sent to “renew the face of the earth.”
That being said, God has also revealed how these Three Persons relate to and interact with one another. The Triune God has eternally coexisted in a state of perfect harmony, mutual respect and cooperation, and unconditional love.
On this Trinity Sunday, it might serve us better to take the spotlight off of the “threeness” of God and shine that revealing light on ourselves. Rather than wrestle with theological concepts that truly are beyond our finite capabilities, it might be best to simply remind ourselves that the Creator called us into being in The Divine image and likeness. Rather than ask the question:
HOW CAN GOD BE THREE DIVINE PERSONS IN ONE DIVINE BEING?
I wonder if a better question might not be:
HOW CAN I COEXIST WITH THE REST OF HUMANITY IN A STATE OF PERFECT HARMONY, MUTUAL RESPECT AND COOPERATION, AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?
The events of the past days, beginning with an unnecessary death in Minneapolis, should remind us of why it is important to ponder the Divine Mystery of the Blessed Trinity…but also…why it is essential to put the spotlight on…us…ALL OF US!