Our prayers and liturgical and sacramental celebrations begin and end in the name of the Holy Trinity — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament presents the manifestation of the Triune God. For instance, when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Father’s Voice was heard, and the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove. At the Ascension, Jesus gave the missionary command to his disciples to baptize those who believe, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is one of the mysteries that is challenging to explain. We also try to grapple with other complex theological terms such as consubstantial with the Father, transubstantiation, and other mysteries of God.
A mystery has no answer. We cannot understand it because it is something beyond the grasp of our human comprehension. We cannot comprehend a mystery, but we can stand before it and allow it to lead us to contemplation through the help of our disciplines like philosophy, theology, and spirituality, and by contemplating our own experiences.
There is a story about St. Augustine, one of the greatest and brightest witnesses of our Tradition. One day, he was struggling with the mystery of the Trinity and was trying to visualize an image of the Triune God. He decided to take a short walk along the beach of the city of Hippo where he was bishop. As he felt the serenity of the cool ocean breeze, he noticed a young boy running back and forth on the beach. The boy carried with him a small bucket and was filling the bucket with water from the ocean and running over and pouring it into a small hole which he had dug in the sand. He asked the boy, “What are you doing?” The boy gamely replied, “I’m taking all the water from the ocean and pouring it into this little hole.” Augustine replied, “how can that be possible, my friend?”
Then Augustine realized that he was that boy. He was trying to do the impossible, and he was trying to take the infinite vastness of God and pour it into the small hole of his finite mind.
Pope Francis once said that we could celebrate this great solemnity not by thinking about or arguing about concepts of how the Trinity works, but, by opening our hearts to a deeper relationship with God, who is love. Taking an example from our expereinces, we see that our Godly human family demonstrates the perfection of love. There is that unity, community, and belonging, which is the perfection of love.
So while the divine mystery is difficult to grasp, we know much about God the Holy Trinity when we live in love. On this Solemnity of teh Holy Trinity, we are invited to get out from the small box that sometimes limits our interaction with God and with others.
According to St. Julian of Norwich, in her work titled Revelation of God, she wrote that since God is our Maker, we should be people of wonder. We should always live with a sense of appreciation of the beauty around us. We should never forget that what we have comes from God’s love and kindness. Since God is a Lover, we should love Him in return and love those he entrusted to our care the way he loves us. Since God has offered to save us from our sinfulness, we should also claim and demonstrate self-giving with kindness and genuineness. Since God is the Consoler and Inspirer, we should always be people of great hope, for God will never give up on us. God will never dismiss or forget us. There will always be a future because God keeps what God has made.
The Key is that when we love the way God loves us, we can grasp the presence of the Triune God in our lives.
Fr. Dennis Gonzales