Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Living the Mystery

Holy Trinity Sunday Year A

Do you get a headache whenever you think or talk about the Trinity? Many of us are often caught up in the problem of numbers and mathematics – how can three be one and how can one be three? We often forget that this isn’t what the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is all about. Today’s readings give us three areas of reflection.

The doctrine of the Trinity highlights the fact that God is mystery. In the old testament, like in today’s first reading, we read about God appearing on mountain tops and speaking from clouds. Mystery here doesn’t mean that God has kept many things secret. On the contrary, God has fully revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ. When we speak of mystery, we are speaking of the limitations of human knowledge. Man may have advanced in science and medicine and many other fields, but he is still unable to explain everything. This is because man is himself a mystery. Life and death are mysteries. The universe is a mystery. Suffering is a mystery. Love is a mystery. And finally God is a mystery. Learning this truth will make us more humble. Learning this truth will make us understand that we do not have all the answers to all the problems in the world. Learning this truth will allow us to depend wholly on God and allow him to take charge of everything.

The second truth which we can learn from today’s feast is that God is a God of relationships. Mystery does not mean that God keeps at a distance. Although we can never fully know or understand the depth of God’s mind, we can still have an intimate relationship with him. In fact, man was created for relationship with God. This is possible only because God chooses to come close to us. He does not come close to us by descending from the clouds. God comes close to us by becoming one of us. God the Son came into the world in order to save it. God the Son became human, became one of us, so that we might become one with God.

God chooses to come close to us because he is love. This is the third truth that we can learn from today’s feast. If there is any quality which can best describe the nature of God, it is Love. The Trinity is not a thing. It is a relationship of persons. The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father and this love is perfected by the bond of the Holy Spirit. That is why St. Paul reminds us that we should “grow perfect; help one another, …be united, live in peace” because we are made in the image and likeness of this God of love and peace.

If we are to be signs of the Trinity in today’s world, then we must be people who are able to live with mystery. In other words, we must remind the world that there is more than meets the eye, that there is a greater truth than that which is revealed by science – it is God. We are also called to be witnesses of the Trinity through our way of life. We must strive to build communities where we can live in unity and peace and in mutual forgiveness. When we are able to express this in our actions and words, the Trinity ceases to be a mere concept but becomes alive in each of our lives.

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