Trinity Sunday

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity.  Three persons in one God.  It’s a mystery in that it can’t be fully explained, but any attempt to explain it, as rational as it seems, can be lacking at best, and comical at worst.  One of the most basic explanations was offered by a priest of the Spiritan order, who said the Holy Trinity is like a ham and cheese sandwich.  If you take either the ham, or the cheese or the bread away, it is no longer a ham and cheese sandwich.

But the readings for today show the presence of all three persons in one God.  God is the creator, and when the Word was spoken, it came into being.  The Word, of course, is the person of Jesus, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, showing us who God the Father was – not in a burning bush, and not in a small still voice, but in humanity.  Human beings need human interactions to create human experiences, and humanity experienced God the father in the person of Jesus.  In His words, “Who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).

The Holy Spirit was also there, as the breath of God that made the water separate itself from the land during creation.  The Holy Spirit was also in Jesus, because when he appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22).

Jesus also said, “Who knows Me knows the Father” (Jn 14:7).  By knowing Jesus, and not just knowing about Jesus (there is a difference), then we come to know God, and not just know about God, and the love God has for us.

Perhaps this is why it’s so difficult for so many people to come to know God today.  Jesus knows the Father.  Today, with single-parent families, mom is usually the one who takes of the children if the father is no longer in the picture.  The children may harbor resentment against their father for leaving them, or the father of a child may simply be a person who met a woman one particular night, or who was involved in an inappropriate affair.   Such actions don’t demonstrate love for another.  While a father might love his children, and the mother of those children may love them as well, the mother and the father may have grown apart and simply tolerate one another for the “good” of the children.  Unfortunately, as much as we like to think that’s “good,” it’s not.  The bond between the father, son and spirit is one of love, and it’s the same bond that must be present between father, mother and children.  In this respect, the family is also a representation of the trinity – a mystery that can’t be fully explained, yet can attempted to be understood.

Is it difficult to understand fully in human terms?  Yes.  Some may even say that it is next to impossible to hold a family together at this time in history based on our propensity toward individualism and personal identity preferences.  And rightly so.  After all, “With man, this is impossible.  But with God, all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26).

 

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