Deut 4:32-34,39-40; Rm 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20
Dear Friends! A couple received by mail two tickets for a first class New York City Broadway show. They did not understand who sent them, but they thankfully went. They returned home and found their home stripped of cash, paintings, and jewels. On their table, they found a note which read, “NOW YOU UNDERSTAND.” We will never receive a similar note about the Trinity.
A good illustration of the Trinity comes from world renowned scientist Dr. Henry Morris. He notes that the entire universe is Trinitarian by design. The universe consists of three things: matter, space, and time. Take away any one of those three and the universe would cease to exist. But each one of those is itself a trinity. Matter = mass + energy + motion. Space = length + height + breadth. Time = past + present + future. Thus the whole universe witnesses to the character of the God who made it (cf. Psalm 19:1).
Whatever may be the illustration we may use to explain the Holy Trinity, this One-God-in-Three Persons is beyond our understanding. We do not have the intellectual capacity to comprehend it. Yet we know that the Trinity is the source and the dynamic center of the life of the Church.
There are only vague and hidden references to the Trinity in the Old Testament. But the New Testament gives clear teachings on the Holy Trinity.
1) At the annunciation, God the Father sends His angel to Mary, God the Holy Spirit overshadows her and God the Son becomes incarnate in her womb.
2) At the baptism of Jesus, when the Son receives baptism from John the Baptist, the Father’s voice is heard and the Holy Spirit appears as a dove.
3) At the ascension, Jesus gives the missionary command to his disciples to baptize those who believe, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In John, chapters 15-18, we have a detailed account of Jesus’ teaching of the role of each person of the Holy Trinity. 1) God the Father creates and provides for His creatures. 2) God the Son redeems us and reconciles us with God. 3) God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, strengthens us, teaches us and guides us to God. There is so much unity and harmony in the Triune God.
There is an old story about a henpecked husband who went to a psychologist. He was tired of being dominated by his wife. The psychologist told him, “You do not have to accept your wife’s bullying. You need to go home right now and let her know that you’re your own boss.” The husband decided to take the doctor’s advice. He went home and slammed the door on the way in. He confronted his wife and said, “From now on you’ll do what I say. Get my supper, then go upstairs and lay out my clothes. After I eat, I’m going out with the boys while you stay home. By the way, do you know who is going to tie my tie for me?” “I sure do,” said his wife calmly, “the undertaker.” Some marriages are filled with conflict. So are some offices. Unfortunately some churches are filled with conflict as well. The feast of the Holy Trinity challenges us to cultivate the Trinitarian relationship of love and unity in our families and offices/ work places and parishes.
We are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only as one member of a relationship of three partners. The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with all other people and in a vertical relationship with God. In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. Modern society follows the so called “I-and-I” principle of unbridled individualism and the resulting consumerism. But the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity challenges us to adopt an “I-and-God-and-neighbor” principle. I am a Christian insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and other people.
Let pray that our relationship in our family, church and society be that of Trinitarian God.