May 26, 2013 THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY GOSPEL ..................... Jn 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.
Why should we care about the Doctrine of the Trinity?
God is not alone; that is the essence of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. God is in fact a community of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This seems relatively simple, but if you’re not careful you might start envisioning God as something like a bridge club! The use of the term “persons” can be easily misunderstood and therefore needs to be clarified. When we say ‘person’ we typically mean an individual human being separate and distinct from other human beings. That is not how the term ‘person’ is used when describing the Trinity, however. A divine person speaks more about an eternally existent relationship within God, rather than a reality of being that involves a notion of separateness.
For that reason, the unity of God must be clearly proclaimed as well. God is one. God is three persons in one God. God is simple, not complex; in other words, he has no parts. This means that there is no aspect of God of which you or I can be aware that is not Trinitarian. There is no point within which the Father ends and the Son begins or at which the Son ends and the Spirit begins. God is one. The term ‘persons’ again must be seen in its sense of relationship, rather than subsistent being.
God the Father “begets” the Son. The term “beget” here is used in order to differentiate it from any concept of production or making. Moreover, the Father eternally begets the Son; always has and always will. The Son is not a created being, He is eternal. The Father begets the Son by pouring out everything he is in complete self-giving to the Son. This ‘pouring out’ (kenosis) is total and complete, yet the Father never runs out or himself and the Son is never filled. This pouring out and receiving is total, complete and eternal. So significant is this reciprocity of love that the Holy Spirit is inspired (literally ‘breathed forth’) from their eternal relationship. Again, this inspiration is eternal and is an never-beginning, never-ending, ‘bubbling over’ of the love between Father and Son, a love that cycles eternally back into and includes his ‘parents’ and, in a sense, completes them.
Creation is, in a remarkable manner, connected to this flowing over of God’s love in the Spirit. It is God’s will that his creation both mirror and participate in the Trinitarian dance of being and love that brought it forth into existence. The Trinity is distinct from what it creates: there was a time when created things were not. Yet, in another way, creation is eternally bound up with God, since the Idea of Creation has always been within him, being therefore inextricably connected with the Begetting of the Son and the Inspiration of the Spirit.
Human beings have evolved to receive the gift of divine sonship; that’s what it means to say that you and I were created in the image and likeness of God. This evolution is one of awareness rather than one of ontological being. Creation has always been a gift from God to be given back to God in operational identity. Such identity is the very purpose and end of creation; it’s what really drives evolution, though not in a scientifically verifiable way. In fact, evolution can never be completed absent the intervention of God in His creation. Unfortunately, because of original sin, we tend to be inclined away from the full reception of this gift. But God, the Trinity, is merciful and he chose to heal the breach himself. God incarnated himself, in the person of the Son, the Word made flesh, in a particular human being. Another way of saying this, is that God assumed into the Trinity a human nature. Therefore, humanity and all creation of which humanity is the head, has been divinized in the Trinity through the intercession of Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Because the Word is God and the Word was made flesh, humanity has become one with God in Jesus. Therefore you and I have become one in the Trinity in Jesus. This, in fact, is our only purpose and until we recognize and accept it, we can never be truly and deeply happy. The Trinity matters to us because He is both our reality and our destiny. An alone God could never take sons and daughters unto himself; he could only have slaves and servants at a distance. Our God, being community, desires that creation willingly enter into communion with Him. When we honor God as Trinity, we acknowledge the Being into which we are asked to surrender ourselves. There is no other way to be holy or at peace. Come Holy Trinity and take possession of our souls!