“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9)
In our celebration today, we shall try to answer one simple question: “Who is God?” Jesus Christ understood the complexity of this question. That is why He said in today’s Gospel passage: “I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now … When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” That is to say, if we want to understand Trinity, we only need to listen to the Holy Spirit. This brings us to our lessons for today:
1. God is Too Great to be Understood by Humans
Hear what Saint Columbanus has to say concerning the Trinity: “Who is God? He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God. Seek no further concerning God; for those who wish to know the great deep must first review the natural world. For knowledge of the Trinity is properly likened to the depths of the Sea, according to that saying of the Sage: And the great deep, who shall fathom it? Since, just as the depth of the sea is invisible to human sight, even so, the godhead of the Trinity is found to be unknowable by human senses.”
There is no way I can explain how there are three persons in just one God in a way that you will understand. So instead of attempting to explain, I can tell you why it is impossible to explain: God is greater than what our human brain can carry. Before attempting to understand God, believe first. God is one, yet He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our Psalmist today sings: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name through all the earth.”
2. The Trinity teaches us Unity
There are three persons perfectly united in one God. This is a mystery we cannot understand but we can learn from it. God as Trinity teaches us to live in harmony with one another seeing each other as part of us and ourselves as part of one another. What makes this unity possible?
a. Consultation. At Creation, God spoke: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;…” (Genesis 1:26). Our first reading from the book of Proverbs centres on this creation account of Genesis. It speaks of how God as Father was not alone while forming the heavens and the earth. Never think you can succeed or survive alone. No one is an island. Even God is a community of three persons. Always consult others in whatever you want to do. As a Christian community, we can only stay united when we constantly talk with one another and discuss our plans. Keeping malice or staying away from zonal meetings or societal gatherings is inimical to our progress as a people.
b. Collaboration. When Mary asked Angel Gabriel how she was going to become the mother of Jesus Christ, he said: “The Holy Spirit (God the Spirit), will come upon you, and the power of the Most High (God the Father) will overshadow you; therefore the child (God the Son) to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35). The Trinity works together, each person playing their part in bringing about the mission at hand. We see this perfect collaboration (team spirit) at the baptism of Jesus. God the Son rising from the water, God the Holy Spirit present in the form of a dove, and God the Father spoke: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
This is the beauty of team spirit. Life itself is one big collaboration. The plants around us, the trees, the rivers, etc. are all playing their part to ensure our survival. We need them and they need us. There is no limit to what we can achieve when we all decide to play our part and work for the common good.
c. Contentment. In describing the Holy Spirit, Jesus says: “He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak… He will glorify Me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14). You see, there is perfect contentment in the Trinity. None of the three persons is trying to take the place of another. There is no competition, no politics, no back-biting. None is thinking about who gets the glory.
3. God allows Suffering in our Life for a Purpose
In today’s second reading, St. Paul teaches us not to be discouraged by whatever suffering we are faced with in life. St. Paul says we should even rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us. Suffering helps to bring out the best in us in the long run. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
In Hebrews 12:5-7, the word of God says: “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”
Let us pray: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be without end. Amen.
Bible Study: Proverbs 8:22-31, Ps. 8:4-9, Romans 5:1-5, John 16:12-15)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu