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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

Trinity Sunday

Rublev's Trinity Icon

 

RUBELEV ICON OF THE TRINITY

Today is Trinity Sunday and we think of the Father, Son and Spirit one. Three distinct persons within the one mystery how do we understand the trinity? We don’t! God, by definition, is beyond imagination, beyond language. The Christian belief that God is a trinity helps underscore how rich the mystery of God is and how our experience of God is always richer than our concepts and language about God.

 In the beginning was the relation of persons: Father, Son, and Spirit, so goes the Trinitarian formula. Yet this “glory be” is very different from some contemporary reformulations. Notice how “Creator, Sanctifier, and Redeemer”—a phrase sometimes used today—portrays the Trinity only in terms of its function with respect to the created world. It misses the point that God’s actual being is relational. There is otherness in God’s oneness. God is the beholder and the beheld, the lover and beloved. Eternal relationship is expressed in space and time. And the created world, thought and loved into being, is empowered to reciprocate. The human creation—“let us create man in our own image and likeness, God said: male and female God created them”—can love the creator back. With faith and hope in the otherness of God, we mirror the personal mutuality of the Trinity and reaffirm the order of all reality.

 When the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, it is an attempt to summarise the whole mystery of our God into one day. This is not just a “theological feast” ` but a feast which should speak to us of this simple fact of faith: the Father loves us, has revealed that love in his Son, and has called into a relationship sustained by the Spirit. It is our joy that, as baptised members of the Church, we can somehow share in that divine life and love which is the Trinity – becoming children of God. God has chosen us, and we are his own people, just as he chose the people of Israel long ago.

 In the remarkable Gospel story we heard a few moments ago, Jesus reveals to His apostles and to us, the very intimate relationship that He holds with both the Father and the Holy Spirit, making God a Trinity of Persons. He urges them and us  to “let go” of their narrow focus on His physical presence and to be prepared for their astounding new role of life “in the Holy Spirit” that will expand their minds and hearts to “all truth.” The Holy Trinity is not a distant truth, for we are temples of the Holy Spirit and possessed of the truth, the power, and the love of the Trinity. May we be caught up even now in the dance and joy of that life

Each Trinity Sunday, we only scratch the surface of this great mystery of our faith. In gratitude and faith, let us begin and end every prayer with greater faith and reverence “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

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