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Trinity Sunday 2017

Dear OLPH Family and Friends,

Today we celebrate one of the most important dogmas of the Catholic Church and held as an ultimate truth by most Christians. Understanding the significance of Trinity Sunday can be as simple as one-two-three. It begins with God the Father –who gave us His only begotten Son: then Jesus—who in turn promised that He would send us the Holy Spirit.

All of that is declared every time we sign ourselves, saying “in the name of the Father; the Son and the Holy Spirit.” It is a simple statement but the mystery of a triune God confounds both the child and the wise old man. St. Augustine talks of his experience of one day walking along the seashore, pondering the Trinity. He came across a boy pouring ocean water into a hole in the sand. The boy explained: “I am going to put the entire ocean into this hole.” St. Augustine told him that it was impossible.

The hole in the sand was too small to contain the entire vast ocean. Surprisingly, the boy replied, “And neither can you fit the Trinity into your little brain.” When the boy vanished, St. Augustine realized he had been talking to an angel.

Frequently we speak of “mystery” as something hidden. However, in faith we believe that a mystery is something that God wants to reveal and is only limited by our capacity to understand. This describes the conversation between Moses and God in our reading from Exodus. Moses asks to see God. God replied that Moses could be a witness to God’s goodness and receive God’s favor, but that truly seeing God was too much for a mortal human being.

Our short reading from Corinthians is one of the clearest references to the Trinitarian God to be found in the Christian Scriptures. It is not a developed theology. Taken as a whole, the reading tells us how to become a Christian community. The beginning gives specific instructions about how to be with one another and become together all that we were created to be. The second part calls for God’s blessing on each and all. As a consequence of being so blessed we then recognize the great vocation that is ours.

The mystery of the Trinity is vast, rich, deep and wondrous. Each attempt to describe this fundamental tenet of our faith both draws us closer to understanding the nature of God while at the same time pushes our understanding farther away. The Trinity is something to ponder more fully, in the same way we learn to deeply value a favorite movie, a good book or a cherished friendship. The more we explore it, the more we value it.

Jesus draws His disciples (us too) into the Father’s love only to send them (us) forth in the Spirit to seek out the lost and call them home. May God bless, preserves and keep us in His love!