John 3:16-18, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Leo Buscaglia was asked to judge in a contest to find the most caring child. The winner was a four-year-old child, whose next door neighbour was an old man who had recently lost his wife. When the child saw the old man crying, he climbed into the old man’s lap, and just sat there. The next day, the old man was up and back to his old happy self. When the little boy was asked what he said to the old man, the boy said, “Nothing, I just cried with him.” Presence is always consoling and empowering.
Today as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity, our Gospel shows us how the loving presence of God did two wonderful things to us: God the Father gave his only Begotten; and we received our salvation.
In our experience, we realized that God shows his great love for us through his Presence, by accompanying us in our lives in three distinctive ways: As a loving Father, as a loving Savior, and as our Consoler. These three distinct manifestations of God’s presence are enough for me to believe that there are three persons in one God. I simply throw away my desire to understand how the three become one.
We do believe in the Holy Trinity – three Persons in One God. In faith, we have accepted the mystery of this Trinitarian dogma. Full understanding of the Trinity will elude us for the rest of our lives. It will remain a mystery to reckon until we finally meet God in heaven.
The best way to understand how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit becoming one is not through mathematics. Logic will surely fail us. To understand the Holy Trinity, we need to look at it in the lens of “relationship” or on “how the three persons relate and reveal themselves to us.”
Three different ways of manifestation yet one loving God: THE SON, by becoming like us, shares his eternal presence, “I am with you always, until the end of age.” THE FATHER’S eternal protection and unconditional love provides our daily bread, protects us from all evil and empowers us to face our struggles in life. And the HOLY SPIRIT’S eternal light consoles and reminds us of the teachings of Jesus. Three different ways of manifestation but unitive in nature.
Today, let’s beg the Holy Trinity to touch our hearts. Let the Holy Spirit console us. Believe that “all power in heaven and on earth has been given” to Jesus by God the Father. Then say YES to join in mission of the Trinity’s enterprise of saving souls. The Trinitarian love (presence, forgiveness, empowerment) should move us out of our selfishness, sins and comfort zones, and bring us much closer to those who are suffering and lost.
Our Jesuit theology professor in Loyola School of Theology attempted to explain to us the Trinitarian mystery for one semester, but he closed the course with an expected conclusion, “The Trinity is in the realm of mystery. No amount of words or logical explanation can fully grasp the mystery. Faith will do.”
For the unbelievers, the only way to have them understand the Trinity is through our examples, by becoming LIVING WITNESSES of the Holy Trinity’s loving presence. Be like the Son – be the presence of unseen God to others. Be like the Holy Spirit – guide and console people. Be like the Father – love unconditionally and empower people to discover their own giftedness. Witnessing is more convincing than explaining.
I don’t need to understand the Trinitarian mystery in its fullness. My experience of the Father’s unconditional love, the Son’s eternal presence and the Spirit’s consolation, are more than enough to wipe away my tears, move on, and face the day with a smile.