Each year, the Church dedicates the first Sunday after Pentecost to the celebration of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. This Solemnity reminds us that the one God eternally exists as three distinct, yet equally divine persons- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons share the same divine essence. We recognize in this Solemnity that God has chosen to reveal himself to his people in this way and has given us a glimpse of the inner life of the Holy Trinity.
We recognize that the Holy Trinity is a mystery, which means that human intellect cannot completely comprehend it. A Priest I knew once said that contemplating the Trinity is like standing on the beach and looking out across the ocean. We know there is more to the ocean beyond the horizon, but we cannot see the entire ocean at one time. With the mystery of the Trinity, God has chosen to reveal a part of his inner life to us, even though we cannot see or comprehend fully how the Holy Trinity “works.” The fact that we can’t fully understand the inner workings of the Trinity leaves us with a question: Why would God choose to reveal Himself to us in this way?
At the center of the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the idea of relationship. The Father begets the Son, The Son is eternally begotten by the Father, and as we profess in the Nicene Creed, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. If God allows us this glimpse of the relationships that exist in the Holy Trinity, then his revealing himself in this way must be to teach us about the importance of relationships in our own lives as well. Not only are we called to enter into deeper relationship with God: we are also called to enter into deeper relationships with those around us. This is why we confess that we are One Body in Christ.
It’s important to remember that we can experience the presence of God through our interactions with others: especially when we care for those who are in need, or on the margins. St. John reminds us in his first letter that “those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” This Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, therefore, challenges us to love others more fully, so that we can more fully experience the love of God in our own lives, and be led into deeper relationship with the Holy Trinity.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Steven Huber, CSB