Father Donald Senior, CP

June 12: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

How wonderful your name

Prv 8:22-31; Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Rom 5:1-5; Jn 16:12-15

Theologians of every generation have pondered the mystery of the Trinity, trying to find a plausible way of explaining what we Christians proclaim as the one God in three persons. 

But when all is said and done, the Trinity is not a problem to be solved. It is a mystery of overwhelming love to be contemplated and adored.

The biblical intuition about the triune God is culled from the unfolding history of Israel, the life and mission of Jesus and the dynamic expansion of the early church.

It is God the Father experienced in the wonder of creation, itself an explosion of love that draws vitality, order and beauty from primeval chaos; God the Son experienced in Jesus, who embodies the divine love and pours out his very life in compassion, healing, and sacrificial love that we might live; the Spirit bringing the courage, and expansive, inclusive love that animates the mission of the disciples of Jesus.

Mystics, ancient and modern, caught the tone of the Bible’s portrayal of the Trinity as a vortex of love, one being fused together in mutual love. The God of the Scriptures — the triune God — is not the detached architectural God of the deists, but the beginning and end of all love that exists. 

Genesis portrays creation itself as outpouring of love on God’s part. The culminating act of creation is the human person, male and female, that is an image of God because the human being is capable of giving and receiving love.  

The first reading from the Book of Wisdom presents this loving and creating God in soliloquy, musing on the process of creating and declaring that God “found delight in the human race.”  

A rabbi friend of mine explained that traditionally synagogue art avoided images because the ultimate and divinely sanctioned image of God is the human person uniquely fashioned by God in the divine image. No other image is needed.

But, as the reading from Psalm 8 proclaims, the Bible also saw creation itself in all its wonder and beauty as a reflection of the divine creator. “When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place — what is man that you should be mindful of him. … O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!” 

The inherent beauty of all creation as a reflection of God’s own beauty, and the intimate connection of the human with all of creation, form the foundation for the Christian responsibility for our environment, as Pope Francis has urgently reminded us.

Paul’s eloquent words in his letter to the Romans add another dimension to our contemplation of the mystery of God’s love personified in the Trinity. We are not to be discouraged or give in  to despair, even amid our “afflictions” (and don’t we at this time in our world know “afflictions”) “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” 

We are “to have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand.”

The Gospel selection from John adds the last word. On the eve of his death, Jesus assures his disciples that the “Spirit of truth” will come and “guide you to all truth.” All our straining to know God, to express with the right words the unutterable mystery of God, all our earnest prayers crying out to God for understanding and comfort is all the work of the Spirit within us, leading to our final resting place with God.

In a world that in so many ways is morally confused and in need of the ethical wisdom of our Christian and Catholic faith, it is also important to put aside for a moment our problems and concerns, and simply turn our minds and hearts to the overwhelming beauty of the God revealed to us in our Scriptures and our Catholic tradition.

That is what this feast of the Most Holy Trinity beckons us to do. No problem solving, just adoring God’s pure and mysterious beauty.



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