Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
Meditations on today’s readings soon led me to an image of God that, I realized, I invoke less frequently these days. It is of God as Holy Trinity. It is that Triune God about whom Jesus is speaking to Philip and sounding almost frustrated when he replies to the apostle’s request for proof by responding, “After I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father;” and later, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” It is also the image of God about whom Paul and Barnabas, after the Resurrection and now “filled with the Holy Spirit,” were preaching to the Jews, who understandably rejected that image and drove those apostles out of their community, the two following Jesus’ earlier instruction to pause only long enough to shake the dust from their feet and move on.
Certainly I’ve known about the Trinity since I was in grade school and Sister Mary Something had me poring over my Baltimore Catechism to memorize that “By the Blessed Trinity we mean, one and the same God in three Divine Persons.” I also remember that kind teacher gently assuring me that, if I didn’t understand the concept, it was OK, because this was one of God’s “mysteries.” But, over the years, I’ve found myself picking and choosing between those three Divine Persons, depending on the nature of my prayer on a given occasion. When my prayer seeks the ear of the omniscient and all-powerful One who is imagined as looking down on me from above, I pray to God, the Father. When the topic is more one of human foible and mishap, I turn to Jesus, the Son. And when I am looking for wisdom or insight into the here-and-now of my life, the Holy Spirit gets a call. Very seldom, anymore, do I explicitly recognize the unity of those three Divine Persons.
These readings encouraged me to do exactly that. And when I
did, I was struck immediately by the magnificent majesty of the Trinity,
of God as Supreme Being with a splendor and a glory beyond my comprehension.
I was simply left in awe. What most overwhelmed was that the magnificence
of the Trinity was in its expression of God’s Love for me—by the Father
who loved me enough to send his Son, by the Son who was born, lived and
died for me, and who then left behind for me the very Spirit of his life
to accompany me in love on my own journey. I doubt that I got it
all right conceptually, but that’s still OK, because the Trinity is still
a mystery, as my grade school teacher patiently instructed me so long ago.
If only she had been as understanding with my difficulty grasping the concepts
of long division.
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