Mysteries of science, human relationships and literature attract us and our
desires to solve them. It is in our minds and hearts that we are so driven
to figure it all out. It makes God both an attraction and a frustration.
As with our figuring out the size of the universe or what makes our
spouses or parents tick, God is a mystery who will never be solved. So where’s
the attraction, the delight, the fun in that?
We pray for the grace God wants to give us to stay on task; the task is our
being attracted within frustration. We can pray with the creational gestures
of God which are like hints or invitations to keep on the journey.
We pray with the tremendous mystery of the Father, The Son and a Holy Spirit
who while being one God are three persons laboring for our response and return.
We pray for patience and faith to trust more exactly the God of mystery whose
love for us is what we desire and fear. What just makes God tick?
In our reading of mystery novels we find ourselves attempting to figure out
very early in our delight, “who did it.” As we meet each person in
the narrative we size up mentally whether Mr. Green did it in the library
with a candlestick or maybe not. The adventure of readings the clues keeps
us turning the pages to the surprising end.
I could inform you that the persons of the Holy Trinity differ in processions
and relations. One God, three persons equal and different. That does not
keep you turning the pages very much, I guess. This Trinity within unity
is a mystery beyond figuring out and yet is central to our belief. We bless
ourselves using the person of the Trinity. Jesus speaks often of himself
as son and having a relationship with the Father and yet they are “one.”
Jesus speaks also of the Holy Spirit whose coming will bring joy even though
he will no longer be around, physically. Jesus ascends and the Holy
Spirit descends and we profess our belief in it all without completely understanding.
Our First Reading for this feast is a section of a poetic description from
the Book of Proverbs. Wisdom is presented as a person who boasts of being
a partner in the process of creation. Before everything visible was, before
anything attractive was, this “someone” existed with God who is eternal.
God as craftsman, delighted with the play of this Wisdom and this Wisdom
delights to be at play with the “human race.”
The opening line of the Gospel is of great comfort. “I have much more to
tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” We still cannot bear it, meaning understand
or carry the infinite within our finite jugs. We carry some of it; we know
father and son and something about breath or spirit. We know something about
unity and what person might mean. We are humbled though by the size of our
jug-minds. It is an insult when we do not get a joke or cannot figure out
a crossword puzzle. We keep working at it though to conquer! When we do solve
it eventually, we throw down the paper in triumph and disdain.
I was warming myself by the fire of the sun yesterday morning and pondering
how that fiery mass is just the right distance from this “terresterial ball.”
If it were too close or too far, the play would never have begun. Just the
right distance allows life, growth, progress and the invitation to figure
it all out. Lots of luck! Now here’s the delight in the play of the Trinity.
God has to love us, because God is love and what something is, determines
what it does. God can only do what God is and that is Love. This loving God
knows how we toss away crosswords when all the blanks are full. The attraction
is over and we say, “That’s done, where’s the next one?” The play of
God is not trickery or cruel. God, in love, comes close enough to delight
us, attract us and keep us turning the pages. God does not stay so far away
that we have no clues; just our finite jugs and we don’t even open the cover
of the book.
We could say also that Jesus is the “history of God” and the Spirit helps
us read, understand and live from it. What we do say is that there are some
things we only play with, such as the experience of being loved by somebody.
We cannot figure that out either. If we do, then it is not really love. Being
loved goes beyond human reason, because love is deeper than tangible, visible;
it is only acceptable.
The celebration of the Feast of the Trinity is a celebration of our being
loved enough to keep us asking, searching, pondering, being warmed by anything
which keeps us alive in faith, and interested in watching the play of God
who delights amidst our “human race.”
“O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth.”