Sunday – Feast of Holy Trinity
Gospel – Matthew28:16-20
God Above, Beside, Within
Praying at Gethsemane
Today we celebrate the Feast of Holy Trinity, a key church doctrine – 3 Persons in 1 God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one of the great mysteries of our faith.
We hear in today’s readings a description of those 3 persons. The First Reading – God the Father, the Creator and Law-Giver. The God so far above us all that we bow down before Him in reverence and obedience. The Second Reading – the Holy Spirit – God who brings us peace and love and fellowship. The Spirit or encouragement inside all of us by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation. And the Gospel - God the Son – Jesus Christ – who took on human form to redeem us of our sins and lead us to eternal life. Jesus who walked the same earth as all of us.
Essentially the Trinity is a relationship – the love between father and son and that love so intense that it is embodied in the Holy Spirit. A relationship that, through Baptism, has included us as children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, a relationship that grows and develops as we grow and develop.
In simplest terms – we can see the Trinity in this way:
God the Father – above us – creating us, guiding us and teaching us right and wrong, reminding us of when we falter, the just judge, loving us even when we mess up
God the Son – beside us, among us – Jesus who shared in this earthly life, who walked and sat together with his disciples and shared a meal
God the Holy Spirit – within us – coming upon the disciples at Pentecost, filling us and them with love and the fire of faith.
In some ways it reminds me of the relationship between a father and his children, a relationship of love, a relationship that grows and changes over time. It reminds me of my relationship with my dad!
God the Father, above us! Literally as a child looking up to the father who created me Literally, as a child, looking to my dad for understanding right from wrong. I was not always the most obedient of sons; there were plenty of times when I would test the limits of my Dad’s patience and get into trouble. All it took was for my mom to say – wait til your dad get home! My dad was not only the creator of the rules; he was also the enforcer, the judge. And judgement was always swift and effective!
God the Son among us, walking beside us. Later in life, when my grandmother passed away and I saw my Dad cry for the very first time. It gave me the opportunity to grieve with him, to comfort him, to stand with him in his sorrow no longer as a child but as a friend.
God the Spirit within us. Gathering with my Mom and family for the first family dinner after my Dad passed away and taking his chair at the dining room table. I proceeded to tell a string of my corny jokes and I suddenly realized, in that moment, that I sounded just like Dad. And realizing that from that moment on, I carry him with me inside. He is always with me, guiding me, inspiring me, encouraging me.
If that is the love between a human father and child, just imagine the love of God the Father for us his children. We are loved by him unconditionally. By virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation we are all sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit. God above us, God beside us, God within us!