The following post was given as my Trinity Sunday homily a couple weekends ago. I was asked to put it online. I apologize for my tardiness.
The celebration of the Trinity is one of the events in the life of the Church that offers us an opportunity to reflect upon our understanding of God, upon the divinity of Jesus, and upon God’s working in humanity revealing a dynamic relationship.
As human beings we tend to be people who want to understand things. Long ago theology itself was described as faith seeking understanding. Yet our understanding of God in God’s self is something that eludes us. We recognize that our very talk about God constitutes a mystery above all other mysteries.
Though how we describe God as one being in three persons is mysterious, we should not allow it to be an excuse not to attempt to understand. Actually, the way that we understand God has great potential for informing us as to how we are to live our lives: it has great practical importance for us.
We would not be far from correct if we were to say that our celebration of the Trinity on this Sunday of the year is actually a celebration of relationship. Trinity allows us to see God, not as a solitary being that more resembles a lifeless ideal, but as living, dynamic, interrelatedness. Within the godhead there is true movement and reciprocity. We see it in Jesus’ praying to the Father, in his healings and miracles, and his breathing the Holy Sprit upon his disciples. It is that same Spirit which has brought us into relationship with Jesus and the Father whereby we share the divine life.
Having relationship with God constitutes experiential evidence for us. That’s a pretty big thing when we’re talking about divinity since a lot of people say they need proof when it comes to these sorts of things. While it’s not proof like a scientific proof, it is nevertheless an experiential proof. Another way of saying this is that our relationship with the Holy—with God—is such that it belongs to our life-world: where we live and move and have our being.
The relationship that is inherent in the Trinity is one that, when it is in us and in our experiences, compels us to look outward. God within us points us toward the world where we encounter life in all its nitty-gritty aspects. We come to know God by being in relation to what we encounter in life. We come to be in relation by giving and by allowing others to give, in other words, by loving.
Often we may think of relationship as primarily involving only those closest to us: our families or perhaps a significant other. However, the relationship that reveals God most perfectly occurs when we engage not only all other human beings primarily, but all creatures and all creation.
In reflection, the world of relationship in God becomes a pretty big world. It’s actually universal in scope, and its depth is entirely dependent upon our willingness to embrace God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who compels us to leap in faith and embrace all others in divine relationship, a relationship in which God becomes evident to us by way of our own actions and interrelatedness with world in which we live.