We often mistake the trinity for three divisible individuals, forgetting that God does all things. So it is always the three persons working in unity together. God the Father doesn’t just create, but he also sanctifies and redeems along with the other two persons of the trinity.
The persons of the Trinity often allows us to understand what God is but it also gets confusing. Three persons. I think that term is what confuses people. My good friend and pet expert, Warren Eckstein, who is Jewish, once put the question best when he tried to understand this:
“If I had the Holy Trinity over for dinner, how many place settings would I need?”
I laughed and replied confidently with the number one.
Others argued that I was wrong because of that word “persons”. But God is only one, unity in a diverse expression. So it is not only Jesus who redeems with his blood but it is also the other two persons who work in unity.
The word expressions I have found to work better than the word persons when we regard the trinity. God has three expressions but only one unity. God is beyond us (unknowable mystery–the inexhaustible one). But God is also with us, we have a God who lives and moves and has our being. Finally God is also within us–closer to ourselves than our very breath.
This Trinity Sunday I am reminded that we are all called to work for unity. Husbands need to unite with their wives to take care of their family—so everyone’s pointed in the right direction. Who are we out of union with and how might we repair that.
Today lets us pray for those who feel confused by the message of the Trinity. God loves us and cannot bear to be without us. So we try to unite with the trinity–to be single-minded with God.
Of course it never happens, because we all sin. However it is through the Holy Spirit that we are forgiven. It’s one of the few prayers other than the Sign of the Cross that mentions all three members of the trinity:
“God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of your son, you sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the church may God give you pardon and peace and (priest) I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Perhaps the truth to concentrate on today is how God can be all things to us when we need God in our lives. Does not God the Father hang in the cross and suffer with Jesus and with us when we are in suffering? When we need inspiration doesn’t the Holy Spirit point us to Jesus?
Do we believe in this mystery?
We believe Lord, help our unbelief.