Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is the foundation of not only our faith but the reality of all that exists. God has been, is, and always will be. God exists as a communion of three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Three Persons in one God, but not three beings.
Anything we say about God is going to be woefully inadequate of the truth about who God is. As the saying goes, all analogies limp regarding our description of God. We have a better chance of saying what God is not. To say that God is not a being is a good place to start because God is not in the same genus as us, nor in any genus. God is not even a supreme being, the being of all beings. God transcends all space and time. God is completely self-sufficient, God does not need anything, does not rely on anything else, and thus he does not need us, so he is not in competition with us.
God is infinite act of existence, or in the Latin of St Thomas Aquinas, ispum esse subsistens, the sheer act of “to be”. This means that God has no limitations. To say that God is three Persons is harder for us to comprehend because we often in our modern context use the words person and being as synonyms. To use the word person in speaking of God means that we are speaking relationally.
We describe God as Father because he begets God the Son, God the Son is the one begotten. The Son is not generated or created, because the Son has always existed with the Father. This is true because they are not finite beings separate from one another. They are infinite, though distinct in their relation to one another. God the Holy Spirit is then the Love shared between God the Father and God the Son. God’s immanence, God within himself then is an infinite communion because of the infinite giving and receiving between each other. Each person gives and receives infinitely, perfectly giving all and holding nothing back.
We will never be able to fully comprehend God because he transcends our finite reality, but we can encounter him and develop a relationship with him because he draws close to us, he reveals himself to us, he seeks us his created beings out. We are blessed in that he has drawn close to us in the Person of his Son. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
Jesus, in his incarnation, is the enfleshed Son of God. Jesus is fully divine and fully human and this is how he reveals God the Father to us. Through becoming one with us in our humanity, we are able to share in the love that he experiences as Son with his Father because God has created all as interconnected, such that what affects one, affects all.
The best way to understand, to know, and to build our relationship with God, is not to force God to fit into our finite reality, mindset or limited view, but to be open to, “the Spirit of truth, he will guide [us] to all truth” (Jn 16:13). The Holy Spirit will guide and lead us to all truth when we resist turning in upon ourselves and instead be open to following his lead. When we are willing to be expanded by his love, we will be more open to opportunities to be loved and to love in our everyday moments. For where the willing of the good of each other is, God is, and Love is present.
Jesus was sent into the world to save all of humanity, not just a select few, such that all might have eternal life. The richness of the diversity of humanity is not a curse, but a gift. This Holy Trinity Sunday, may the Love of God move us beyond our defensive and divisive postures such that we resist closing our hearts and minds but instead become more willing to open them to build bridges of encounter and relationship.