In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

Often enough, our thoughts about the Holy Trinity tend to focus on the question of logistics:  how can there be one God in three Persons?   We may think of St. Patrick’s analogy of the shamrock with its three leaves to help us.   But no single picture can possibly explain the complexity, the depth, and the beauty of our God.

Rather than a mathematical mystery to be solved, the Trinity is a spiritual mystery to be savored.   It is God revealing himself to us and convincing us of his love and care for us.

Father.

Revealing himself as our heavenly Father, God proved that he is not a distant, fickle, or vindictive god.   He is a God for whom family is everything.   Like a father, he wants to be close to you.   He promises to care for you and look after you.   He wants nothing but good for you.   He has gone so far as to name you his heir!

Son.

When God came to earth, he didn’t come in power and majesty. Rather, he “emptied himself” and became one like us.   Many were expecting a Messiah who would lead Israel to military victory and political independence.   But Jesus came as brother and friend.   He established his kingdom, not by force, but by self-sacrificial love.   His message of mercy is meant to melt our hearts, not make us cower in fear.

Holy Spirit.

God didn’t disappear when Jesus ascended to heaven.   Quite the opposite: he became even closer.   God dwells in your heart!   He is always with you, always ready to pour out his love and to make you more like him.   He is always with the Church, feeding us with word and sacrament.   He is always in the world, forming us into one family in Christ.

This is the true mystery of the Trinity: that our God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—loves us deeply and treats us with great tenderness and mercy.

word among us