Exodus 34: 4b-6, 8-9 2 Corinthians 13: 11-13 John 3: 15-17
Whether it is the shamrock of Saint Patrick or a picture of interlocking rings, or even a simple triangle, any attempt at a depiction of the Holy Trinity is inadequate. Any of these falls short of giving a real understanding of it Thus, the conclusion reached after any discussion of the Trinity is that “It is a mystery.”
It should not be a surprise to us to speak of the essence or reality of the God of our faith as a mystery because the ancient, inspired writers recorded in the Scriptures understood human beings like us as being made in the image and likeness of God. Think of it we know all too well that we are mysteries in many ways. Our minds, our emotions, our thoughts, and most especially our ability to know and love are mysterious. They cannot always be fully defined or clearly understood. So it is with the God of our faith, the very source of life and existence, of all we experience in creation – in whose image and likeness we are.
To recognize God as Trinity, as mystery, does not diminish or disregard the reality or significance of God. Rather, if we look to ourselves and appreciate the depth of what we are and the potential of what we can be, even with our own limitations, so much more do we recognize the immensity, the unlimited potential and majesty of our God. Yet, at the same time, because the essence of God is not power but knowledge and love, our God reaches out to us, shares our humanity, and seeks an unending relationship with us.
The mystery of God that we declare today and whom, in our limited human terms we call Father, Son and Holy Spirit, exists for all eternity in a creative and loving relationship that is extended to us in order to be shared by us. This is the fundamental reality of God in which we can participate.
It is not a reality that is founded on power or control or manipulation, but a constant and unending relationship of knowledge and love. It is the reality into which we are made the image and likeness.
God who exists in relationship is to be reflected in us as a relationship, in our interaction with one another. God is to be reflected in the manner in which we seek genuine knowledge, understanding, respect and love with one another. This incorporates the reflection of God in our lives.
What is it that we are told of our God in the inspired words and insights of Scriptures? What are we actively to reflect as images and likenesses of our God? God is merciful, God is gracious, God is slow to anger, God is rich in kindness and fidelity. So are we to be.
In addition, the God our faith is not distant and remote, but “gave his only Son that we might have eternal life.” God does not condemn us for our weakness and failure, but saves us so that we might be united with God.
In an even more specific way we hear how the God of our faith, whom we acknowledge as an unending relationship of knowledge and love, a relationship of Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – a Trinity of Persons but a Oneness of Being – is to be reflected by us in an active way of living, not just in some pious theory. It is in the encouragement of one another, by being in accord with one another, by living at peace with one another that God’s reality can be discovered through us.
This is the reality that is to be present in our lives,. This is how the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is to be found in us. This is how, through us and realized in our world that this world can come to know our good and gracious God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.