The Trinity has long been a subject of difficulty. A triune God of three persons is never going to be easily understood.
Much of our life of faith, though, requires a certain suspension of reason. Grasping and understanding of Trinity is no exception.
As Christians we must go back and reevaluate words that we thought we understood. One of those words is ‘mystery’. We think of mysteries in the context of Miss Marple or Sherlock Homles, that is, problems to crack, to solve. But this is not how we should approach the word when considering the mysteries of faith. Instead, the mysteries of faith are truths that live beyond our full understanding.
The Trinity is a mystery in this sense. We won’t crack it in this life. Not even if we engaged Sherlock Holmes.
In order to reach this new appreciation of the word ‘mystery’, we need something that Christ had in abundance, something that humanity finds excruciatingly difficult to attain and keep, least of all to treasure. We need humility.
At the Last Supper, Christ explained to the Apostles that he could not teach them everything because they were not, during his lifetime, sufficiently receptive. When Christ ascended into heaven, there was question regarding what the disciples would do next. They were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit who was (and is) charged with continuing Christ’s work for all the days of the future Church.
We cannot forget our strong association with the disciples. It is a word that should describe us. We are Christ’s disciples, and we can be just as responsive to the Spirit in our lives. Yet we can also fail to receive Christ’s word, fail to receive the Spirit, and this is often because we lack humility.
It is the love of the Father that gives us his Son, while the Holy Spirit is ever leading us to know more of the truth. Remaining humble is a crucial part of attaining love, of loving and of being loved. And so, we see another mystery: that the key to attaining the kingdom of heaven, of coming to the Father, is to embrace humility. It isn’t something we can fully grasp, yet we do it because Christ gave us the example. And it is the same in the case of the Trinity. We know these truths through devotion to our Triune God, and we give ourselves to the three Persons of the Trinity, that we may come to a fuller knowledge of the Truth, who is love.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Glory to you, O Lord
The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.