This Sunday is an occasion that we usually approach with a sense of puzzlement and confusion. It is Trinity Sunday and that word raises questions in our minds to which there seems to be no answers. Theologians have never been able to explain it in a way that we fully understand. The Trinity is not a problem nor a riddle to be explained. It is life to be lived within reach of all of us.
We can start with the love of the Father. That is a good place to begin, because it is the control theme of our Christian faith. It is the reason that Jesus was born, as St John says, “God loved the world that he gave his only Son”. This is the truth that Jesus both taught and lived. He taught his disciples that the Father also loved them. Then he commissioned those disciples to go and tell all the people on earth that the Father also loves them. His entire life was anchored in the firm conviction that the Father in heaven loved him and us. The next thing we can do is to share in the suffering of his Son. St Paul reminds us that “we are children of God and asks us to suffer with him so as to be glorified with him”. The crucifixion of Jesus is a fact of history. He was not responsible for the hatred and the cruelty that corrupted the people and the institutions of that day. He voluntarily took that burden upon himself and carried it to Calvary. His disciples began to see, that part of that collective guilt belonged to them and they could not escape the conclusion that Jesus had died for their sins. Once that truth had been faced, they could not escape a sense of an unpayable gratitude and gratitude began to find expression in the way that they lived. On this Trinity Sunday, let us remind ourselves that we can share in the suffering of the Son. Our final thought is this. We can know the living presence of the Holy Spirit. If we think of God only as the Father in heaven, then he can seem a long way off. If we think of him only as he was revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, then he can be seen a long way back. But if we also think of him as the Holy Spirit who lives within us then God becomes the faithful friend who is always there.
We may never be able to understand or explain the Trinity but that limitation need not deprive us of its truth. We can do something better than explain it, we can live it. We can rely on the unfailing love of the Father, we can share in the suffering of the Son and we can know the living presence of the Holy Spirit. Fr John