Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feast of the Holy Trinity

First Reading: Proverbs 8:22-31

Thus says the wisdom of God:
"The LORD possessed me, the beginning of his ways,
the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
from of old I was poured forth,
at the first, before the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no fountains or springs of water;
before the mountains were settled into place,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
while as yet the earth and fields were not made,
nor the first clods of the world.

"When the Lord established the heavens I was there,
when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
when he made firm the skies above,
when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
when he set for the sea its limit,
so that the waters should not transgress his command;
then was I beside him as his craftsman,
and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,
playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race."

Second Reading: Romans 5: 1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faithto this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Gospel: John 16: 12-15

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.

He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."


            One of the proofs of Christianity, to my mind, is the fact that it has so much that no one understands. The Trinity is the most prominent and obvious example. One God in Three Persons, all of whom are eternal, equal, and unified. It isn’t One God expressing Himself in three ‘personas’ or three gods united in purpose, or One God who created two other equal Gods. As a matter of fact, pretty much any explanation for it that you can come up with will be more or less wrong. No one can understand it.
            Okay, so Christians believe something that’s impossible to understand and which seems self-contradictory. Why do I consider this as evidence for Christianity? Because this is exactly what we should expect from God: that He would be beyond our understanding. The source and end of all being, the uncreated Creator, the ultimate Reality makes contact with humanity. Do we really expect to be able to understand just what He is?
            Christianity doesn’t propose to explain everything about itself, which is precisely what gives it its strength. A philosophy which purports to account for everything and explain everything is obviously false. For one thing, it expects us to believe that one guy, one ordinary human being with ordinary brain power, figured out all the secrets of the universe. For another, the existence of mystery is part of Creation, so a philosophy that dispenses with mystery is, by its nature, incomplete.
            It’s interesting, then, to remember that Jesus didn’t explain everything while on Earth. He didn’t even come close to. He spoke directly on some things, dropped tantalizing hints on others, and completely ignored the rest. He left room for exploration, discussion, and philosophizing. You almost could say that what He left the Apostles was a statue hidden inside a mountain and told them to go nuts digging it out, knowing that they would never uncover the whole thing.
            The Trinity, along with other mysteries of the Church (such as the incarnation, the meaning of Christ’s Passion, the problem of Evil, and so forth), are things that we can never fully grasp, and that each generation of theologians finds something new to say about. Which, of course, is exactly what we would expect from an encounter with the Infinite.

Vive Christus Rex!

No comments:

Post a Comment