We celebrate the Trinity in the liturgy not as a recollection of some past event but as the matrix of all that we celebrate. This Solemnity reminds me that all our liturgical celebrations are not pageants evoking incidents past and gone but are encounters with the deepest realities, still unfolding, still defining our destinies.
The Son, the Word of God, is pure receptivity, the perfect reflection of the Father and, as such, is totally empty of anything of his own; that bond of communion and identity between them is so vivid as to be another Person, the Holy Spirit. We recognize that bond, that communion as the archetype of what we call love.
Isn’t this eternal procession of persons, of self-emptying, total communication, receptivity, consistent with the kenosis of the Incarnation? Isn’t this movement of communion, communication and self-revelation, stretching beyond splendid isolation, the dynamic of creation? This creation, which God, in divine perfection never needs, but which divine wholeness desires and generates, bestows life to contingent beings, blessing them with a capacity for God.
Even apart from creaturely sin, our contingent nature would experience the tension between infinite possibility and finite being. In the context of sin, isn’t this experienced as suffering, anxiety, fear, doubt, loss, infirmity, even death?
The older I grow and the more I reflect upon our blessed origins, the more convinced I am that loss—learning to live with loss—could be the greatest God-given pedagogy. To lose my illusions, as much as losing loved ones to death, to lose my myopic hopes, my self-centered aspirations, my vain goals—couldn’t all that be more than just a purification but an entrance into the mystery of the Incarnate Word’s self-emptying? Couldn’t that be the Spirit’s way of excavating in my mortality ample space for the Divine Life? Might that not be a training to bear a weight of glory, God’s longing to re-incorporate creation into the Divine Life? The unity, the mercy and the compassionate love we celebrate today bears no resemblance to the factious partisan rivalries, the lies, the violence or the destructive self-interest that fills our headlines. But this festival is a reminder never to despair or escape the contingencies that define our nature. This is the forum where God is not only prepared to work with us but IS working with us. I just can’t allow myself get in the way of God and what God is trying to do through my life.