The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 12 June, 2022: Proverbs 8:22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15
Most of our Solemnities celebrate an event that reveals God’s active presence among us. How often do we sing in choir: “On this Christ is born…” or “…was baptized in the Jordan…” or “…transfigured on the holy mountain…” By contrast, we can’t state, “On this day the Trinity…” well, what? “…began…”? That makes no sense. Could we claim “Today the Trinity is revealed…”? But when exactly would that be?
Could it be said of the Lord’s Baptism when the Father’s voice was heard and the Spirit descended as a dove? Or at the Lord’s crucifixion when the Father was silent and Jesus, according to John’s Gospel, exhaled the Spirit with his last breath? Or at the Resurrection when Jesus was raised in the Spirit by the Father?
Our majestic reading from the Book of Proverbs reminds us that there have been intimations of what we have come to understand as the Trinity not only before the New Testament but, before time, embedded in creation itself—if I have the perception to recognize traces of such a mystery.
Could I ever claim that insight as my own? Where would my perception be without the Church’s direction? And then, what do I actually understand of what I confess? Can I “grasp” the Trinity in any sense? Or isn’t it enough to have been grasped by the Trinity when I was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?
Although an ineffable mystery, the Holy Trinity, informs and challenges my living, created as I am in the image and likeness of the Triune God. The pattern of my being reflects my Creator, who is an exchange of being, mutual reflection and love.
Unlike human society or politics, not power and competition or precedence and prestige, but mutual reflection, self-emptying and love, exchanges that are the dynamics of Trinitarian life, weaving themselves together into a single reality. Even in limited creation, we see vital exchanges: decay and dissolution generating new life, collision and tension generating energy; matter and consciousness establishing one another. It is only human perversity, ill will which blocks creative exchange into a deadly either…or. Aren’t we called to become much more than settling for partisan divisions or combative identities?