• Living with the Trinity

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    [Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year C, 22 May 2016, Prov 8:22-31 /Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 / Rom 5:1-5 / John 16:12-15]

    TODAY we celebrate the great mystery of our faith, the Holy Trinity. In some ways this is so familiar, as we begin every Mass with “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” but in other ways so mysterious and unfathomable. The story is told of St. Augustine walking along the beach trying to figure out the mystery of the Trinity. He came across a little boy (an angel in disguise) trying to put the seawater from the ocean into a small hole he had dug in the sand. When Augustine inquired as to what he was doing, the boy told him that it is easier to put all the waters of the ocean into the small hole than for the human mind to understand the mystery of the Trinity! Where does that leave us? Perhaps our primary focus is not to understand the Trinity but to know them and love them. As Fr. Jaime Bonet, the founder of the Verbum Dei community wrote, “It is useless to know the doctrines of the Trinity if we do not first savor, drink from and enjoy the fountains of divine love which spring up from deep within us.” It is one thing to try and describe what ice cream is and it is another thing to taste it!

    One of the best explanations I have ever heard of the nature of the Trinity was not in the great theological lecture halls of the universities in Rome but from an 11-year-old girl giving her testimony here in the Philippines. She shared how every day she spoke to God the Father and thanked him for the gift of life, how she tried to live her school days in the presence of her good friend Jesus, and how she always felt accompanied by the Holy Spirit as her helper and companion. Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God, they shall see the Trinity. The Trinity is not far from us. In fact, if you did a survey and asked where we find the Trinity, most people would point vaguely to the sky and say “in heaven.” But as St. Alphonsus Liguori was fond of remarking, “Heaven for God is the human heart.” From baptism we receive the in-dwelling of the three divine persons. When asked where God is it is more correct to point to our heart. In his exhortation to the faithful, St. Alphonsus encouraged them to foster their relationship with God in prayer—to talk to him as a close and dear friend and to love him as a spouse—which is, in effect, to grow in a loving relationship with the Trinity. They live in us so how crazy we would be if we did not enjoy their delightful company?

    They live in us but the question is, “do we live with them?” Do you share with them? Sometimes they are living in us but we ignore them and never speak to them. Sometimes our thoughts are on many other things, many worries and anxieties and we are so busy we do not have time to pray. Anyone who has no time to pray is actually a very inefficient person because the best secretary and organizer is none other than the Holy Spirit. There is no one better for putting order in the chaos. What a pity that instead of our lives revolving around the Trinity, we make the Trinity revolve around our schedule. Is it not time to put God in the center?

    Once Jesus got angry in the temple because instead of being a sanctuary, a place to encounter God, it had become a place of business and negotiations. Jesus said, “Stop making my Father’s house a market place!” (John 2:16). We are meant to love God and use money, not the other way around.

    Having the Trinity dwell in us means we also must care for and take care of our bodies. That is why it is wrong to get drunk because our body is a temple of the Spirit. And excess alcohol leads to all sorts of shenanigans. We need to take care what we put in our hearts and minds. If you opened a tabernacle and found it full of rubbish you would be shocked and scandalized. And if they open the tabernacle of our mind and heart, what would people find?

    Each one of us is called to be a manifestation of the Trinity. To be a reflection of their love, to be a visible sign of their communion. When others meet us they have the right to encounter God in our lives. This is not only for those who are “holy, holy” but every Christian is called to reveal the face of the Trinity within them. It is a call to manifest the greatness of the Trinity within us. Imagine all that power and love in us! Next time we gaze at an awesome scene, a towering mountain, the raging ocean, the stars twinkling just remember that the Trinity who made it all is within us—God the Father speaking through his Son, the Word, in the Spirit and all things came to be.

    Let us enjoy this feast day today. It is an opportunity for us to grow in our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a good question to ask ourselves: “Who are they each for me?” They live in us. May they not remain as unwanted guests but let us welcome them in our hearts and grow in this loving relationship with them. Amen.

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