Trinity Sunday Matthew 28:16-20
The FEAST of the HOLY TRINITY is a heavenly FEAST of LOVE, but with the hellish TWIST of trying to understand the NATURE of the TRINITY – the 3 PERSONS – in one GOD!! You remember ST. PATRICK used the SHAMROCK, to try to EXPLAIN it! For ME, the TRINITY is ALL about RELATIONSHIP! Let me share a STORY with you:
My STORY, is from that very lovely FILM, called: “There were TIMES, Dear.” Remember THAT? I think Joan Woodward PLAYED in it. It was a STORY of a WOMAN who had to cope with the progressive Alzheimer’s disease of her HUSBAND. The film shows her WATCHING him get MORE and more LOST; SEARCHING for him in the MORNINGS, when he wanders out of DOORS. HOW she STAYS with him; she CARES for him; she DRESSES him!
And she does THIS, even though she KNOWS there will come a TIME, when he won’t even know who she IS! And the last SCENE, I remember so POIGNANTLY, is when she is tying a BIB on her husband, and feeding him PORRIDGE! I found the story so MOVING, because UNDERNEATH,/theologically and philosophically, it is all about RELATIONSHIP – CLOSE RELATIONSHIP.
And THAT’S what the HOLY TRINITY IS!
You know, EVEN people who are DYING need to be in RELATIONSHIP. They are not so much afraid of DEATH; they’re afraid of dying ALONE. I remember an old man saying to me ONCE: “I don’t want to die ALONE, like a SPARROW in a winter HEDGE – at LEAST to have someone WITH me, to hold my HAND. I would LOVE that to HAPPEN for me at the END.”
My FRIENDS, on this feast of the TRINITY, we RESONATE with these sorts of STORIES, because IMPRINTED in us, IS that THAT’S WHO we ARE. We’re at our BEST, in RELATIONSHIP. The worst PAIN and SUFFERING in the WORLD is to be OUT of relationship. AND have you ever ASKED: What do they DO in PRISON, when they want to PUNISH someone SEVERELY? They PUT that person in solitary CONFINEMENT! They cut him OFF from OTHER people! And THAT is HELL.
The POINT of it ALL is simply THIS: THESE experiences TELL us about OURSELVES, and about GOD. They TELL us that we EXIST in RELATIONSHIP, as the HOLY TRINITY does. Our hearts are MADE for one ANOTHER, AND for GOD.
This FEAST of the Holy TRINITY provides us with MANY INSIGHTS: WE are made in the IMAGE and LIKENESS of GOD!
This feast of TRINITY says: “RELATIONSHIP is what God IS.” We are IMPRINTED with it, as if it’s STUCK in our NEURAL system.
RELATIONSHIP is what God is ABOUT, and it is no WONDER that WE, who are made in God’s IMAGE and LIKENESS, are ALSO essentially about RELATIONSHIP. YES, it is the God of RELATIONSHIPS whom we celebrate TODAY.
You SEE, the TRINITY is not a mathematical PUZZLE to be SOLVED. NOR is it a THELOGICAL QUESTION to be ANSWERED! It is probably closer to the TRUTH to CALL it a CELEBRATION of the HEART.
If any PRAYER could be ANSWERED on this TRINITY SUNDAY, my PRAYER would BE: that EVERYONE of us would experience true LOVE; That ALL of us would get a GLIMPSE of the WONDER of love, that would open a chink of LIGHT for us, into the wonderful LOVE of GOD.
Because all AROUND us in the world God has GIVEN, SIMPLE things are showing TRINITY – in the WONDER of this Summer DAY; in our FRIENDS, and in the PEOPLE among whom we LIVE! In THEM ALL is a bright SPARK of that divine LOVE, which ALERTS us to the MAJESTY and SPLENDOUR and GRANDEUR of GOD.
May this RELATIONSHIP of the Holy TRINITY fill YOU with LOVE this DAY.
Fr. Martin Loftus, Limerick, Ireland