“The God that is Trinity” by Fr Paddy Hennessy SDB, Salesian Community, Limerick, Ireland

“The God that is Trinity”                                 Reflection for Trinity Sunday 2016

Introduction

• Ready, Steady, Go are the words we often use to start off a race where we want those competing to start together and not favour one over the other
• In nature an apple has a skin, the pulp and the core, an egg has a shell, the white and yellow…
• Our daily lives on the roads are governed by the three colours of red, amber and green in the form of our traffic lights…

‘Three’ in Scripture
• In the New Testament the number 3 occurs throughout many of the events of Jesus’s life and in the lives of his followers:
o The Magi gave Jesus three gifts
o Satan tempted Jesus three times.
o The ministry of Jesus lasted three years.
o During the Agony in the Garden, Christ asked three times for the chalice to be taken from his lips.
o Saint Peter denied Jesus three times but post resurrection receives the opportunity to make amends, again 3 times…
o Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.
o Paul the Apostle went blind for three days after his conversion to Christianity..
• Over the Easter season we are asked to express our joy in the Paschal mystery by not just saying Alleluia once but three times at the end of our Eucharist

For St Patrick
• God was the triune God, the God that is Trinity
• In the life and faith of this Saint of Ireland:
o God is the un-begotten Father who has no beginning but who is the origin of all beginning
o Jesus is the Father’s son who became man, defeated death and was received into heaven
o The Spirit is announced by Jesus. The Spirit is the gift and pledge of immortality, making us into the Sons and Daughters of God and joint heirs with the Christ…
• St Patrick’s faith in the Triune God is simple, direct, biblical and grounded.
• Patrick presented himself and the Chrisitan Faith in a way that many could grasp and own for themselves just as Jesus does in the gospels.

In our gospel today…
• Jesus is setting the stage for his upcoming death, resurrection and ascension. The disciples are understanbily terrified. Their lives are about to take a dramatic turn. How are they going to survive without Jesus as their leader and guide? It could just as easily be our own question for today
• Fortunately Jesus offers an answer to this question. He promises another helper, another source of truth, another advocate…The Spirit. This Spirit is not bound by the limitations of time and space.
• The Spirit will lead us to the truth, will speak with the authority of God, sharing with us the thinking of God. He will guide us in our work for life and for our God.
To speak of Trinity…
• Is to speak of mystery, a mystery that seems strangely familiar as I have suggested with the prominence of the concept of three thoughout our lives yet is also very distant and confusing…
• The Jesuit Donal Neary describes mystery in terms of a “Hand to be Held rather than a problem to be solved”
• He invites us to look at the Andrew Rublev’s famous icon of the Trinity. Based on prayerful reflection of Abraham’s hospitality to three travelling angels in the book of Genesis, it presents the image of three figures seated around a table with a welcoming space left to the front of the table…
• The table fellowship remains open for the viewer or the passer-by to stop and place themselves in the presence of the three stately figure as they gather to bless and share the chalice on the table…
• In life we are not just meant to nomads or stones moving in isolation…we are community, we are family, we are church together with a God who is Father, Son and Spirit….
• The Trinity invites us never to be alone but to be brother and sister for each other and for the Kingdom with the Triune God at is head…