Trinity Sunday

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A few years ago I read a novel entitled The Shack by William P. Young, a protestant minister. When it first came out it spent weeks on the Best Seller list. I am convinced that in addition to his theological studies, Rev. Young had to spend much time in prayer and meditation to write such a story of God’s overwhelming love for us.

In the book, a great tragedy befalls Mack. “The Great Sadness,” as he calls it, weighs heavily on his shoulders, influencing all of his life and relationships.

Rev. Young’s depiction of the Trinity is a bit unconventional to say the least, but I think his theology is right on! (A priest who reviewed the book in a Catholic magazine gave it what I would call “Two thumbs up!”) God calls Mack into relationship with him by invitation and by allowing him to see how the three persons in One God interact with each other. Almost immediately when they meet, “Papa” tells him that he will never fully understand because God wouldn’t be God if we understood Him completely. ( Even St. Augustine says that a God without mystery would have no claim to our reverence.) But what Mack does see is the relationship between the persons. They act as one, one in thought, one in attitude, one love for each other, have total respect for each other and live in complete harmony with each other. And as the book goes on, God explains to Mack that they want him/us to be drawn into that relationship where we too have God’s thoughts, attitudes, and love for each other. God explains many times and in many ways that this was the original plan for creation, but of course Original Sin, our striving to be independent, trying to live on our own without total union with Him, changed all that.

As I think about our readings the last few weeks, our Easter readings, it is evident that the invitation to be one with God and with each other has been there from the beginning. Jesus said many times that He and the Father were one, that He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. We know that eventually Jesus revealed to His disciples in no uncertain terms that He was the Son of God. And then, just before His death He promised His disciples that He would send His Spirit, the Advocate from the Father…that the Spirit would speak only that which He heard from the Father. The Spirit would guide us. The Spirit’s role would be to draw us to the Father and to inspire us to do His work. Jesus would not leave us orphans. (When I was in high school, many years ago, when the “Holy Ghost” was becoming the “Holy Spirit,” one of my classmates challenged our teacher to explain the Holy Spirit. Heard many times since then, but the first time on that day–Fr. Dave Scheider responded: “The love of the Father for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father was so infinite, so perfect, so one, it’s the Spirit of Love– the Holy Spirit.”)

And in Scripture we have the affirmation that God does want us in relationship with Him. “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you, live on in my love.” “Holy Father, keep them in your name that You have given me so that they may be one in us just as we are one.” “Remain in me as I remain in You. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, but without me you can do nothing”. Over and over in the book, when Mack tells God that he doesn’t feel he can meet the challenge which God proposes even though he may want to, God tells him over and over that he will not have to “go it alone,” that He will be right there with him.

And so it is with us, as we strive to live in Him, continuing His labors of love as we baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Linda Caminiti