June 5, 2009
The Three in Me
Feast of the Holy Trinity
Matthew 28: 16 – 20 “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Leo Buscaglia was asked to judge in a contest to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four-year-old child, whose next door neighbour was an old man, who recently lost his wife. When the child saw the old man crying, he climbed onto the old man’s lap, and just sat there. The next day, the old man was up and back to his old happy self. When he was asked what he said to the old man, the little boy just said, "Nothing, I just cried with him." Presence is always consoling and empowering.
Today as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity, our gospel shows us how the loving presence of Jesus did two wonderful things to his disciples: they were consoled and empowered; and commissioned them to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
We do believe in the Holy Trinity - three Persons in One God. We have accepted that full understanding of this Trinitarian dogma will elude us for the rest of our lives. It will remain a mystery to reckon until we finally meet God in heaven.
But the best way to understand how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit become one is not through Mathematics (for it will surely fail us) but by how they unitively relate to one another and how they reveal themselves to us in different ways. Three different ways of manifestation yet one loving God: The Son, by becoming like us, shares his eternal presence, “I am with you always, until the end of age.” The Father’s eternal protection and unconditional love provides our daily bread, protects us from all evil and empowers us to face our struggles in life. The Holy Spirit’s eternal light consoles and reminds us of the teachings of Jesus. Three different ways of manifestation but unitive in nature.
In our gospel today, when Jesus met the disciples in Galilee, “they worshipped him but doubted.” Somehow we can relate with the disciples here. We do believe in God. We pray and attend Mass regularly. But a part of us doubts God’s power and presence in our life. We still have some anxiety attacks, pockets of sadness, and unrecognized emptiness.
Today, beg the Holy Trinity to touch our hearts. Let the Holy Spirit consoles us. Believe that “all power in heaven and on earth has been given” to Jesus by God the Father and all your fear will disappear. Then say YES to lend a hand in the Trinity’s Enterprise of saving souls. The Trinitarian love (presence, consolation, empowerment) we have experienced should move us out of our selfishness, sins and comfort zones.
Our Jesuit theology professor in Loyola School of Theology attempted explaining to us the Trinitarian mystery for one semester, but he closed the course with an expected conclusion, “The Trinity is in the realm of mystery. No amount of words or logical explanation can fully grasp the mystery. Faith will do.” But faith is for the believers only.
For the unbelievers, the only way to understand the Trinity is through our examples, by becoming LIVING WITNESSES of the Holy Trinity’s loving presence in their lives. Be like the Son – be the presence of unseen God to others. Be like the Holy Spirit – guide and console people. Be like the Father – love unconditionally and empower people to discover their own giftedness. Witnessing is more convincing than explaining.
I don’t need to understand the Trinitarian mystery in its fullness. My experience of the Father’s unconditional love, the Son’s eternal presence and the Spirit’s consolation, are more than enough to wipe away my tears, move on, and face the day with a smile.
- Fr. Willy M. Samson, SJ
Santa Maria Parish, Iloilo City
June 7, 2009