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Reflection Of The Week

“The Trinity celebrates
God’s presence and actions in the world
from creation to today”

- Break Open the Word


Mary Coloe

The Spirit of truth will lead you.

Rom 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Desire – The heart of God.

We do not find an explicit statement of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Gospels; it took centuries of discussion before the Council of Nicea came up with the language we profess in our creed about Father, Son, and Spirit. What we do find is a seminal faith and an experience of God present in the life of Jesus and the early Christians. As a Jew Jesus would have daily prayed the great Jewish proclamation of faith, ‘Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one.’ Drawing on his Jewish traditions and Scriptures Jesus spoke to God as ‘Abba’, father. While the Greeks had the idea of God as a distant impersonal and immovable being, Jesus knew God as personal and loving.

Jesus’ experience of an intimate loving God continued in the experience of the early Christians who glimpsed that while the historical Jesus of Nazareth was no longer with them, Jesus as the Risen Christ was a powerful presence, still alive in their midst, and they experienced this as a powerful Spirit of love, courage, gratitude and peace, even in the midst of hostility and suffering. They knew with the certainty of experience God as Father, as Son and Spirit. How this could be so, remained mystery, as it still is, but the experience of love has its own certainty, as Paul writes with conviction: ‘the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.’ For this certainty, he will travel thousands of miles to share his experience, and ultimately will give his life.

The section from John’s Gospel continues Jesus’ Final Discourse as he tries to console and encourage his disciples on the night of his arrest. He promises them that even in his absence they will still have an advocate, a teacher and guide; they will not be left orphaned. The understanding of God as Trinity can also help us understand our own life.

The Trinity expresses the Christian faith that the essence of Divine life is a love that reaches out to another in desire to be in relationship. As this Gospel reveals, the Spirit is turned towards Jesus, the Son; all the Spirit expresses comes from the Risen Christ, just as all the Father has, is given over to the Son. Our own relationships and desires for love image the dynamic self-giving within the life of God. As Genesis states, ‘in the image of God they were created, male and female.’

In celebrating the Trinity, may we also celebrate and give thanks for our participation in this life of loving desire. May the patterns of our own loving mirror the generous self-giving of our God.

© Mary Coloe