The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Reflection by Father Rex Pillai

As a child I was often enamored with the moon. I was fascinated with its sheer brightness, magnitude and its distance. To my mind this strange celestial object contained all of the mysteries of life, and I longed for the day when someone who had visited the moon would be able to unravel all of its mysteries. It was only years later I would learn to my amazement that some people had actually landed on the moon. Human beings have always been intrigued by the unknown and what is beyond them. They have always longed to conquer the “mysterious.”

Today, we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. We are often lost for words when it comes to understanding and explaining logically and even rationally what we celebrate today. Just as I wondered about the mystery of the moon, I was told by my religion teacher that there was an element of mystery about the Trinity. Many moons later, I have come to grasp the true nature of God: God is RELATIONSHIP. We are dealing here not just with some terribly abstract theological doctrine, still less with a mathematical contradiction, that 3=1. We profess that in One God there are Three Persons. It tells us of a unity of three real persons.

In trying to understand the Trinity, we need to avoid two extremes. Firstly, breaking our head trying to work out fully how one God can be three persons. Secondly, to say it is a mystery and not bother to have any understanding at all. On the one hand, as human beings we want to understand, we want to find meaning in things and we should always try to go as far as we can in making sense of our faith. On the other hand, there are many things in life which are and probably always will be far beyond our understanding. This does not mean we deny their existence.

Life is indeed full of mysteries, including the mystery of our own self, and there is no need to be discouraged by that fact. If the material world in which we live can be such a mystery, it is hardly surprising that its Creator should not be an even greater mystery. It is hardly surprising therefore, that when it comes to understanding God or how God operates, we can become paralyzed by the magnitude of the mystery. Mystery means that we can never say the final word about God—there is always more to discover, there is always more to share, and there is always more to experience. It is in this sense that Trinity Sunday calls us to reflect on what God means to us personally and enter into a relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit. There is much about the Trinity that we can know from what they do.

The Trinity tells us God is not solitary like the pagan gods; God is not capricious or cruel as the Greek gods. It says that God is relationship based on love. And we are made in that image and we are called to be a reflection of the triune God. We know that we are at our best, our most human, our most divine, when we are in loving relationships. It is at those times that our true identity as being made in the image and likeness of the triune God is revealed, precisely as a God whose very nature is a loving relationship. When we are in loving relationships, it shows us living in the pattern of the Trinity. On the other hand, we are least ourselves when we are out of relationship because it goes against the grain of who we are. Today’s feast comes down to this: it’s about three persons bound in a relationship of LOVE, and it’s about you, because you are the reflection of that relationship: Father, Son, and Spirit.