Reflection on Trinity Sunday: 7th June 2020

Celebration of Trinity

Karl Rahner once said, ‘We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity be discarded, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged.’ The Trinity is supposed to be the central—even the paramount—doctrine of the Christian belief system. And yet we’re told, at least I was told as a young boy in Kansas, that we shouldn’t try to understand it because it’s a ‘mystery.’ But I believe mystery isn’t something that you cannot understand; rather, it is something that you can endlessly understand. We absolutely must maintain a fundamental humility before the Great Mystery; otherwise, religion worships itself and its formulations instead of God.

One of the major reasons the doctrine of the Trinity has been rediscovered in our time is that science and theology are beginning to use the same language, the language of relationship. In the beginning was relationship. “Let us create in our image” (Genesis 1:26-27). When we start with God as relationship, we begin the spiritual journey with an awareness that there has to be a “DNA connection” between the One who creates and what is created. One of the many wonderful things that scientists are discovering is that the pattern of the neutrons, protons, and electrons in atoms is similar to the pattern of planets, stars, and galaxies: both are in orbit around one another, and all appears to be in relationship to everything else. The energy in the universe is not in the planets, nor in the atomic particles, but very surprisingly in the relationship between them. The energy in the Trinity is not in any precise definition or in the partly arbitrary names of the three persons of the Trinity as much as in the relationship between the Three! We must reclaim Relationship as the foundation and ground of everything. This is where all the power for infinite renewal is at work. When Jesus’ prays that we will experience eternal life, he is inviting us to a Trinitarian way of living, loving, and relating.

The mystics would say that whenever we stand apart and objectify anything we stop knowing it. We have to love, respect and enter into relationship with what we desire to know.

Adapted. Richard Rohr

Gospel: John 3:16-18

Jesus said to Nicodemus,
‘God loved the world so much
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe
in the name of God’s only Son.’