Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)
Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock as a model for explaining the Holy Trinity.
Just as the shamrock is one, it has three distinct parts. There is no question about it. You see the three leaves and you think “shamrock”.
Just so with God. God is three distinct persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — yet, when you see any of the three, you see God.
The Father is not the Son or the Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father or the Son. Yet they are all the One, True God.
This is an extremely difficult concept for people to teach as well as to understand.
There is a story about St. Augustine walking on the beach as he struggled to contemplate the mystery of the Trinity so as to be able to teach it better.
As he was walking, he saw a boy in front of him who had dug a hole in the sand. The boy had a bucket and was going out to the sea again and again and bringing some water to pour into the hole.
St. Augustine asked the boy, “What are you doing?”
“I’m going to pour the entire ocean into this hole.”
“That is impossible. The whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made,” said St. Augustine.
The boy replied, “And you cannot fit the Trinity in your tiny little brain.” At that, the boy vanished.
St. Augustine realized that he had been talking to an angel the entire time.
Is the mystery of the Holy Trinity impossible to fit into our tiny brains? Yes.
Does that mean that we cannot have an appreciation of the great mystery? No.
We can come to understand, at least partially, the wonder and glory of God. We have come to understand the Trinity in terms of the roles each person of the Trinity plays in our history and in our lives.
God the Father is acknowledged as the Creator, the one who made all things and brought us into existence. God the Son is the Redeemer, the one who died and rose that He might destroy death and restore life to His people. The love between the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit, is the Sanctifier, the one who pours grace upon grace into us, giving us the opportunity to grow closer to God day by day.
May God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bless you and your loved ones this day and may you know Him more fully day by day!
FAITH ACTION: Spend one half hour in prayer today meditating upon the Holy Trinity: ten minutes thinking about God the Father, ten minutes about God the Son, and ten minutes about God the Spirit.