Our liturgy spends little time analyzing this ineffable mystery of God. Instead it uses words full of praise, affection and love: Glory to the Father,and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: to God who is, who was, and who is to come.And the Sunday readings often speak to us about the Father (as creator of all life), sending his Son or Word (for our salvation) and communicating the Holy Spirit (related to our rebirth from water and the Spirit.) The revelation of God as Father, Son and Spirit tells us what God is for us: Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier. But it tells us nothing about the mysterious unity of the three divine Persons. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the mystery of God himself.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit: that is the order in which we place the sacred names of the three divine Persons. And yet, we really come to know God in a reverse order. In the power of the Holy Spirit whom we receive in baptism, we are able to grow in our knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who in turn is the way to the Father. The Father is revealed through the Word, his Son. But it is the Spirit who leads us to the Son, so that we can come to know the Father. The Spirit keeps the words and deeds of Jesus alive in the memory of the Church and in the heart of each believer. [It is fitting that our celebration of Pentecost precede our celebration of Trinity Sunday; this arrangement reminds us that only through the Spirit can we worship God as faithful disciples of Jesus and live as true children of God.]
Already in the Old Testament, the Father, Son and Spirit were at work. But it is only in the New Testament that we gradually get a clearer picture of the role and work of each Person of the Blessed Trinity. The specific revelation of Christianity is the fact that God is our Father; Jesus is his only-begotten Son; the Holy Spirit is the loving Gift of the Son to his Church.
Trinity Sunday celebrates the love of the three divine Persons for each other and for us. Love is the binding force of the Persons of the Trinity. In the eternal action of loving, the Father begets the Son. And in the interaction of the love that is shared between the father and the Son, there it is generated the Spirit, who is calledthe fire of love. The life of the one God who is Trinity, is a life of pure love. It is the love of God that is poured out in our hearts.
The Blessed Trinity itself is mystery enough; but it is an even deeper mystery why this God of three Persons, so perfect, infinitely intelligent and all-powerful, should want to create, sustain, love, forgive, and have near for all eternity anyone as imperfect and insignificant as we are. What is man that you would be mindful of him, asks today’s responsorial psalm. And yet, as the opening prayer of today’s Mass says,the Father has sent his Word in order to bring us truth and his Spirit to make us holy. What a lovely mystery!