Three Persons in One God

Today is Trinity Sunday. The First and Second Reading, as well as the Gospel, all speak to the reality of the Trinity. The First Reading foreshadows what we will come to understand more deeply through the person of Christ and his apostles in the New Testament. Namely that the Trinity is three persons in one God…existing from all eternity. 

“Wisdom” in Proverbs 8:30-31 it says: “I [was] beside [the Lord] as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the human race.” 

Wisdom foreshadows the Holy Spirit. The phrase “…playing on the surface of the earth” brings to mind the “wind” referred to in Genesis 1:1, which at the dawn of creation “swept over the waters.” 

This personification of wisdom also foreshadows the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, the Word made flesh: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things came to be through him, and without Him nothing came to be.” 

The concept of the Trinity, three persons in one God, who has no beginning and no end, is mind-boggling. If you have ever tried to explain the triune God to a young person or a person who has never heard of it, you will know how intimidating such a task can be. There is no easy way to explain the Trinity. Maybe that’s because there is no way to explain it, period! We can explore it intellectually, but we will always fall short. The Godhead is simply too big for our finite minds to comprehend. 

When one of my children was 7 years old, I heard her talking out loud to herself while she was slowly raking leaves into a huge pile in our front yard. “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” she said meditatively, “Three persons in one God.” 

Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity is a great mystery! But even little ones can be sure that it is true, because it has been revealed to us by Christ Himself and, for 2000 years, has been taught by His Church. Happy Trinity Sunday!

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Christine Hanus is a thwarted idealist who, nevertheless, lives quite happily in Upstate NY. She is a wife and mother of five grown children.

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