Reading: Matthew 28. 16-21
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Today is Trinity Sunday, on which we remember God as three in one and one in three, of which the concept is not easily grasped. How can we prove or explain ‘Trinity’, then? Someone says, ‘proving the Trinity is like proving a negative’. Thomas a Kempis, in his book ‘The Imitation of the Christ’, also said “What does it profit you to argue profoundly about the Trinity, if you lack humility, and so displease the Trinity? I would rather feel contrition than define the word.”
So, I’d rather not try to explain it but show some examples of Trinity from the Scriptures which may help to understand what ‘Trinity’ means to us.
For instance, you may remember the time when Jesus was baptised at the river Jordan. There, when Jesus was coming out of the river, we hear the Father proclaiming ‘You are my Son, whom I love. With you I am well pleased’. And then, we see the Spirit descending on him like a dove. What a beautiful picture it is! Wonderful picture of the Trinity. And, this Trinitarian concept and images are continuously coming up all through the gospel. In John 16, we see John emphasise the unique relationship among God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, using the image of abiding in each other, such as Father in me, and I in Him.
And again, at the end of the Matthew’s gospel, we see Jesus give to his disciples the Great Commandment, saying ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’. This commandment bears a Trinitarian concept, which might have not been understood by any of the disciples at that moment. But, it is still the mystery to us as well, and perhaps that is what the ‘Trinity’ is all about.
So, I am going to conclude my reflection by quoting from NT Wright: “The doctrine of the Trinity, properly understood, is as much a way of saying ‘we don’t know’ as of saying ‘we do know.’ To say that the true God is Three and One is to recognize that if there is a God then of course we shouldn’t expect him to fit neatly into our little categories. If he did, he wouldn’t be God at all, merely a god, a god we might perhaps have wanted…. the doctrine of the Trinity is, if you like, a signpost pointing ahead into the dark, saying: ‘Trust me; follow me; my love will keep you safe.’ […] The doctrine of the Trinity affirms the rightness, the propriety, of speaking intelligently that the true God must always transcend our grasp of him, even our most intelligent grasp of him.’
Let us pray.
Eternal Father, we praise and adore you.
You are the source of life and truth,
You long for your children’s growth,
And your creative power sustains and holds us.
Lord Jesus Christ, we praise and adore you.
You are the visible evidence of the Father’s love,
You long to raise us to our full height,
Your teaching is our guide and your presence is our hope.
And, Holy Spirit of God, we praise and adore you.
You are the sign of God within us,
You take the things of Christ and show them to us,
And you lead us in the search for truth.
Father, Son, and Spirit: Origin of creation, sign of eternal love, goal of all wisdom, we praise and adore you. Amen