Trinity Sunday: “Walking in Trinitarian Truth”
Before the Mass, songs for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost were being played because today is Trinity Sunday. It is the culmination of the Liturgical Calendar Year. Advent prepares the way for us for God to give of Himself by the giving of His Son at Christmas. During Epiphany, the Son manifested Himself to the nations, to the Gentiles. He gave of Himself in Lent and in Holy Week. The Holy Spirit also gave of Himself at Pentecost when He descended and rested on the disciples.
Trinity Sunday is what preachers call a nightmare because they don’t know what to say. To me, the right approach is that we don’t even try to explain the mystery of the Trinity. It is beyond us. The Trinity is more a pattern or a model to be followed than a theological puzzle to be solved. It is God giving of Himself, withholding nothing. He gave every blessing from the heavenly places. It is a pattern behooving us to follow and to walk accordingly since we ourselves are partakers of the Divine nature.
One thing plain though in the mystery of the Trinity: God is love as defined by John the Beloved. God is eternal love – unchanging; immovable; indiscriminate; others oriented and not exclusive. The fact is that as the Trinity is a community of love, we, as creation, were a product of the overflow of this love. God doesn’t make us earn His blessing. We, created in His likeness, should not make people earn our blessing. God is not guilty of “schadenfreude” which is a desire for the harm of others. This doesn’t have a place in the mind and in the heart of a Christian because our God is not somebody who desires evil upon anyone.
We have misunderstood what is called imprecatory prayers and it is sad that even some Christians pray for something bad to happen for others. However, this is not the heart of God at all. We quote the Psalm, “Let another take us off this. Let his children be fatherless. Let none be there to help them.” This is not God’s heart as the Psalmist was pouring out his cry for justice and for God to hear him. The heart of God is to bless. He is ever-blessing as He is ever blessed. This is the pattern we have because we were created in His image and we are partakers of His divine nature.
The leadership of God the Father is a model for us – always giving and always blessing. As He is, so He does. He does according to His nature. Who He is love; what He does is love. Likewise, we should give, forgive, bless because of who we are not because of who the recipient of our blessing is. We give because of the Divine nature in us, not because of the worthiness or unworthiness of the person we are blessing. Who we are is a partaker of the Divine nature created in the image of God. Give according to this nature. Bless according to who you are, not according to the worthiness of the recipient. We do not bless only when people deserve our blessing. We give according to our nature; our nature is divine because we were created in God’s image. God blesses us, but are we worthy to be blessed? We are not worthy or we do not deserve God’s blessings as we fall short of the glory of God, but He doesn’t bless us according to who we are, but according to Who He is, according to His nature which is ever blessing, eternally blessing.
2 Corinthians 5:14 says that the love of Christ controls us – not the worthiness or unworthiness of people. The love motivates us, controls us, which is our zeal. We are ever-blessing because we are ever-blessed. We hesitate to bless because we think it diminishes us. Our worth is not diminished when we bless. Our worth is based on God’s unchanging love, unconditional, non-stop unceasing love for us, not our material, emotional resources or our social or moral net worth. Our worth is dependent upon God’s love for us which never changes.
The model that we are to follow is the community of love in the Trinity. It is relational, that is, it requires other people. We cannot have a relationship with ourselves because if we do, it is called narcissism. Love is relational which requires the presence of other people.
Zaccheus, a tax collector and a sinner in the eyes of the people, went up a tree to see Jesus. He was looked down by the Pharisees but Jesus saw him and gave time for him. Zaccheus said Jesus, “If I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give half of my riches to prove of my repentance.” Jesus said, “Today, salvation has come to this house. This, too, is the son of Abraham.” What does Jesus mean? Is the salvation given to him securing his eternal future? No, salvation meant that Zaccheus discovered how it is to live in the community of love that the Trinity exemplifies. This is salvation; this is eternal life. It is like being in Abraham’s bosom, which is not a place, but a state. It is not a status, but a being or a participation in God’s nature.
It is like married life. The wedding is not married life; it is only the beginning. We don’t get married to change our status from single to married. We get married because we enter into a relationship which is an ongoing non-stop growth process and a process of knowing the other person we are in relationship with. Salvation and eternal life are the same. Eternal is non-stop and continuous. Eternal life is not something that we secure by praying a prayer, but something we enter into and we start and continue eternally. It is an ongoing experience.
The difference between experiencing salvation and experiencing condemnation has nothing to do with God for He is unchanging. Love was God; God was love; God is love; God will be love. Jesus came because He loved us. Jesus will return because He loves us. He did not come friendly before and hostile when He returns. God does not change! He is eternally love.
John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son…whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life. Verse 17 says, “For God did not send His Son to judge the world or to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved. He who believes has life; He who does not believe is condemned already.” It not God who does the condemning because Jesus came not to condemn but to save. We take it upon ourselves or we take condemnation upon ourselves. We were in condemnation when man fell in the beginning. The reason Jesus came was to change our status from condemnation to salvation.
We say “yes” to His offer, and we change our status and we participate in His eternal life and in His salvation. If we reject it, if we ignore it, then, we remain in our condemnation. He did not bring it to us, but we brought it upon ourselves. All that God does, all the He offers us is a way out of this condemnation into life. Let us not misjudge or misinterpret the character of God. He is steady, constant, unchanging and eternal. Walk in God’s divine nature because our calling is to walk in His nature. Our calling is to love one another just us He has loved us - the same kind of love.
Trinity Sunday doesn’t need a deep theological explanation of the Trinity. We just need to see the Trinity as a pattern, a model for us to follow accordingly because we were created in the image of this very God for this is just the way it is in the kingdom of our God.