Many years ago, when I was teaching religious instruction or catechism in one of our schools n Madagascar, I always struggled when it comes to explaining the Trinity, the Feast we are celebrating today. I had hard time to make the students understand the mystery of the Trinity, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It was difficult then, it is still difficult today and it will be always difficult to describe the Trinity in human language, because our capacity of expression is limited as human being and we are trying to describe the one who is beyond our understanding.
I love the story about St Augustin and the little child playing along beach. One day, St Augustin was walking, praying and reflecting on the mystery of the Trinity, and as a great theologian and philosopher, he tried to grasp an understanding of that One God in Three Persons. While he was so deep in his reflection, he saw this child playing on the sand, and he was stunned to see what this child was doing: he made a little hole on the sand and going back and forth carrying the water from the ocean to fill the hole. “What are you doing?” St Augustin asked the child, and he replied: “I’m going to bring this water of the ocean into this hole,” and he continued bringing the water. And St Augustin told him, how can you bring that ocean into that little hole you made? It will never fit there! It is so immense. And the child replied: And so is the immensity of the mystery of the Trinity, your human understanding is too small and limited to contain and grasp it all. And the child was gone.
Later in my life, St Ignatius of Loyola helped me to live and understand better the mystery of the Trinity. In the contemplation of the Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius invites us to imagine the Three Divine Persons, looking down the surface of the earth from heaven with love and care, and saw all kinds of people with different races, faiths, colours, ages, doing all kind of things. God knew that human kinds and all the creation needed help. The right time for that help has come and with overflowing love, The Second Person of the Trinity became human being and came and save us.
It is in that overflowing love from God that we could grasp an understanding of this mystery, not much in our head but mostly in our heart. It is in the unending love of God the Father at the time of creation, when we were created as who we are; it is in the unconditional love of God the Son, at the time of the incarnation and resurrection when we were saved from eternal death and sin; and it is in the continuous love of God the Holy Spirit who fills our lives, enlightens us and guides us, comforts us and strengthens us today.
We live in the life of the Trinity when we continue to spread that love we have received from God. It is in our daily love, care, understanding and forgiveness to one another that we enter this great mystery. On this day of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we are all invited to look around us, especially at this time of unrest because of the colour of our skins. Wabshka (White), Ozaawa (Yellow), Mishkwa (Red) Mukadewa (Black), we all belong to one circle. In loving us, God sees no difference. We are all unique and special in God’s eyes. We are all God’s children and we receive God’s love in its fullness. We are invited to do the same: to share love, care, understanding and forgiveness in its fullness.
June 7, 2020