The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It rolls off the tongue so naturally that we hardly give it a second thought. But as common as it may be for us to make the Sign of the Cross, the tradition only hints at the mystery—perhaps the greatest of mysteries.
If we look at the Bible as a love story between God and humanity, the way God reveals himself to us through salvation history is more profound than any classic novel, blockbuster movie, Broadway play or epic poem. It is in so many ways the love story from which all others come.
The Old Testament is a saga between God the Father and humanity that spans centuries. He chooses the Israelites as his people, the nation through which he will bring his son into the world. The prophets told these chosen people that the day will come when a Messiah will free them from bondage. But few knew that the bondage the prophets spoke of was that of sin and that through Christ’s followers this freedom would be offered to everyone in the world. The ways of God were a mystery then, as they remain today.
After Christ’s Ascension he sent us the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We relive the story every year through the liturgical calendar, but what if we viewed the Trinity in a different way; not as just a doctrine or tradition, but as a perpetual font of truth that never runs dry as it draws us deeper into love for God?
Through the Bible God slowly revealed himself, first as Father, then as Son and then as Holy Spirit. The Church teaches that the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. But this is still only a simplified understanding of God. It’s as good as we can do this side of heaven. There is still so much more. As St. Augustine once shared, our minds can’t fully comprehend the Trinity any more than a bucket can hold the entire ocean.
This is the most important lesson for me to learn and remember on this Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. God is always mysterious, not mysterious as if he is lurking around trying to evade people, but mysterious like a bottomless ocean that we’re constantly discovering new things about.
This article was first published on The Great Adventure Blog—Ascension Blog’s former home—May 31, 2015. For more information on Great Adventure Bible studies, click here.