Reflection on Trinity Sunday - Robin Kassabian
This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday. Ah... Trinity Sunday... every seminarian's fear and challenge... to preach or write about the incomprehensible and baffling theme of the Trinity. The preface for this Sunday prays, "For with your co-eternal Son and Holy Spirit, you are one God, one Lord in Trinity of Persons and Unity of Being..."
Are we Christians monotheists? Is there one God? If so, is God the creator God of the Hebrew scriptures? Is it Yahweh? Is it El Shaddai? What about Jesus? Isn't he God's son? And what about the Holy Spirit? Is that God's spirit? Or Jesus' spirit? If there's only one God, why do we have three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
So many questions! As my New Testament professor, Dr. Riley explains, the word "person" in Greek, means "mask"; as in the masks worn by the ancient actors of Greek comedies and tragedies. In fact, that's where the English word "persona" comes from.
There is only God, who manifests God's self in different personas. We know God as the creator, the Father, the Source of all Being. But we also know God through God's incarnation in the human person of Jesus. God made flesh. God who experienced everything the same way that we humans do. And who, in the person of Jesus, set the perfect example for us of love and reconciliation; who followed God's will and gave himself in love for the whole world. And we know the Holy Spirit, God alive and moving in our hearts, in the Church and through our actions in the world today.
Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, the feast of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the first Christians. She came and ignited the church. She empowered the evangelists to be able to preach the Good News to every person, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or language.
In the appointed Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus tells his disciples that he still has many things to tell them and that the Spirit of Truth will come to them and guide them into all truth. Jesus says that what the Spirit says will glorify Jesus because what the Spirit will say comes from Jesus and the Father. In this way, we can trust what the Spirit says to us in our day and age when it glorifies Jesus and conforms to his Gospel message. For me, this is indeed Good News, that the One God continues to speak to us through the person of the Holy Spirit!
So let us pray that God may keep us steadfast in this Faith and worship, and bring us at last to see Him in His one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God for ever and ever. Amen.