Sunday, May 27
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Matthew 28: 16 – 20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
St Thomas Aquinas based his explanation of the Catholic Faith upon the principle of analogy. For Thomas, it is true that finite, limited human words can never fully capture the actual glorious reality of God. God is in that sense utterly ineffable, unable to be literally captured by human language or concepts.
But St Thomas insisted that we could still speak truthfully about God using analogical language: that God is similar to a human or created idea. When we say “God is perfect,” we can freely admit that our human word “perfect” and its human meaning is wholly insufficient in describing God’s type of “perfection.”
But the statement is still important and true! For the human idea of “perfection” is similar enough to the transcendental idea of absolute Divine “perfection” to communicate an essential truth about God to we small-brained, intellectually-limited mortal beings.
Human language similarly fails to “capture” the Holy Trinity. We can follow Jesus’ commandment to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can memorize the carefully formulated dogmatic statements of ecumenical councils. But human language is ultimately always doomed in any attempt to capture the entire reality of the Trinity. We cannot ‘put God in a box.’
But we don’t need ‘a God in a box’ in order to believe. For human language is able to communicate enough about the Trinity that we can understand enough to enter into communion with this Triune God. Just because we cannot fully explain God on this side of eternity does not mean that we can’t believe. Just because the idea of One God in Three Persons seems incomprehensible to us, doesn’t mean that such a God doesn’t exist.
On this Trinity Sunday, let us confess that our God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This truth is a great mystery, yes, but a mystery that we can understand enough about in order to love totally the magnificent Trinity.
Father Matthew Morris