The modern world wants rational explanations for everything; yet the doctrine of the Trinity is something that we will never begin to understand. If we try to, it is as though we are floundering out of our depth at sea. We must let go and be comfortable with the mystery. All we really need to grasp is the the Trinity is a circle of love. This love, however, is not exclusive, as the three persons are stretching out to embrace us all in their eternal dance.
The reading from St John exemplifies the love of God, who gave his only Son. This is a comfort in the midst of a litany of bad news. Let us allow the words echo in our minds: “God loved the world so much...”
Reverencing the mystery brings humility. Christians often claim that their way is the only way, without respecting or listening to the views of others. The fact that God is often pictured as appearing in or as a cloud is a powerful image, suggesting something hidden from our view and way beyond ourselves. Paradoxically, however, the three persons are very close to us in an intimate relationship. The Father is our creator, the Son our redeemer and the Spirit the one who inspires and guides us.
I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity:
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.
(St Patrick’s Breastplate)