Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. It may be, at first glance, difficult for us to understand that we believe in God as Trinity. It would make more sense to us to match our experience and reality. For us 1+1+1 = 3. So it would be easier for us to believe in three gods.
Why do we believe in a Trinity of Persons for God? The answer is simple. It simply is this: that is the way Jesus Himself spoke about God. He spoke about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said things like this, “the Father and I are One.” And “everything the Father has belongs to the Son.” Jesus spoke about sending the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. Last Sunday for the feast of Pentecost Jesus breathed on the apostles and said to them “receive the Holy Spirit”. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, we hear Jesus saying to the apostles, “Go forth and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.
If we are created in the image and likeness of our God, then how are we to live in the image of Father, Son, and Spirit? This may seem like a lofty concept far removed from our daily living. Yet we each have the opportunity to look at the Trinity and live in the image of our God.
With God the Father, I suggest asking – what is the main activity of God the Father? God is not limited to any one activity (we avoid modalism) but God the Father creates. God continues to create the world and you. Every day we have invitations to live in His grace and to live in His image. You may be in your senior years thinking to yourself that God is done with you, that you are fully mature. However this I believe the would cause God to laugh. For He is not done with us even in our old age. Each day God desires to shape us, mold us, guide us, direct us. Each day we have an opportunity to be our best selves and to say yes to God’s grace. We may have a day in which we are successful in being patient or kind or loving. On those days we say to ourselves, “I was at my best today.” Or we may have a day in which we are irritable, short tempered, and impatient. And we say, “ Well, tomorrow will be a better day.” So we have an opportunity each day to live in God’s grace as we allow Him to continue to create us in His image.
What is it to live in the image and likeness of God the Son? God the Son has done many things for us of course, but He gave His life for us on the Cross. We live in imitation of God the Son when we make a loving sacrifice for someone else. This simply means putting the other before ourselves. Anytime we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced in order to care for another we are making a loving sacrifice.
What does it mean to live in the likeness of God the Holy Spirit? This is perhaps easier to understand. St. Paul tells us in our second reading today to mend relationships and to live in peace with one another. He tells us to greet one another with a holy kiss. During these Covid conditions we are probably not greeting each other with a kiss. However we can greet each other with enthusiastic joy. We can throw a verbal parade and greet each other with appreciation and joy. Think how that would lift the spirits of the one before you if you authentically said to them, “Wow, it’s great to see you! I love your smile and am so happy that you are here.”
On this feast of the Trinity, we are called to live in the image and likeness of our God. May we participate in the creative activity of God the Father as He calls us to be our best self. Maybe imitate God the Son with our sacrificial acts of love. May we imitate God the Spirit with peace and joy when we encounter each other. If we do these things – we will celebrate the feast of the Trinity every day – as we live in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.