The Gospel (Jn 3, 16-18)
God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world, not to judge the world, but that through him the world might be saved. Whoever believes in him escapes judgment; he who does not believe is already judged, because he did not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
The Trinity ? What a mystery! God the Father, we see more or less, it is necessary that God be, at the very least, clothed in his authority. The Son, even better: having entered our world, he bears a man’s name, he is immediately in our field of vision and is close enough to us for the relationship with him to be almost natural. As for the Holy Spirit, despite the imagery of the doves here and the tongues of fire there to represent him a little… we don’t always see well!
But, in the age of radio waves and Bluetooth, it is conceivable that divine grace, which is not intended to be confined to Heaven, can spread throughout the world in an invisible mode of divine radioactivity or television broadcasting. As for the intimate relationship of these three, what it has to tell us about the very heart of God, about what is undoubtedly the most moving source of our faith, the secret center of this mystery that a life Christian vocation is to approach, we are quickly tempted to reserve this for specialists.
The Trinity: a somewhat abstract article of the creed, dogmatic equation for the initiated, subtle reasoning for informed theologians? Rublev’s beautiful icon helps us: The Trinity, not as a frozen relationship but as a table, open, where three have already taken their places, where three are the table, for an incessant exchange of life and a perpetual flow of love to which, this is what is overwhelming, we also have our share.
The Trinity, what a revelation! Not a speculative feast which, after Easter, makes us fall back a little… The Trinity, much more like an event, permanent, as amazing as the resurrection: God is One, but he has faces! In Hebrew, the ordinary word for the face is already a plural word (panim); on every face, like the original imprint of a “multifaceted” God himself.
Our divine interlocutor then? Never a fearsome big Other, all alone with himself, but an essential “interface”, which will always spare us the accusing frontality of a “face to face” that so many men fear, precisely by imagining God as a judge or an all-powerful monarch, seated on his throne and ever ready for the appearance of men. Yes, the Trinity is a very useful feast for rebelling against the deleterious idea of such a relational huis-clos between a God, solitary, perched in his sky as in a watchtower, and the men below who would dare to hard to face him. The Trinity is much more an ambient environment, it is a place of life, it is love in action, in fusion, without confusion.
With the Trinitarian God, we are never called to “come to the bar”, but to “enter into an ecosystem”. And in the very ecosystem of love! The Trinity is a marvel of the revelation of the face of God, of his deep being, in that it saves us forever from the accusing face to face: it tears us away from the misdeeds of identity, gives us a third, ‘space. It gives love to the field, against the stasis, the narrowness, the possessiveness that so quickly takes over our lives, or our own love stories. Because, in love, God, he is very wide. May the Trinity put us there.
Holy Trinity, introduce us into your overwhelming mystery of love, give us the intuition to grasp its vitality, to perceive its depth, its power and to taste its first fruits here below.
Holy Trinity, do not despair of us, nor of the sometimes still very empty place which is ours at the table of divine love. Keep everyone’s place wide open, until the ultimate choice is made.
Holy Trinity, send your Trinitarian grace to the world and may, in your image, man understand himself first as a being of relationship, of service and of love for the benefit of his neighbour.