Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Today’s Gospel is one of the most familiar passages of the Bible, and if all of Scripture and Salvation History could be summed up in a handful of words, this would probably do it. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
There, in that sentence, we see the Trinity. We see one God who loves the world—a world outside of but not beyond Himself—such that He (Father) gave His only Son. The Holy Spirit, as we might recall from the Gospel story of the Annunciation, is the Love of God by which the Son came to us (Luke 1:35). In the Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius has us imagine looking at the earth from the perspective of the Trinity in heaven: our salvation is something into which God has poured His entire Self. It wasn’t just the Father commanding the Son, nor the Son volunteering, or the Spirit taking the initiative: God as One, doing all He can to save us and draw us into Himself.
God didn’t come to condemn us, to punish us for our sins, but rather to teach us how to love Him and to love one another: how to be human, as He made us to be, and to draw us into the life of the Trinity. Jesus says later in John’s Gospel “Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” (John 5:22-23) And what does our Judge do all the while He is among us? He begs the Father’s mercy on us, He forgives, and He implores us to settle our issues “while on the way to court” (Matthew 5:25) because there will be a time for Him to judge; He wants us to take advantage of His mercy here and now. It is almost as if the judge has come into the prison to encourage the prisoners to become friends with Him; those that do cause Him to recuse Himself from trial! “Whoever believes in Him will not be condemned…”
We cannot fathom the mystery of the Trinity any more than we can fathom the length and breadth, height and depth of God’s love (Ephesians 3:14-19); the two mysteries are linked, if not the same. Our God has given us everything to the very dregs: God gave us all He ever created (Genesis 1:26, 28), and when this was insufficient for our salvation He gave us His Son, who gave us His Father (John 16:27), His Body and Blood (Luke 22:19-20), His mother (John 19:27), and His Spirit (John 20:22). We have been given everything, everything there possibly is to give, and it is all through the Son, whose Heart is the door by which we enter the very life and reality of the Most Holy Trinity: our God Who Is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.