Year A: Trinity Sunday
Gospel: John 3: 16-18
The Trinity is a subject many people fight shy of - mainly because it is so difficult to explain!
St Patrick took a shamrock and explained that the three leaves formed a unity which could represent the life of the Divine Trinity. Others represent the Trinity in a triangle. Rublevís Icon of Hospitality depicted three figures around a table who could also represent the Three Persons of the Trinity.
Images and explanations can only take us so far, however. Very often, they are static - fixed in time and space - though our sense of the Divine Life is of something that is dynamic - yet unchanging - something that flows between the Persons of the Trinity and between the Trinity and human beings.
The essence of that Life is love - a love that is infinitely bigger than anything we can mean by the word. Our understanding of love is limited by our own existence in time and space. We can glimpse something greater - but, as St Paul says, it is like looking at a dim reflection.
Todayís Gospel offers an illustration of that love in the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus.
Jesus speaks of the love God has for the world in sending His only Son to be its Saviour. The love that exists between Father and Son is greater even than the love between an earthly father and son - parent and child. This love is inexpressibly intimate since this Father and Son are of One Being. When Jesus speaks of God sending His only Son - He is also saying that God sent something of His own being into the world.
The Son came into the world to suffer and to die at the hands of the very humanity He came to save. God knew this outcome - and yet, even so, sent the Beloved Child to accomplish the redemption of His human children.
The love that flows eternally from Father to Son and Spirit is not an inward-looking love - but a creative and dynamic love. From that love, all that is came into being. Human creatures too were called into being through love - and for love.
In spite of its many sins and failings, humanity cannot lose its special place in that love - the love of the Creator - the Redeemer - the Inspirer. We are called into the eternal love and life of the Trinity - to be drawn into it and live within it in eternity.
What does it mean for me?
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