The Trinity. The famous image? The shamrock! The shamrock is the image we associate with the Trinity, the three persons in one God. But there is one limitation to this image. It is flat and static. It doesn’t move. It is not dynamic. Even the image above us, the famous icon of the Trinity by the Russian artist, Rublev, is somewhat static. The three persons in one God are always active – and moving outward.
The Trinity is a dynamic relationship of three persons, exchanging love among each other. They go out of themselves to each other and to the world, to us — creating, renewing, and transforming people and situations in need of it. The Father creates the world. The Son redeems it. And their Holy Spirit continually reminds us, prompts us and guides us to know God and to act like the Father and the Son in the world.
When we were baptized, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, came to dwell in us – all three persons. The three persons are active in us, pushing us forward, out from ourselves by the Holy Spirit who “guides” us. From the Word and Eucharist, we are sent out, to our families, to our communities. They do stuff. Like the characters in The Shack. They are a relationship. A Community of persons. That’s the trinity. That’s us!
Think of community – of a family. The man and woman exchange their love and produce a child out of that love, a community, the unit of society. Parents continually pour out that love into their children. We see this dynamic, too, in a parish in the various councils and committees when they are working together for the growth and development of the parish, building up God’s Kingdom. We saw it this week, the way members of this parish came to offer help and support to the Claunch family and all here who were prompted to assist in the planning and the doing of the visitation, funeral and the reception. We see this easily, too, in sports, players playing together to delight the crowd. I saw it Friday night at the amphitheater in the performers in Brigadoon working together to give pleasure to the audience. The Trinity is at work and at play in all these examples. The energy always extends outwardly.
Pope Francis puts it this way: “Let us ask ourselves: do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, on our group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?” (May 19, 2013). Opening himself is what Jesus did in the days of his earthly ministry. He learned this from the Father. We learn it from Jesus, and we do it, prompted by the Spirit. Whenever we move out from ourselves to care for others, we show the Trinity at work in us.
Did you offer encouragement to another as Paul exhorts the Corinthians today? In your family? In the workplace, here in the parish? Be attentive to your own activities, to the way you pour yourself out and you’ll discover Trinity at work in you and around you. There’s a lot more there than a green shamrock! But let’s not tell the Hallmark Greeting Card people. We don’t want to put them out of business!