Since childhood we were taught that our Christian faith is faith in the Trinity, three persons in one God. Difficult to explain and comprehend, it is aptly called a mystery.
The dictionary defines mystery as “a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand.”
Let us try to “crack the code” as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity. In the Trinity we find the epitome of the famous adage, that in unity there is diversity.
Before coming together, the diversity is what is often more obvious, but I believe we share an underlying unity, a shared desire and passion, a common dream and hope.
In the public service work we perform in one company, we have started a “habit” when we begin a partnership with other groups for a public service project.
Our very first point of discussion is to discover our shared values for the work we plan to do together.
We explicitly say that this set of shared values is of paramount importance, and needs to be articulated for us to be able to work together.
Unity in diversity
This is one simple example of the integrated process of unity in diversity.
In a profound way, this is the Trinity. United in perfect love, or more aptly, united because they are perfect love.
The individuation is clearly seen in mission, as the Father, Son and Spirit show diversity in each one’s role.
In a previous reflection, we looked at the “Contemplation on the Incarnation” in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and saw how the Trinity watches the world and sees its path towards destruction. This elicits a decision to send the Son to save the world.
Before or after a big event in Christ’s ministry we often see this line or its variation: “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” (Mark 1: 35)
This is what I invite you to reflect on this Trinity Sunday, discovering our moment of solitude, our sacred space where we can go “away to a secluded place” and, like Christ, experience “praying there.”
The most insightful moment of this sacred space is the Agony in the Garden (cf. Luke 22: 39-46). Here we see Christ baring his soul in prayer.
This gives us the essence of sacred space—simply put, it is “home” where we can be most ourselves, make a choice and emerge renewed and ready to serve the mission and others.
Sacred space provides the home we can go back to day in, day out, every moment we need to renew. And in being renewed we become ready again to go out to love and serve God and others.
Opportunity to dream
While writing this article, we had to take a break to attend a godson’s high school graduation. While listening to the valedictory, we asked our self: “Why can’t our young men and women in the public schools enjoy the opportunity to dream—and to let one’s imagination, hope and willingness work for the dream?”
Perhaps today, Trinity Sunday, it will be good to contemplate the world, our world, and decide how we can go into it and be with others, especially the marginalized, the poor, the youth who are poor, and with them and with the Trinity, build a better world.
Today we pray that we be inspired to build a world where anyone can have the sacred space of knowing oneself in the midst of one’s realities, but never imprisoned or, worse, crushed by these realities.
In the 2007 bestseller “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young, the main character Mack receives an unusual invitation from God to go back to the shack in the forest where, four years earlier, the body of his youngest daughter was found after she was abducted during family camping.
He goes and spends the weekend with God—Father, Son and Spirit.
In one of his conversations with the Father, called Papa in the novel and referred to as “she,” Mack asks: “What difference does it make that there are three of you, and you are all one God?”
To which Papa replies: “Love and relationship. All love and relationship is possible for you only because it already exists within Me, within God myself. Love is not the limitation; love is the flying. I am love.”
In this encounter with the three persons who are one God, Mack heals the deep wound of losing a loved one and the indescribable pain that came with it. He returns to his home in the city. From time to time he goes back to the shack. It is his sacred space.
The Blessed Trinity will always be a mystery in life but it will also be an inspiration, an icon of the community that we should build.
The Trinity is the sacred space from which flows grace upon grace to allow us to have our own sacred space—transforming into the best of who we are destined to be, and going forth from it with a sense of mission to make our world better.