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A committed reflection on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is usually a very exceptional and demanding one because it entails an attempt at elucidating the very depth of God; if you like attempting to uncover the substance of the Godhead upon which lies a great mystery. This most profound mystery of the Christian faith eludes complete comprehension by human mind alone unaided by faith.  Specifically, the puzzle revolves around a crossroad: “how can there be three persons subsisting in one God?” Put in a less technical way : “How can three be one and at the same time one being three?”

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity tells us that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct persons- The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Seen in another way, it states that “God is ONE in essence and THREE in persons”. The divine calculation is 1+1+1= 1. This is beyond logic because logic has no relevance here as the result will be entirely fallacious. However, it should be known that in the realm of God what is humanly impossible is divinely possible, what is humanly insurmountable is divinely surmountable, what is humanly fallacious is divinely truthful. The Holy Bible actually made us to understand that the Father is God (Phil.1:2), the Son is God (Titus 2:13) and that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Above all, we are also told that there is one God who has no predecessor nor a successor (Isaiah 43:10-11). The Trinity does not tell us about three different ways of looking at God nor three different roles played by God, but of three distinct persons in one God. This is not a confusion but a mystery!


Attempts have been made by various people at different times to demonstrate the Trinity from St. Spyridon who used a piece of pottery composed of clay, water, and fire at the Council of Nicaea, to the experience of St. Augustine by the seaside and indeed others like Tertullian, Thomas Aquinas, St. Faustina etc. There are thus various reflections and insights but nobody can say that any of them completely understands the Trinity. Today we shall be making such attempt by using some elements of the physical and spiritual sciences to demonstrate a contribution to the understanding of the Holy Trinity. Obviously things created bear the imprint of the creator in one way or the other.


In applying the physical sciences in demonstrating the Most Holy Trinity, we will be making use of analogies. To state the fact very well, they are mere analogies, hence they do not perfectly exhaust the mystery of the Trinity, if they do then the doctrine of the Trinity will no longer be a mystery. Actually the perfect explanation of the Trinity can only be found in the Trinity!












We can at this juncture move in to inquire what the spiritual sciences speak about God. Our source remains the Holy Bible. Notably, the word Trinity is not used in the bible, but this does not undermine the fact that the Trinity exists. The word Trinity (tri-unity) was coined by Tertullian about the third century while attempting to establish the distinct persons in one God. Following the errors of Arius who was teaching that Jesus Christ was created (made) by God, the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) declared that our Lord Jesus Christ is “God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one substance (homoousios) with the Father.”From the scriptures we have allusions that aptly understand the Trinity:


Some people (in the manner of Arianism) would argue that Jesus Christ is not God. And we reply through the bible.



We also establish that the Holy Spirit is God against those who are doubtful in the manner of Macedonians and Pnuematomachians:


 Genesis 1:2: “The spirit was moving over the face of the deep” This was before God began active creation. The Holy Spirit has been with the Godhead from eternity. Hence the Holy Spirit is God.


With all these and more we have sufficiently, comprehensively, and painstakingly established that there are three divine persons in one God; the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.


At this juncture it will be good to ask what we are able to learn from the Trinitarian union of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. From the Trinity we learn

1)      Unity in diversity: They are three distinct persons yet they are one in essence. We are distinct individuals from various backgrounds, levels, ideas and dispositions. However we are united in one Christian community. Our diversity should be at the service of a functional unity because as Paul would say in Christ our diversities give way to unity.

2)      Community in functionality: There is no time the Father works without the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is why you will hear the Father saying twice “Let us”. Our Lord Jesus would also attest that he does whatever he sees the Father doing. We should learn to work together as members of the same community. No one is an Island. We need each other for growth and development.


3)      Equality in personality: In the Godhead there is absolute equality given the fact that they have one essence. Within our human experience we all share in one humanity but often we notice that we keep creating unjustifiable barriers of inequality between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Often some people see others as less human than they are. From the Trinity we learn to see ourselves as equals sharing the common gift of life given to us by God.


4)      Sharing with and helping one another: Wherever the Father is the Son and the Holy Spirit will also be found; this applies to each of the persons of the Trinity. There is an eternal sharing and helping relationship between the Persons of the Trinity. If we recognize the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God we should also reflect this quality of the Trinity.


5)      Faith and Trust: There is absolute faith and trust among the persons of the Trinity. If we reflect on the cry of Jesus on the Cross “My Lord my Lord why has thou forsaken me” we can see that there had always been that faith and trust in their function and this situation looked unusual. Yes the Father “forsook” the Son at Golgotha so that we can be found and rescued.


6)      Keeping to our positions in life: Each of the persons of the Trinity has an allocated function and position which He does in union with others. There has never been a time one Person assumes the position of another or attempts to usurp another’s position. This is and should be instructive for us. Someone had defined humility as knowing one’s position and keeping it.

May the exemplary life of the Trinity permeate our lives so that we can become what God wants us to become.  Happy Trinity Sunday.

Fr. Bonnie.



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