THE QUESTION ONLY GOD COULD ANSWER! REFLECTION ON THE HOLY TRINITY. Rev. Fr. Bonnie Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

Celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Teaching Catholic Kids

Apart from the absence of snakes, there are two important things about Ireland that any active mind could recall, and they are St. Patrick and the three-leaf clover shamrock plant. Incidentally, there is a popular story that links St. Patrick to the shamrock.

One Irish folklore about St. Patrick says that he used the shamrock to describe the Trinity to the pagan while telling them about the Christian faith around the Fourth Century AD. Notably, the shamrock leaf has three distinct parts.

Looking closely at the shamrock, one could build a mental picture of how St. Patrick could have described the relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit using the three leaves helmed into one leaf.

While the shamrock tries to give a mental image about the Trinity, it does not fully explore the depth of the Holy Trinity, which remains a mystery beyond human comprehension.

The Holy Trinity doctrine states that One God exists as three co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Divine Persons. Thus, God is one in essence and nature but three in persons. That means there is one God, not three Gods, and at the same time, there are three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Note that this is no confusion; it is a mystery.

The major limitation of the shamrock analogy is that, unlike the Trinity, each of the parts of the shamrock is not fully a shamrock. In the Trinity, the Father is fully God (Phil.1:2), just as the Son (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4), yet there are not three Gods but One God, one essence, will, and power.

There is no human analogy that could give us a perfect and indisputable explanation about the Holy Trinity. Nevertheless, many Christian thinkers and theologians have tried and ended at the level of trials.

We believe that only God can sufficiently answer the question about being One and Three at the same time. Therefore, we are left with the invitation to accept this truth of our Christian vocation with faith and to model our lives after the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Trinity and Christianity.

Regardless of their faith practices and styles, Christians all over the world speak one language, namely, the Holy Trinity. Acceptance of the mystery of the Trinity is the precondition of becoming a Christian. Christianity without the Holy Trinity is frivolity.

Our creation as humankind comes from the action of the Holy Trinity. Recall that God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen.1:26). Notice that the Christian life starts with the baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity as our Lord Jesus directed in his closing instructions to the disciples (Matt. 28:19), “Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The problems we have in the world today come from our inability to reflect the Hoy Trinity in our lives. If we are created in the image and likeness of God, which is diversified unity, we need to adopt that Trinitarian model in all aspects of our lives.

The Signs of the Presence of the Holy Trinity

Community: The word community is not just a name; it is more of an invitation to act: Come + Unite = community. The Trinity is a community of three persons in One God.

The Trinity challenges us to come and unite and not to Come and Divide. The sense of community helps us understand that diversity is a gift and that co-existence is a functional divine provision.

Responsibility: The word responsibility means the ability to respond to some expectations or duty. Each person of the Trinity has a dedicated function. The scriptures give us insights into the ability of the various person of the Trinity to respond to their roles.

The just and merciful God the Father convoked creation, the redeemer God the Son brought our salvation, while the Helper, God the Holy Spirit, sanctifies us with divine gifts and fruits.

Collaboration: You must have heard that no man is an island; that means you would always need others. The same principle applies to the Persons of the Trinity. Therefore, there is an eternal collaboration in the Trinity. That is why you hear God the Father say, “let us” (Gen. 1:26, 11:7).

Moving Forward

Celebrating the Holy Trinity is beyond looking for arguments to prove that there are Three Persons in One God. Proof or no proof would not change the reality of the Trinity. Instead, we should focus more on the lessons we could learn: the sense of community, being responsible in our Christian faith, and being ready and willing to work with others.

Have a beautiful week, and God bless you.

Fr. Bonnie

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