Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2Cor 13:11-13; John 3:16-18
There was once a story of a Pope who wanted a portrait of God. So he called all the artisans of Rome. He told them that whoever could perfectly portray God on canvas would receive a papal Award.
The artisans gathered inside the Vatican workroom and each one started to paint a portrait of God. They worked on their masterpieces for several months except for one painter named Guiseppe. Being old, Guiseppe would fall asleep in front of his canvas while thinking how he would paint God.
Finally, the time came when the Pope would judge their paintings. His Holiness toured the large gallery and looked at each painting beside its artist. God was represented in many ways: an Old Loving Man, a Shepherd, a King on a Throne, a Crucified, a Dove and several other ways. Yet to the surprise of all, the Pope was not satisfied with any of the portrait.
While the Pope rested on a corner, he heard Guiseppe snoring in front of his canvas. He went to the old painter and saw the empty canvas in front of him.
“This is it!” the Pope exclaimed, ‘this is the perfect portrayal of God.” The cardinals, bishops and all the artisans gathered around His Holiness holding the canvas with nothing painted on it.
“Your holiness, the canvas is empty and it has no portrait of God,” the cardinals told him.
“Exactly,” the Pope said, “that is how God looks like – Indescribable!”
Today is Trinity Sunday. Our Catholic faith teaches us that there is only One God but Three Divine Persons – God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit or Three in One! But why it happens this way, One God but Three divine Persons?
I remember a friend of mine who told me that he encountered a Muslim that told him that we Catholics have so many Gods – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We express this in the Sign of the Cross. This Muslim continued to say that our Bible teaches us to worship God alone and no other gods. My friend told the Muslim: “In our Bible, the mathematics formula that we can find is not addition but multiplication. In the sense that God said: ‘God into the world and multiply’. He did not say: ‘God into the world and minus!’” My friend continued: “So, 1x1x1=1. That is why, we have only One God but Three Divine Persons.” Anyway, this is not the way on how to explain this mystery of the Blessed Trinity, but we can use his way of explaining the mystery in a simple and direct way.
To tell you the truth, this mystery of the Blessed Trinity is very difficult to explain. But we can explain this in our own experiential way. By trying to explain this, our own explanation and answer will become another question and that is a mystery! We believe the Blessed Trinity trough faith and nothing more. This faith has to be realized, embodied and materialized in our concrete lives.
How this Blessed Trinity be embodied in our lives as Christians? It is by following how the Three Divine Persons show their care for us. In my own experience, God is a parent to me. I know that out of nothingness He begot me. I pass through my human parents in my journey toward Him, the ultimate parent of us all. From moment to moment, He reminds us of His sustaining and loving Presence and that in every bit of creation, He nourishes us and continues to give us life.
Jesus as God is my Brother, my friend and my Guide who leads me back to Himself from my wayward ways. He is among us and became one of us. When we suffer, he suffers with us. When we rejoice, He shares our joy. He leads to the only meaning of life on this earth – to love and be loved.
The Holy Spirit as God is the very life within me, my every breath, the divine energy that burns within me, moving me to reach out and offer my petty, little life or any part of this life to whoever may need, whenever and wherever it is needed. So both Jesus and the Spirit lead to the Father of us all – The God of Love.
All that and more is the meaning of God as Trinity. It is this God as Trinity whom we need most especially these days that we are experiencing crisis: political, economical, socio-cultural, religious, moral and especially too, our relationship with one another. But if we can only allow our Trinitarian God to cure the woundedness in our own hearts, may yet learn to really love one another as he loves us.
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A