If you look into your heart and consider the kind of god you deem ideal, what you come up with is Jesus.
The Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and life...the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them" (CCC 234). It is one of the mysteries of faith "that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God" (CCC 237, quoting Dei Filius 4). And once this mystery is revealed to us in God's divine goodness, even though it seems an impenetrable paradox — one God in three Persons — we recognize that the reality of the Triune God is exactly what we need...what we were made for.
Jesus, the Son of God
If you look into your heart and consider the kind of god you deem ideal, what you come up with is Jesus. Given the chance to custom order the divinity who best satisfies the desires of our heart, we would design a deity tender and compassionate, whose joy was to accompany us as a friend in our earthly travails. We would want a god infinitely wise, eager to teach us the things we need to know in order for life to be filled with meaning and joy. We would insist on a god who was merciful and ever swift to forgive our sins... one with a special preference for the poor and the needy. We would want a god of perfect peace, promising happiness, blessing us with hope...one who was extravagantly generous and totally giving of self. We would want a god who was in love with us.
But, in fact, when we meet such a man in Jesus Christ, we can't help but to respond the way people in the Gospel do: Where did this man get all this? Don't we know his father and mother? Isn't this the son of the carpenter? Which means that the automatic impulse when we meet Jesus Christ is to presume that what makes him so unique and exceptional — unlike anyone else we have ever met — is his Father.
The Son of God exposes our presumption: You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true (Jn 7:28). The more we gaze upon Jesus Christ in all his ineffable goodness, the more we are compelled to cry with Philip, Show us the Father (Jn 14:8).
God the Father
And Jesus does just that, revealing to us the most tender and attentive Father who knows what we need before we ask him. The Father of Jesus gives good things to anyone who prays to him. The Father turns his Son luminously radiant in the Transfiguration for us to behold — hope for our own transformation in holiness.
"Christ's whole earthly life," the Catechism teaches, "his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed his manner of being and speaking — is Revelation of the Father" (516).
But it is especially in the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ that we feel the Father closest to us. Our love of the cross is what makes that closeness permanent. For our divine Savior dying on the cross does not invoke his own godly authority, as would be his right, saying to his crucifiers, "I forgive you." Rather, he takes advantage even of this final agony to show us the Father in the resplendence of his mercy. The Crucified begs, Father, forgive them. Why would Jesus ever have agreed to undergo the injustices, the atrocities, the tortures he endured if there were not a Father loving him and inspiring him to love him back with every excruciating drop of his obedient blood?
The Person of the Holy Spirit
Our encounter with Jesus Christ brings about in us a love so great for him that we cannot bear Jesus ever departing from us. Christ's promise to send us the Holy Spirit saves us from despair. The Spirit will remain with us and will keep making Jesus Christ present. He will give us life, conforming us more and more to Jesus. This divine Person will guide us to all truth and meaning and purpose. The Holy Spirit will instruct us in everything and remind us of all that Jesus told us.
We would be lost without a divine Spirit united to our human spirit empowered to imbue us with the ability to rise above our weaknesses and limitations, to change us into persons of courage, and to make us other Christs in the world — exactly what is promised us through the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
As Saint Cyril of Alexandria assures us, The Holy Spirit gathers together those who are distinct from each other as individuals, and causes them all to be seen as a unity in himself." And in that otherwise impossible unity — the Church — the Blessed Trinity manifests itself to the world in all God's glorious splendor.
Father Peter John Cameron, O.P. "The Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity." lead editorial from Magnificat (June, 2017): 3-5.
Reprinted with permission of Magnificat.
Father Peter John Cameron, O.P. is the Director of Formation for Hard as Nails Ministries and the founding editor-in-chief of Magnificat. He is also a playwright and director, the author of more than a dozen plays and many books including: Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: Living our Lady's Graces, Made for Love, Loved by God, Praying with Saint Paul: Daily Reflections on the Letters of the Apostle Paul, Jesus, Present Before Me: Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration, and Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI.Copyright © 2017 Magnificat
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