by Ciel Tagaza
Last Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. As the Church eases into Ordinary Time, it is a reminder for the faithful that God is here and will always be faithful – even in the ordinary days; even when we can’t wrap our minds around the mystery of our faith such as the very solemnity we just celebrated.
The Holy Trinity defies mathematical reasoning. We were taught that one plus one, plus one, equals three. The heart of our faith does not follow this logic. We believe our God is Three in One. Three Persons, One God. We profess this in our Creed. We proclaim this every time we make the sign of our faith.
Our Church Fathers endeavored to explain this Mystery. The great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine, spent over three decades working on his treatise on the Holy Trinity. There is a legend about the Bishop of Hippo walking along the seashore while thinking how he could intelligibly explain the Holy Trinity, when he noticed a little boy with a seashell in hand, running back and forth from the water to a small hole on the shore. Augustine asked the boy what he was doing. The boy replied that he was trying to pour the ocean into the hole, to which Augustine replied, “But that is impossible, my child. The tiny hole cannot contain the whole ocean.”” The boy looked at Augustine and said that it was no more impossible than what the Bishop of Hippo was trying to do, and then vanished.
We will never fully comprehend the Mystery of the Holy Trinity in this lifetime. It’s like trying to fit the whole ocean into a tiny hole. This is the mystery God lavishes on us. We may not completely grasp this mystery, but it does not keep us from worshiping, celebrating and having faith in the Holy Trinity. We don’t need to wholly understand in order to fully appreciate and be thankful for what the Holy Trinity has done for us: God the Father loved us so much that He gave us His only Son, who loves us so much that He died and rose again to save us; who did not leave us orphans and sent us His Holy Spirit, who dwells in us and fills us with His presence.