Morning services and parish chores done, I sit down at my desk, make some coffee, put on the WMBR from MIT radio stream, and get ready to draft out a homily for Trinity Sunday.
Trinity Sunday is absolutely one of my favorite days to be a priest. Why? Because I don't have to listen to any Trinity Sunday homilies! In the fifteen Trinity Sundays from my baptism to my ordination, I don't think I heard one that was any good, fewer that were intelligible, and still fewer that had any portable spiritual teaching.
It usually goes like this: 'O.k., it's Trinity Sunday. God is a Trinity. He's three, he's one, you can't really understand it, but that's how it is. Please stand for the Creed.' Maybe if you're lucky you at least get the amusement of some limping analogies, or the excitement of a little heresy, usually modalism or Arianism.
And I always wanted to stand up and say NO! Let us not pass over the central mystery of the Christian faith with mystifying arithmetic or the boredom of obfuscating analogies!
Here's the thing: We can have an understanding of the Blessed Trinity. Not a comprehension, mind you, but some understanding. This is so for two reasons. First, that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and second, God reveals himself as Trinity in the Scriptures. It's not God that is totally incomprehensible, but that these two things, Scripture and the nature of human personhood, are often missing from our preaching!
Having been created in the image and likeness of God is the distinctive character of the human being. If we have been made in the image and likeness of God, that means that we are in the image of the Blessed Trinity. This means that our own experience of ourselves when we are at our best--when we are in love, acting with love, and especially in our capacity as creators of art, children, new ideas, etc.--we will learn something of the divine passion of the trinitarian God.
To help us understand ourselves as beings in the image and likeness of the Blessed Trinity, God reveals himself as such all through the Scriptures. From the God who creates through the utterance of his Word at the beginning of Genesis, to Lady Wisdom at play with the Creator from the beginning of time in Proverbs, to Jesus the Word made flesh, revealer of the Father, and tradition-er of the Spirit from the Cross in John, to the Lamb from whom the river of life flows in Revelation, the whole of the Sacred Scripture is one sustained revelation of the God who is Father, Son, and Spirit.
Accept nothing less in the preaching and catechesis you receive!