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God is a Trinity and Thus God is Love

I can remember in college when I took my introduction to theology course which was a required course for all students not just the philosophy and theology majors like myself. It was about midway through the semester when our professor began to try and explain the Trinity to a bunch of college students. The professor explained that the Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith, there is only one God in three persons: while distinct from one another in their relations of origin. Eyes began to glaze over more quickly than usual. He went on: "it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds" and in their relations with one another, they are stated to be one in all else, co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial, and "each is God, whole and entire.” Some students began to look longingly out the window while I am pretty sure some began to drool due to boredom. 

Why does the Trinity matter? Why does the Church put so much emphasis on the the centrality of the Trinity to Christian life? How could such an abstract idea as three Persons in One God have any bearing on my life day in and day out? 
 
First of all the Trinity is a mystery. This does not mean that we just have to accept the Trinity as true and just take everything the Church tells us about God as the Trinity on faith. There is a lot we can know about the Trinity and how each person of the Trinity relates to the other. If I asked you to explain to me who you are. Would a short list of your gifts, talents, and achievements tell me who you are in your fullness? No! Of course not you are more than a list of gifts and shortcomings. Why would it be any different with God who is infinite and who has existed forever while we have existed for a short span of years. 
At the most basic level the Trinity tells us that God is loving. Since God is three persons in one. Let me try to explain: the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father the love shared between the Father and Son is the Holy Spirit. 
 
So before God created mankind He was still loving but not a inward looking sort of love that focuses in on itself. Instead God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been giving and receiving love from before the universe came into existence. We can only truly love another person not ourselves. In order to love we must go outside of ourselves. Since God has been going outside of Himself to love from the beginning. This also means that God created the world out of love and has created each human person in His love, for His love and to love like Him. 
 
The Trinity still has an impact on our lives here and now. At our baptism each of us has original sin washed and we receive the Trinity into our souls. Meaning that we receive the life of God Himself. Now some of you may still not see why this is significant. If God is love and the Trinity is the expression of how God both gives and receives love in Himself. Then if we receive the indwelling of the Trinity, we receiving the indwelling of love itself. 
Which means we are meant to give and receive love just as the Trinity does. Meaning that not only should we live lives of service to our family, Church, and world. We should also be willing to receive love. While this may seem odd and you may be thinking” wait doesn’t everyone wnat to be loved. Yes, we do but often times we want to receive love in our way on our time. 
 
How often when people offer us help do we refuse because we think we can do it ourselves?  Or how often do see someone in need and not offer help? I think of the many times I have noticed someone who is obviously distressed or sad and I will try to avoid them so I do not have to feel awkward. We are scared to love and be loved because when we love and receive love we make ourselves vulnerable. And being vulnerable means we can get hurt. 
 
However God has shown us that being vulnerable does mean we can get hurt but to love is worth it. Think of how Adam and Eve turned against God’s love and committed the first sin. God still continued to care for mankind through His covenant with Israel and eventually sent His Son to die for our sins and open the gates of heaven. Jesus’ vulnerability has set us free from the bonds of sin and death. To love is to be vulnerable but to love is the only way we will conquer the world for Christ and obtain true peace.
 
On Pentecost Sunday, God sent His Holy Spirit to enflame the hearts of His faithful with love and zeal to share that love with the whole world. Again this does not mean that you need to make yourself vulnerable in every way. But this week try to go outside of your comfort zone. Reach out to someone you usually try to avoid. Be willing to stand up for your faith and good morals when the conversation takes a dirty and sinful turn. Love means we might get hurt. But when we love and get hurt then we offer that hurt to our Lord crucified we will find that to love is indeed worth it. 
 
Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2016
 

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