Sunday, June 16, is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Mass readings: Proverbs 8:22-31; Psalm 8:4-9; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15.
While no mystery surpasses that of the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, one God in three divine Persons, from our point of view, an equally astonishing mystery is that our infinite, unfathomable God loves us beyond our wildest dreams and deepest longings. This is the mystery we are invited to ponder on Trinity Sunday.
The Book of Proverbs offers us a spectacular depiction of personified Wisdom, even centuries before the coming of Christ. Here we find this breathtaking truth. The Wisdom of God who was before all creation came to be, and who was there when the Lord established the heavens and earth, “found delight in the human race” (Proverbs 8:31).
This revelation of the God beyond all praising who fashioned us out of love and remains intimately interested in our good causes the Psalmist to burst into a song of wonder. Who among us cannot echo the astonishment of Psalm 8? When we, too, look at the stupendous vastness of the sky or sea, or the majesty of the mountains or the eagle in flight, do we not ask how God can give all of this as a gift to us? Who are we that we have received such beauty to behold?
Yet our readings carry us farther to an even greater wonder: Not only is all of creation a divine gift to humanity, but we are called to share in more than created goods. We are called to enter into the embrace of Uncreated Goodness. We were made for God himself. St. Augustine was overwhelmed by this realization, which caused him to pen one of the most-repeated lines of antiquity in his Confessions: “You made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
This radical call to divine communion is expressed with striking clarity in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Paul, knowing deeply his own unworthiness, placed all his confidence in the grace won by Christ “through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2). His belief in the grace that can, even in this life, open us to the indwelling presence of God was likewise the cause of his hope: that we might enter into the glory of God in eternity. Even in the midst of the trials of this life, Paul’s hope was in the promised Spirit “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
This is the promise found in John’s Gospel that we hear this Sunday. As Jesus is preparing to return to the Father, he assures his followers of the gift of abiding presence, the Spirit of truth, who declares the truth of the Son, who reveals the Father. This is the communion of love in whose image we were created and in whose embrace we are destined to find eternal life and happiness.
In a world in which many question their own identity and struggle to find a sense of belonging, this is the good news that can set us free. We are not alone. The Wisdom of God, who delights in humanity, came to us. By dying and rising for us, he restored us to the Father, and the Spirit is with us and in us, leading us to the fullness of truth: that we are loved more than we dared to dream.
Dominican Sister Mary Madeline Todd is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tennessee.
She is assistant professor of theology at Aquinas College in Nashville and also serves through retreats, public speaking and writing.