June 5, 2015 – From Sr. Mary Pat Cook
As we, the Church, the People of God, move into Ordinary time, the first feast we celebrate is Trinity Sunday – a feast that sounds more like doctrine than celebration – and certainly not ordinary!
Perhaps we identify with the person who said “I must confess that the arithmetical aspect of the Deity does not greatly interest me” … or maybe the one who “wished there were four of ‘em that he might believe more of ‘em.”
As a freshman in high school, my religion teacher had us reading Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed. One passage read something like: “If you truly believe in the Trinity, it should shape the way you act toward the people on your bus.” As an all-knowing 14-year-old, I quickly decided that Mr. Sheed might be good at theology, but the sanity part was doubtful. And yet (as is true of the words of so many whose wisdom I have come to recognize after the fact), that comment has been a seed in my head and heart that blooms every so often – and indeed every year on that not-so-mathematical feast.
The Trinity is mystery – a word that might be used to take us off the hook, to let us park it on a shelf, reserved for sane and not-so-sane theologians. It certainly has nothing to do with how we interact with others on our bus or at our meeting or in the parking lot.
And yet the word MYSTERY itself draws me. Over 50 years later, I hold Mr. Sheed’s seed in prayer, surrounded by my own images of the Mystery that is God, the God who is Love, the God in whose being I am enfolded, the God in whose image I have been created. Somehow I am an image of love, of mystery, of Trinity?!
Jesus was not big on doctrines. He spoke of relationships, his relationship with his Abba/Amma God, their relationship together with Spirit, his oneness with God and the overflowing of that oneness into love of his friends, of all creation, of us, — of me! Trinity is not about doctrine. Trinity is relationship. And we are part of that relationship, that dance of love. We are images of that God, that love, that oneness. When we accept the mystery-gift, when we truly believe we are an image of Trinity-God-Love, it makes a difference in how we act on that bus!