The celebration of the Most Holy Trinity is a celebration of love. The important thing is not that we try to understand the Mystery of God as Trinity. We don’t have the capacity to grasp the fullness of the Mystery. As the Lord continually draws us in more and more, the important thing is that we are open to what God is trying to show us. What is God modeling for us to imitate? When we enter into the Mystery of the Trinity, we notice that God is a communion of persons. And the principle characteristic of this communion of persons is love.
We imitate the Trinity when we participate in a communion of love. A very good example of this is the communion of husband and wife. In the communion of marriage, husband and wife are imitating God as a communion of persons. Living out the sacrament of marriage gives praise to God as it is lived out because it follows his pattern of self-giving love. Those of you who are married would agree that it is a self-giving, sacrificial love. We see the sacrificial love of the Son for the Father every time we look at the crucifix. It’s not a love of emotion, or a romantic feeling, but one of full self-giving. God has revealed himself as an eternal exchange of love. We are called to imitate that exchange of love in sacrificial ways carrying our crosses for the good of others. Jesus did that for love of the Father.
Because it is a self-giving love, it is a fruitful love. Some say that the love of the Father and Son is so fruitful that the love between them is the person of the Holy Spirit. Notice how married love is also a fruitful love, bringing about new life. That love becomes incarnate. It is a generative love. New human life becomes the symbol of the fruitful love of husband and wife.
Of course we know that the evil one will not miss any chance to attack our loving God. So the evil one attacks married love because it so well represents God himself, a communion of persons. It is difficult to pass a single hour, let alone an entire day, without seeing an attack on married love, the great symbol of God himself. Pornography is an industry of several billion dollars, perfect for weakening married love. Crude humor distorts the beauty of the human body in order to boost ratings for the radio station during their morning drive time. State governments redefine marriage into something it cannot possibly be. This list of attacks on married love could go on and on.
The Christian does not give in to afflictions but boasts in them as St. Paul says in his letter to the Romans. He points out that these afflictions yield endurance. Endurance leads to proven character which leads to hope; and hope does not disappoint.
These are not only attacks on God himself but on his entire plan for humanity. Without strong, sacrificial, fruitful married love, the family dissolves. As families dissolve and crumble, so society as a whole dissolves and crumbles. Without the family, there is little chance of hearing the good news of Christ and being formed in light of it.
A 14th century theologian once pointed out that we experience the sweetness of the Trinity within us in proportion as we are conformed to it. If the essence of the Trinity is sacrificial love, we must love sacrificially. We must cherish the divine image in each of us most attentively.
What else is there? That means we strive for purity of heart. In purity of heart, we make room for the Trinity to be active in our lives.
The Trinity is active love. We are called to imitate that active love. We are designed to share ourselves. As we share ourselves, we build up the Kingdom of God.
I’ll close with a quote I heard on Catholic radio just the other day: The essential thing about family is not that parents have children, but that children have parents.