The mystery of the Trinity

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity. We believe that God is three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet one God. What does this mean?

In the Old Testament, God revealed himself to the people of Israel as the one true God. Jesus’ disciples were faithful Jews: they believed firmly in one God, in contrast to the many gods of other ancient peoples. But Jesus spoke of being sent by God, his Father, and, shockingly, taught the people that he was one with the Father. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, ‘Everything the Father has is mine,’ expressing this relationship of love and unity. Slowly, the disciples came to recognise Jesus as the Son of God, equal to the Father. 

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the ‘Spirit of truth.’ His disciples experienced the Holy Spirit giving life to the early Church, driving them on to spread the Good News of Christ throughout the world. By reflecting on the Lord’s teaching, and on their own experience, Jesus’ disciples came to see that God is three Persons. 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit each share in the one divine nature and are perfectly united. Each one knows and loves the other perfectly, and their knowledge and love bring about a unity so deep that they live and act as one God. At the heart of the life of God is loving relationship, and Jesus invites us to share in this divine love.

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