Something remarkable unfolded as Parisians watched the roof and spire of their city’s iconic Cathedral of Notre Dame rapidly engulf in flames some two months ago. Strangers who would ordinarily walk past each other without a nod or a greeting began to converse intensely as they shared a common sense of shock and distress.
People who barely knew each other a few minutes earlier began to comfort one another while offering a shoulder to cry on as they watched in dismay the sudden destruction of their city’s historic landmark.
The crisis generated small and large communities of people drawn unexpectedly together in mutual solidarity. Phone cameras captured groups of Parisians singing hymns to the Virgin Mary as they huddled together on their knees in spontaneous outpourings of communal prayer.
It takes crisis moments, such as these, for people to discover the most fundamental truth of the human condition — we are created in and for community. We are essentially social beings, meant to live our unique individuality within interwoven circles of communities in family, church, neighborhood, society and the world.
On Trinity Sunday, the word of God reminds us of a fundamental truth of faith — God is a community of divine persons whose love overflows into the world created, redeemed and sanctified by the Holy Trinity.
We profess this truth of Christian faith each Sunday as we pray together the creed affirming that our God is essentially a community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet for many, the doctrine of the Trinity remains abstract, even removed from everyday life. So how is the Trinity relevant to my daily spiritual journey?
Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Our faith as Jesus’ disciples begins, rests and ends in the Holy Trinity. The goal of the Christian life is to grow each day in loving communion with the triune God.
To believe that God is a trinity of divine persons is to receive God’s merciful invitation to friendship with the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus simply says, “Everything that the Father has is mine.”
The Trinity is as relevant as the next breath you take. For life originates in the creating hand of God the Father, is redeemed by the mission of Jesus, his Son, and sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, on this Trinity Sunday, we recall and draw strength from the grace of our baptism “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”