‘Mystery’: It’s a word you tend to hear a lot on the Sunday after Pentecost – when Catholics celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
If Pentecost is our birthday as a church, Trinity Sunday might in some respects be considered a manifestation of our ‘terrible teens’ – a time when we attempt to wrap our maturing intellects around a formidable conundrum: the nature of God.
On Trinity Sunday, we tend to say and hear things like ‘Three Persons, One Being.’ ‘Unity of substance, equality of majesty.’ Sometimes the discussion might even include a two-dollar term like ‘consubstantial’ or ‘hypostasis.’
Then, almost as inevitably, the homilist will reassure the faithful that it’s OK if we don’t fully grasp every nuance of Trinitarian theology. At some level, God’s nature is—and will always remain—a mystery.
Even so, we just can’t seem to resist the urge to define God…to explain God…and perhaps (in the process) to manage God.
What happens, though, if we set aside the theological inquiry for a moment—and simply open our hearts to encounter God?
Where might we look for that opportunity?
Jesus provides a clue when he tells his disciples, ‘I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.’
Yes, God is there—even in the things we think we cannot bear. The brokenness that cannot be repaired. The beauty that all too quickly fades away.
God blesses it all.