Reflection for Trinity Sunday
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own…. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” Jesus, in today’s gospel John 16:12-15, NRSV.
“The Trinity is a mystery… It is not a mystery veiled in darkness…. but a mystery in which we are taken by the hand and gradually led into the light.” Eugene Peterson.
Today is Trinity Sunday, when the mystery of God, three in one and one in three, reveals the conundrum at the heart of the Christian faith. How can three be one and one three? No amount of shamrocks, triangles or tricycles will suffice as the reality of Jesus living amongst humanity as the Son of God, revealing the Father and sending the Spirit shows us the communion of love who is not remote but amongst us. How that can be so is a mystery – and yet it is!
As a child, a music teacher used to come to the house to teach us the piano and this included aural tests. One of these involved tonic triads – the first, third and fifth notes of a scale – and Roger, my elder brother, was having his lesson with Margaret when hoots of laughter were heard. Coming to the closed door, I could hear gurgling noises as, having played the triad but expecting him to sing the notes separately, Margaret couldn’t contain her amusement when Roger tried the impossibility of singing all three notes at once and repeatedly tried to do so as he thought he should be able to!
St Ignatius of Loyola had a vision of the Trinity as three keys on a musical instrument, each note being distinctive but harmonising when played with the others to create a diversified yet unified sound. That lead to a devotion to the Trinity which remained with him throughout his life and which he encouraged others to explore.
The poet Malcolm Guite echoes this musical concept in his sonnet and, this Trinity Sunday, may his words inspire that same response today:
“He calls us out of darkness, chaos, chance,
To improvise a music of our own,
To sing the chord that calls us to the dance,
Three notes resounding from a single tone,
To sing the End in whom we all begin;
Our God beyond, beside us and within.”
From Trinity Sunday, by Malcolm Guite (c)
With my prayers, pob bendith,