Exodus 34: 4-6, 8-9; John 3: 16-18
On this Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, we celebrate the fact that it is more than just “a” mystery. Yes, it is that, but also more than that. I dare say it is Mystery. What makes it so difficult is that when we try to understand or think we know what this relation of Father, Son, and Spirit is all about, we immediately fall short of trying to define God, a God who has no lines, but rather is Mystery.
From the beginning of creation, and even before the accounts we hear and read in the Book of Genesis, God has desired to give birth to Mystery into this world, to somehow show and model to the people a God who goes beyond all knowledge and understanding. God goes about it in many different ways. Take into account the passage from Exodus today. Before Moses, this God-fearing man, a name is revealed, Lord. From this moment it invites the Israelites to view God in a different way. God is no longer something out there, but is rather Mystery revealed not only out there, but among us, and even more so, within us. For centuries and beyond people will reject this, an impossibility that this God so desires to enter into relationship with people that we could even begin to fathom a name, and yet, over and over, God gives birth in different ways to Mystery. Can our eyes and hearts see what is being revealed? Are we stuck in the need to know and understand, failing to see that somehow God is at play in our lives?
I often tell couples I work with who are getting married, as in any relationship, that Mystery is a must. There will never be a moment in our lives when we will fully understand or know the other. No time when we will fully understand ourselves. Certainly, will never begin to know and understand God fully. If we think we do, spiritual death is more imminent, as it so often was for people Israel. As soon as we think we know it all or understand it all, we begin to eliminate Mystery from our lives.
This mystery comes to its fulfillment when Mystery enters the world in and through Jesus Christ…for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Before the eyes of the disciples, Mystery enters the world and yet they still doubt and question. Before their very eyes, they want to know and understand and box God into who they think God is supposed to be or who they want God to be. They, and at times, we, can’t believe that this God loves us so much that He even tries to give birth to Mystery within us as well.
As we celebrate this feast of the Holy Trinity, we pray that our hearts, our minds, our eyes, may be open to Mystery being birthed among and within us, leading us to something new, a surprise in life that will begin to take us to even greater places. We pray for that openness today not just as we celebrate any old mystery, but a God who gives birth to Mystery in the relation of Father, Son, and Spirit, but also in relation among us and as hard as it is sometimes to believe, even within us.