Greetings, SBT Readers!
With all eyes on the findings of the Select Committee on the events of January 6th, 2021, it is difficult not to "SEE" what actually transpired on that day. Shocking images and video footage, graphic testimonials, and a damning collage of texts, emails and memos all point to one conclusion: namely, that the assault on the Capitol was a carefully designed criminal conspiracy. Despite this, however, there are countless Americans who dispute the evidence and claim that the carnage was either a "peaceful protest," or that some radical group was responsible -- Antifa, for example.
The ability to SEE -- that is, to behold and comprehend reality-- is foundational to seeking and speaking Truth. Since each of us has the capacity to SEE (and I'm not speaking about physical sight), it is worth pausing for a few minutes to ponder over why so many are unable to see. In the first place, it is human to see what we want to observe, often filtering out anything that challenges our world view; in fact, we tend to avoid those who offer an alternative viewpoint, often regarding them as "delusional" or as "the enemy." Secondly, we surround ourselves with like-minded people who reinforce our position. The "group mentality" bolsters our convictions, provides "moral" support and can further radicalize us. Thirdly, we consume "information" from biased sources that further brainwash us, completely eroding our ability to think critically. By now, our identity is so aligned with the herd's that we cannot step away, especially if there is a charismatic leader involved. In effect, we have sold our souls to the Great Deception -- whatever that is.
On this Feast of the Holy Trinity, let us pray that the Spirit of Truth will open the minds and hearts of this nation, expose all lies and heal all that divides us.
Brothers and sisters:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Perhaps any confusion about the Mystery of the Holy Trinity comes from focusing on the number Three or trying to explain Three in One and One in Three. As long as we remain obsessed with numerical complexities, we find ourselves dealing more with confusion than with mystery; in fact, trying to explain the Trinity by appealing to logic or arithmetic, far from increasing our understanding, is likely to have the opposite effect. Traditional explanations tend to focus on Three Persons or Three Functions, or else use analogies such as the shamrock or anything else that can be divided into three parts. But suppose we begin with One rather than with Three? Suppose the key to understanding the Holy Trinity is that it is an indivisible Oneness? Jesus himself never uses the number Three to define or describe the Holy One. Instead, he speaks of his union with God the Father-- "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30)-- and that the same Father who has sent him will also send the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17).
What is this Oneness of God, then? Here, I am being purely subjective, sharing half-formed thoughts which demand more time, more reflection. The verb "send" comes to mind. The Eternal God sends forth Godself into a specific time and place in the person of the historical Jesus; He, in turn, having completed His human journey, transcends all physical and chronological limitations as the Cosmic Christ. Then God sends forth God's Spirit as Comforter, Guide, and Truth-Speaker to lead us on our own journey of transformation, in imitation of the Christ. God is One in God's sending and we are invited into that Oneness.
But all this sounds too formulaic. This sending is not a mechanical act, nor a rational act, but an unrestrained outpouring of Love so abundant that it cannot be contained. Summarizing the thought of Nikolai Berdyaev, the Russian philosopher and theologian (1874-1948), Jurgen Moltmann writes:
"The incarnation of God's Son is not an answer to sin. It is the fulfilment of God's eternal longing to become man and to make of every man (sic) a god out of grace; an 'Other' to participate in the divine life and return the divine love" (The Trinity and the Kingdom, 46).
Love is One just as the Lover and the Beloved are One. In our prayer and in our experience, we don't experience the Threeness of God but the Unity of God -- a Unity which is Love itself.