Beyond Number

Trinity Sunday

Prov. 8:1-4,22-31 • Ps. 8 or Canticle 2 or 13 • Rom. 5:1-5 • John 16:12-15

In the full mystery of Christ, we are ever with him, even in him, for it is our humanity which he assumed. Thus, his rising is our own, a truth depicted in those great icons of the harrowing of hell. Christus Victor goes to the deep, breaks the gate, and pulls our parents from the depths as Christ did once pull a frightened Peter from the violent sea. Christ goes out from the grave with beloved humanity tucked under his plumage. We are safe in his rising, and the small “we” that we once were falls away. Divested, we wear the one in whom we are hid. We are alive in him and live through him.

Living in the Risen Lord not only opens the human heart but breaks it, revealing the seat of new and turbulent emotion and thought, a forceful and grateful adaptation to an unanticipated adventure. The Spirit of truth comes speaking not his own word, but whatever he hears. What does he hear? He hears things that are to come, but his presage is rooted also in the past, for “he will take what is mine [Christ’s] and declare it to you” (John 16:15). What then belongs to Christ? “All that the Father has is mine”? All that the Father has is given to the Son; all that the Son has and is the Spirit takes and declares to us. Thus we are pressed to say something extraordinary. God the Father, who is truly in the Son, is given to human persons through the Spirit who pours out all that the Son is. We have, as St. Paul says, “obtained access” because “the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5).

All reflection about Christian life and Christian prayer, therefore, is necessarily caught up in the mystery of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons in the unity of one substance. “All things which are of the Father and likewise of the Son: all the gifts which are given by the Son in the Spirit are true gifts of the Father” (Athanasius, Ep. 1 ad Serapoionem; Liturgia Horarum, vol. iii, p. 514). We are not, as yet, wholly fit for all that the Father would give through the Son in the Spirit, but there is no escaping the truth that what is given is God.

The Spirit bears witness to the Son, the Son who taught and healed and suffered and died and rose again. The Spirit bears witness to the Son who mends our lives, who works his “justification” by the renewing and reordering of our hopes, passions, and dreams. In this sense, we feel the Spirit’s witness to the Logos, the ordering Word. The Spirit blows and burns and sounds, but witnesses to the silent Word that was in the beginning.

Noting the Spirit’s work in us, we are awakened to the Spirit’s witness in the world, the Spirit spying the presence of Logos everywhere. Thus all things are becoming new, a new and deep reordering in the cosmos itself. In the world we see the Logos as Wisdom “on the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads … beside the gate … at the entrance of the portal” (Prov. 8:1-2). The Logos establishes and assigns limits, celebrates and delights in the whole inhabited world and whole human race (Prov. 8:22-31). Faith sees this: the Father is the font; the Son, ordering Word; the Spirit, suffusing presence — all grasped in the one moment as the one true God.

Look It Up
Read Rom. 5:1-5. “Has been poured” touches the present.

Think About It
The God in you is God, a mystery you cannot, ultimately, “think about.”

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