Sunday’s Readings | Trinity Sunday, June 4
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1): thus begins a primordial story of the universe coming to be from the wellspring of divine life, will, and love. As it was in the beginning, so it is now, and ever shall be. Every moment of time and every being, from the most indescribably minute to the most prodigious and complex, is suspended in being by nothing other than divine love. In liturgical language, “In your infinite love, you made us [and all things] for yourself.”
This claim arrests our attention and draws us up and out of ourselves in the silent land of contemplative wonder. “O Lord our Governor, how exalted is your Name in all the world! … When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you have set in their courses, What is man that you should be mindful of him? The son of man that you should seek him out?” (Ps. 8:1, 4-5). Everything is radiant with the presence of God, from the high vault of heaven to the depths of the earth (Cant. 13). Everything bears evidence of “the work of your fingers, for “the builder of all things is God” (Heb. 3:4).
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God swept over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2, RSV). God is an active and unseen presence, like a breeze or breath or Spiritus. God is the Lord and giver of Life, for breath is life. In this regard, what is said of the first human being in Genesis 2 may be said of all the creation. “[T]he Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). Creation is, in a sense, the life-giving exhalation of divine breath, without which all things would instantly collapse into an abysmal nothingness. The breath of God, the Holy Spirit, is an unseen mystery, giving life, infusing, and suffusing all things.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’” (Gen. 1:3). God speaks a creative Word, and indeed is that very Word; for, as we read in the opening words of St. John’s gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Greek word logos, commonly translated into English as Word, has an expansive range of meanings, including reason, law, ground (as in source), principle, purpose, giving an overall impression of order, purpose, and intelligibility. Light gives clarity and distinction, definition and purpose.
Consider three meanings — really, three persons — within the designation one God. God is the font of all being, the source, the eternal Father of all that is. God is Logos, through whom all things are made and made precisely to have purposeful existence and generative power. God is life-giving Spirit, a breath that hovers and slowly moves, like a translucent blanket of morning mist over the face of the waters, resting and enfolding, but the Spirit also passes into things and through them, connecting the whole cosmos in one inseparable web of being.
To this God, we dare to say, “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.” We glory in the Trinity and worship the Unity, feeling and knowing, though beyond all knowing, the pulsing life of the one true God.
Look It Up: Matthew 28:19
Think About It: Unbegotten, eternally begotten, an eternal Spiritus Amoris