We know about the Trinity through divine revelation. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I Am has sent me to you’... this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations” (Ex 3:13-15). What these scriptures are telling us about God is that he has a name; he is not an anonymous force. When we tell people our name, we begin to make ourselves known to others. We become more accessible and capable of being known more intimately. They also tell us God is faithful; past, present, and future. Many other scriptures tell us God is love and truth.
What occurs from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus, concerning the Trinity, is put concisely by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in article 237: “To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.”
The second person of the Trinity, Jesus, revealed that God is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father in relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his Father. This is expressed when Jesus says in Mt 11:24, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no
one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” The question about the knowledge of God is answered by the call to follow Jesus and our knowledge is measured by the degree to which we follow Jesus. We can call God “Father” only by being empowered to know Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
Of the third person of the Trinity, Jesus announced the sending of “another Advocate” (Jn 14:17), “the Spirit of truth” (Jn 16:13). Jesus tells us, the Spirit “will guide you to all truth” (Jn 16:13). The apostles received power to be Jesus’ witnesses throughout the world and we have received the same power through the faith of the apostles and the cultivation of our own faith through the power of the Holy Spirit given to us at Baptism. The sending of the person of the Spirit after Jesus’ glorification, reveals in its fullness the mystery of the Trinity.
Theologically, the Trinity shows us there is one God in three persons. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God, whole and entire. The divine persons are distinct from one another. This distinction resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another - It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.
The Trinity shows us that God is not God if there is no Father, or if there is no Son, or if there is no Holy Spirit. For God cannot exist unless there are all three persons, together in relationship. It is through a diversity
of peoples and their gifts, together in a loving relationship to follow Jesus, that we will have a lived experience of the knowledge of who God is. So let us build our faith community by helping each other to follow Jesus, by seeing the good in each other with the help of the Holy Spirit, so we can live eternally with God, our only true desire in this life.
Deacon Paul R. Bachi, St. Mark Catholic Church