Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 7:15.22-18.1; John 16:12-15)
No doctrine of the Church is harder to explain than the Holy Trinity. How the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are both three and one almost defies explanation. It is not that they are three entities that make up a collective like the Three Musketeers, but each one makes of the fullness of the divine nature. How do they differ then? They differ only by their relationships – one is Father; one is Son; and one is the life or Spirit among them. In today’s gospel Jesus reassures his disciples with reference to the unique triad and unity of the Holy Trinity.
Jesus underscores the unity of the Trinity when he says that the Spirit will teach only what it receives from him. In turn he passes on only what he has received from the Father. One might ask whether only the Spirit would be present to Jesus’ disciples or to Christians today. No, Jesus has said in this same discourse (last Sunday’s gospel reading) that all three are present to his disciples.
Although we have difficulty understanding exactly the nature of the Trinity, we can see it as a model for Church life. The Church like the Trinity is a community of love. Like the Trinity where the Father has a certain priority so in the Church the Bishop of Rome as well as local bishops have a kind of priority. We cannot be one exactly like the Trinity is one, but we should strive for at least a unity of mind and heart.