Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

(Daniel 3:14-20.91-92.95; John 8:31-42)

"There is not any reasoning which can convince me, contrary to my senses, that three is one, and one three," wrote Abigail Adams rejecting the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.  She was not a theologian but the upright, intelligent wife of the second president of the United States.  The same difficulty vexes anyone who relies on common sense.   It is why the Jews reject Jesus in the Gospel of John.

The Jews know where Jesus is leading them when he says in today’s gospel, “I tell what I have seen in the Father’s presence…”  Earlier in the gospel it was stated that they tried to kill Jesus because he “called God his own father, making himself equal to God.”  Being monotheists, as today’s first reading amply testifies, they will not tolerate any suggestion of two Gods.  Neither should Christians.

It is hardly imaginable, much less intuitive, how the Son and the Father are one God.  Virtually skipping logic, we call it “mystery” but hold to the concept firmly as the guarantor of our redemption.  Indeed, we posit a third figure of the one God, the Holy Spirit who completes the work of our salvation.  It is because Jesus is God that his death and resurrection have universal application.  It is because he is God with the Father that our deaths as well will blossom into resurrection.