The Trinity is like a game of catch. In every game of catch, there is, by necessity, three parts. A thrower, a catcher, and that which is thrown between them
Like a game, of catch, the Trinity has, by necessity, three parts. Why by necessity? Well, St. John the Evangelist said, “God is love.” (I Jn 4:8) And St. Augustine of Hippo rightly pointed out that love, by necessity, has three parts: a lover, the beloved, and the love that is exchanged between them. God the Father is the lover who is the giver of love. God the Son is the beloved who receives the love of the Father and returns this love back to Him. And God the Holy Spirit is the love that is exchanged between them.
We’ve seen hints of this communion and exchange of love throughout the year, and each time you and I are drawn more intimately into this love.
At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father said to his Son, his beloved, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” (Mk 1:11) And the Father gave His love to His beloved Son: as Jesus came out of the water, the heavens were “torn open, and the Spirit, like a dove” descended upon him. (Mk 1:10)
At Jesus’ transfiguration, God the Father, once again said of Jesus: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mk 9:7) And the love of the Father came upon not only His Son, but the Holy Spirit also began to descend upon the disciples in the form of a cloud which cast a shadow over all of them. (Mk 9:7)
And last week, as we celebrated Pentecost, God the Father and God the Son invite you and I fully into their exchange of love as the love between them. For the Holy Spirit wasn’t sent merely as a cloud to overshadow the disciples, but “tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each of them.” (Acts 2:3)
And this gift of the Holy Spirit is given to us through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Not as an abstract, far away love from a distance. But actual intimate contact with the Divine as Holy Water and Sacred Chrism are poured upon us, leaving and indelible mark on our souls.
You and I are well disposed to enter into a communion of love with the Holy Trinity. For you and I are like Him. “God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen 1:26) You and I are created in the image and likeness of God. Which means, you and I are created for a communion of life and love. We are not meant to be alone.
Indeed, we are destined for communion with the Holy Trinity for eternity. And God prepares us for communion with Him by having us enter into communion with one another.
We get ready for the game of catch with the Divine by playing the game of catch here on earth. As we play this game of catch, each relationship has a specific thing which is exchanged. The love between fathers and sons and mothers and daughters is a specific kind of love. The love between friends is a specific kind of love. The love between a priest and the people is a specific kind of love. The love between a boyfriend and a girlfriend or fiances is a specific kind of love. And the love between husband and wife is a very specific and exclusive kind of love that belongs only to them. You could say, that God gives a special “ball” or “frisbee” if you will to those He wishes to join together in this communion of love. It is the Sacrament of Marriage.
Now, this game of catch, can be played well. We can be faithful and give and receive this love with our spouses and them alone. Or, we could play this game of catch not so well. And give this love which belongs only to our spouse to someone else. We can receive our spouses completely and give ourselves to them completely holding nothing back. Or, we can withhold our hearts from them, not tossing them the ball. Or, rejecting their hearts offered to us, by not catching it.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have a plan for teaching us how to play this game of catch well. And this summer, the Holy Trinity wishes to teach our young people how to enter into an authentic communion of persons here on earth so that we may enter into the Communion of Persons which is the Holy Trinity in Heaven. In today’s bulletin, you’ll find information about our Theology of the Body for Teens series being offered on Thursday nights in the Spiritual Center. I want to encourage all our high school and college students to attend. If you know one, tear out the page from the bulletin and give it to them. Because how well we enter into a communion of persons here on earth will have an impact on how well we enter into the Communion of Persons in Heaven for all eternity.