May 26, 1983
Rom 5: 1-5
Ursulines, Willow Dr., N.R.
“We have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5: 1).
When I was younger, I used to wonder what the Trinity meant—not only how it could be understood but what difference it made in the practical life of the believer.
|Holy Trinity by Maulbertsch|
I still don’t understand very much of what it means to be three Persons in one God, and I grasp only a little of this doctrine’s significance for us. But it is significant.
In the Trinity we experience God’s love. We experience God’s love for us in the historical person of Jesus Christ, thru whom we have been restored to peace with God (5:1) and had our sins forgiven. We experience God’s love for us in the permanent, trans-historical presence of the Spirit, who pours into our hearts God’s love (5:5).
Sin has alienated humanity from God: original sin put our race at odds with God, and our personal sins deepen the gulf between each of us and our Creator. Our Lord Jesus Christ has bridged the gulf and restored friendship and peace between our race and his Father. This is grace, a favor from God granted to us because of his love for his Son and his love for all of us in the Son.
Humanity stands in God’s grace, thanks to Jesus Christ (5:2). But each of us needs to be touched personally with the grace of Jesus Christ. Each of us needs personally to have her sins forgiven and needs to be restored to peace with God. How is Jesus Christ made present to us 2,000 years after his earthly life? The Holy Spirit of the risen and life-giving Jesus is poured into our hearts, revealing God’s love to us, incorporating us into the divine life of the Father and the Son. The Spirit is the personal love of the Divine Family for each other, and he is the personal love of God in us, the personal love we return to God, the personal love we extend to one another. All that the Father has is Christ’s, and all that is Christ’s he has made known to us (cf. John 16:15) in the Holy Spirit.
So I may not be able to explain the Trinity to you or even to myself. I don’t need to. I only need to know that God loves me and he loves you. He has revealed his love in Jesus Christ, and he continues to reveal his love thru the Holy Spirit, who lives and reigns in our hearts and in heavenly glory, forever and ever.