June 15, 2014
A farmer who took a break during a rainy day went into a big city to visit a friend. He was walking down a very busy street when suddenly he stopped and said to his friend, “I can hear a cricket.” His friend was amazed and asked, “How can you hear a cricket in the middle of all this noise and confusion?” “I can hear him because my ears are attuned to his sound,” he replied.
Then he listened even more intently, and following the sound, found the cricket perched on the window ledge. His friend couldn’t get over it. But the farmer showed no great surprise; instead, he took a few coins out of his pocket and threw them on the sidewalk. On hearing the jingle of coins, all those passing by stopped in their tracks. “You see what I mean,” said the farmer, “None of those people could hear the sound of the cricket, but all of them could hear the sound of money. People hear what their ears are attuned to hear and ignore or miss all the rest.”
The point of this story is so obvious. It is natural to admit the existence of Triune God, the Holy Trinity, as soon as one opens one’s eyes. Yet many look and see nothing. They listen and hear nothing. To find and to see God requires an openness and sensitivity.
But in the heel of the hunt, as they say, the best thing a Christian can do to understand the Holy Trinity is to look at the Gospels. In other words, we have to look at how Jesus spoke about this mystery and lived it. He spoke about God as a merciful and forgiving Father. He spoke about himself as the Son of the Father. And by seeking to do the will of his Father at all times, he showed us how a child of God should live. The will of the Father was that he should bring us the good news of salvation. But it was the Holy Spirit who commissioned him for this work.
We are dealing with a great mystery that cannot be comprehended totally as the story of St. Augustine tells us. One day St. Augustine was walking along the seashore pondering the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Seeing a little boy dutifully taking a pail of water from the ocean and putting it into a hole a few feet from the shoreline, Augustine asked him what he was doing, and the little boy said, "I'm putting the ocean into that hole." St. Augustine told him that was impossible to do; to which the little boy responded, "Just as impossible as you ever figuring out the Trinity."
The mystery of the Trinity is not something to argue about or even study. It is more something to pray about and to live. Christians live in the world of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This world is not somewhere in outer space. It is the same world of every day. God is my Father. I am his child. He loves me, even though I am unworthy of his love. Christ, the Son of God, is my brother. He died and rose for me. Through him all other people become my brothers and sisters. The Holy Spirit is the guidance and the bond of love between us all. He sanctifies us and makes us one. That's not too hard to grasp. Even a child could feel at home with it. For a child knows what a parent is. A child knows what a brother or sister is. And all children recognize true love when they see it.