We believe in the One God in Three Persons: and we refer to this Triune God as the Holy Trinity. Many people, and especially Muslims, accuse us of believing in “three gods” – which makes little sense. No, we believe in ONE God, who was revealed us to be in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Although the word ‘Trinity” is absent from Sacred Scriptures, the Trinitarian God is alluded to us in many many biblical verses. One of the early allusions is in the Book of Genesis. We must bear in mind that the People of God, the Israelites, were very clear about there being only ‘One’ God. Yet, already in Genesis, we find the plurality of persons, for example; “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness……(Genesis 1:26). This verse is one of many in the Old Testament that refers to the One God as more than one person, while still remaining one God. The People of God in the time of Jesus, steeped in a centuries-old tradition of monotheism, was shocked by Jesus’ claim of divinity, not to mention his references to the Holy Spirit. It sounds blasphemous, and smacks of a return to the polytheism from which the Jews had so long struggled to extricate themselves. Hence, Our Lord’s claims that “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30) and “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 8:58) provoked attempts to stone him. Nowhere is it more dramatically displayed than in the Gospel of John, when Jesus heals the paralytic on the Sabbath: “And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My father is working still, and I am working’ This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God” (Jn 5:16-18).
In the history of the Church, great minds including St Augustine, have to come together to try and explained what God has chosen to reveal to us. This Revelation or mystery, is something we try to understand not ‘solved’.
May the One and Truine God help us to marvel in the Mystery of His being. Fr Michael