Brothers and Sisters,
Talking about God is not simple. Saint Paul write: there is one Lord, one Faith, one God and Father of us all (cf. Ephesians 4:5-6). This isn’t a surprise; we all can easily explain to our family and friends that there is one God. However, there is more to the story than that.
Throughout the Bible, both Old Testament and New, the number three refers to something that is whole or complete. For example, Holy Prophet Amos describes apostates as having “three times” turned away from the Lord (Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13, et al.). Amos is not simply counting mistakes and saying the third time is the last straw; he is saying symbolically that they have completely turned away from the Lord.
Since the number three means Biblically symbolizes “complete,” therefore, for God to be whole the one God must somehow be three. In the one substance that is God, there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person is properly referred to as God; they are co-equal.
Now, it becomes clear how complex it is to speak about God without making mistakes. God is entirely unique from anything in creation and, because of this, any analogy about God being both three and one falls into a serious heresy – even the famous three-leafed shamrock implies a heresy.
Just as the Trinity – the one God Almighty – is difficult to understand, so also His will for our life may be challenging to discern as well. As pope, Benedict XVI wrote most people talk about God as if describing a photograph of themselves (cf. Jesus of Nazareth, xii); he wrote this to remind the faithful that it is easy to fall into the error of “creating a god” that allows you to do whatever you want. Let us use Trinity Weekend to increase our reverence and deference to God’s will for our lives.
God be near, Father Jeremy Pastor