There seems to be a common view among preachers that preaching on Trinity Sunday is one of the more daunting liturgies on which to preach. The Trinity is not the easiest concept to understand, and I think because of how sublime this mystery is, we can be hesitant to speak about it, fearing we might say something wrong, something that might not fully grasp this great mystery of who God is – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the almighty Three in One.
Personally, I have not struggled too much with preaching on this topic and I think a reason for this is my focusing on one important aspect of the Trinity that is foundational – relationship. At its heart, the Trinity is about that perfect relationship between the three persons of the Trinity, the love that keeps them together in perfect unity. But this relationship is not something God desires to keep just to Himself. He desires to share that love with something outside of Himself, namely us who are made in His image and likeness. The very first paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses this beautifully:
God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength.(CCC 1)
Our life as Christians, more than anything else, is to seek to be in relationship with Him and to always live out of that relationship, rooted in His love for us and generously sharing that love in imitation of the one in whose image and likeness we have been made. Furthermore, the Trinity is a pattern for what all of our relationships should look like, united with one another in the love of God. To be sure, we will never fully realize either one of these relationships (with God or with others) fully in this life, but that does not mean that we should not seek to grow toward that ideal.
With that in mind, I invite us to turn to one of the prayers we learned when we were children as a way of increasing our desire and asking for the grace to grow in these relationships – with God and with others. It’s the Glory Be. When we pray this prayer, we do a few things. First of all, we give praise and glory to who God is – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect charity. We then praise Him for the act of sheer goodness in creating us so that we too can share in His blessed life. I like to see this prayer also as a way of asking the Lord to strengthen our relationship with Him and, at the same time, to strengthen our relationships with others. Understood in this way, this simple prayer can express so much about our belief in the Trinity and what that belief calls us to as His sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to one another. I therefore highly encourage you to renew your appreciation for the Glory By prayer, and to pray it in a special way today with these thoughts in mind. Then, moving forward, may every time you pray it be and act of praise for this central mystery of our faith and a desire to live that mystery more fully in your lives.