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God is a community

“Holy Trinity is a mystery. If you fail to understand what it means, it’s alright, because if you understand what it is, it’s no more a mystery!” This is one of the sentences that I remember from my classes on the Trinity during our Theology studies. Today is Trinity Sunday. Comprehending and explaining the concept of One God in three persons has always been a difficulty. 
 
Recently, I came across a beautiful reflection on the mystery of the Holy Trinity by the American Theologian Father Ron Rolheiser. He explains the Holy Trinity as a flow of relationships among persons. 
 
Our catechism classes would define God as ineffable, beyond imagination and beyond language. The official teachings of the Church, expressed in the best languages possible, are insufficient to comprehend him. God can never be understood or captured adequately in any formula. So we call him a mystery. But it’s also the experience of many that he can be known, experienced, related to in love and friendship. 
 
The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity is in fact a celebration of this relationship, a relationship of love. That is why the scriptures tell us that God is love “and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him or her.” How do we understand this concept of God abiding in us? Can it be said as “God is community, family, parish, friendship, hospitality and whoever abides in these abides in God and God abides in him or her?” This makes the concept of abiding in God very real. 
 
One God in three persons is a flow of relationships to be experienced in community, family, parish, work places or neighbourhood. When we live inside of these relationships, God lives inside of us and we live inside of God. Scripture assures us that we abide in God whenever we stay inside of family, community, parish, and yes, even when we fall in love! 
 
This could pose a huge challenge to our current understanding of experiencing God. Many of us believe that priests, nuns and consecrated people living in religious communities have better God experiences than ordinary people who live in the secular world. The Holy Trinity shatters this misconception! It means that God is more domestic than monastic (Consecrated people will be the first to vouch for that!). 
 
It also means, that in coming to know God, our dinner tables are as important as the theology classroom, the practice of grateful hospitality is as important as the practice of right dogma, and meeting with others to pray as a community can give us something that long hours in private meditation cannot.
 
The greatest danger that the Church faces today is a culture of individualism that invites us to believe that we are self-sufficient, that we can have community and family on our own terms, and that we can have God without dealing with each other. These are the malicious heresies that threaten the life of the Church in the modern world.  
 
Trinity Sunday is a reminder that since God is inside of community, we should be there too if we wish to go to heaven. Simply put, we can’t go to hel, if we stick close to family, community and parish. 
 
God is community—and only in opening our lives in gracious love and generosity will we ever understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. jose