“The Trinity and the Triforce” By: Rachael Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

“The Trinity and the Triforce” By: Rachael Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

I love the Legend of Zelda. The music, the epic story and the image of a hooded boy dressed in green, wielding a pointy sword collecting rupees are as nostalgic to me as Christmas. I have a brother who is 4 years older than me and obsessed with video games, so of course, when we were kids, I never actually got to play the video game. The Nintendo system (which was state of the art gaming technology then) belonged to my brother, and I wasn’t allowed to play it – let alone, touch the controller. But I was allowed to sit next to my brother for hours at a time and watch him expertly slice through tall grass, slush through pixelated water, collect hearts from pixies and fight monsters. It was hours of endless entertainment.

Over the years, there have been different Nintendo-created incarnations of the hero, Link: The Wind Waker, The Ocarina of Time, etc…but each adventure begins with the same prologue, which sums up the story:

Long ago, there existed a kingdom where a golden power lay hidden. One day, a man of great evil found this power and took it for himself, and with it at his command, he spread darkness across the kingdom. But then…just as all hope had died, a young boy clothed in green appeared as if from nowhere. Wielding a blade that repelled evil, he sealed the dark one away and gave the land light. This boy, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Time…

If our faith were summed up in a similar prologue, one might argue it could be John 3:16-18, which is the Gospel this Sunday:

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him…

You’ll notice that there are some similarities between the two. God created our world and filled it with good things, but the devil came along and introduced sin into the world, and darkness spread across creation. All kinds of sin and evil infected mankind and created great suffering. But then…just as all hope seemed to have died, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. And this Son, who came from the Father to save the land, was known as the Savior, the real “Hero of Time.”

This is the reading for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, a celebration that is truly epic. The concept of the Trinity is so amazingly complex, that to truly understand it (and thus to truly comprehend God), our brain would melt out of our faces. St. Patrick was famous for helping people grasp a basic understanding of the Trinity in a way that didn’t make their brains melt out of their faces. He used the image of a three-leaf clover to explain the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I like to imagine that if St. Patrick were alive today, he might be a bit of a gamer and choose the image of the Triforce to explain the Trinity to people today. In the video game, the Triforce is a golden triangle made up of 3 smaller triangles, each representing power, wisdom and courage. I could imagine St. Patrick in a hoodie, drinking soda and playing video games with his buddies. “Hey bro, you know what this Triforce reminds me of?” “Let me guess, Pat,” his friend would reply. “Somehow you are going to relate this to God.” “Yeah man, so it’s one big triangle, right? But there are three distinct triangles too – just like the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.”  “Cool – now show me how to defeat this snake boss again…”

It would be no surprise if the writers of Zelda drew upon the story of Jesus. But Jesus is more than a legend, and if it weren’t for God sending his only Son into the world, it would have been GAME OVER for us.

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