This is Water By Miranda Fitzpatrick, Fiat Ventures

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Consider with me for a moment, how often do you think about the Trinity? Would you say you think about it every day? For most of us, probably not. Would you say you think about it once a week? Maybe at Mass on Sunday? But do you actually think about the Trinity? Or do you just say it from time to time during the Mass? Can you even remember the last time you thought about the Trinity? Why do you think that is?

Maybe you don’t think about it often because it doesn’t seem important. Or because it’s complicated. Maybe it’s even because as a Church, we don’t talk about the Trinity very often. Or maybe it’s because “the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about”

Consider this story.

There are two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

This is a story that David Foster Wallace tells in a commencement speech he gave in 2005. He tells the audience “The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.” Sometimes it is the case that the very thing that we are surrounded by, the thing that defines our life, that is our very way of seeing, cannot even be seen by us. We can see this in the parable of the fish, their source of life, the water that they swim in they are unaware of. In many ways, this is the same case with the Trinity in our lives – the very thing that we are surrounded by, the thing that defines our life, that is our very way of seeing, cannot even be seen by us.

Try to think right now of all the places we see the Trinity in our faith. Off the top of your head, I’ll bet you can think of a handful…

In the sign of the cross, how we begin and end our prayers, how we begin and end our Mass. In the Sacraments, Baptism, Reconciliation, and in the Eucharistic prayers. In our regular prayers, the Gloria, the Creed, and the Glory Be. In all of these we hear the words the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but the Trinity is present in so many more ways than this.

The doctrine of Three Persons in one God, equal in Divinity yet distinct in Person, is not explicitly spelt out in the Bible. Even the very word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible, but we read of its presence in the Gospels, the story of Christ’s baptism, the Great Commission, in Jesus’ prayers and in the letters that Paul writes. So now we know the Trinity is present in our faith more than we may realize and certainly more than it is outright named.

But even deeper than even that, the Trinity is woven into the fabric of our faith. The doctrine of the Trinity underlies all major feasts – the Annunciation and Christmas, the Epiphany, Good Friday and Easter, the Ascension and Pentecost. The Trinity is necessary for our salvation of sins – Jesus must be truly God and truly human in order to die for our sins and for them to be forgiven. The Trinity is the basis of our relationship to God and His Church – He was perfectly fulfilled without us. Yet he lovingly chose to create us, inviting us in to enjoy, and be fulfilled by, the overflow of all God is. These are just to name a few.

The Trinity is present even when it is not called by name, it is woven into our faith, it cannot be separated from our faith – the Trinity is the very water that we swim in.

This is water.

Connect with Us

See our latest posts on Facebook and Youtube

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply