Saturday, 6 June 2009

Trinity Sunday (Mt 28:16-20)

All the exams are over, and in an hours time we have the mass to celebrate the closing of the study year... then in the afternoon I have to get everything ready in order to be able to fly home tomorrow morning and have a break for two weeks... the reflection this week is by necessity brief again!

This Sunday is called Trinity Sunday, and the Gospel is off course the gospel where Jesus instructs the eleven: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Mat 28:17-20 RSV).

However, I won't talk about the Trinity in this post as that would take a bit too much, even though it is very interesting to ponder this mystery. Saint Augustine tells us that "he was walking on the beach, deep in thought, trying to unravel the mystery of the trinity. He saw a small boy using a seashell to carry water from the sea to pour it into a hole he had made on the beach. When Augustine asked what up to the boy said that he was going to empty the ocean into that hole. When Augustine pointed out the futility of the attempt the boy told him that the attempt of Augustine to unravel the mystery of the trinity – his attempt to understand the nature of God – was even more futile. Then the boy disappeared, meaning that he was an angel."

Instead I just want to bring your attention to the line "And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted" (Mat 28:16 RSV). I don't feel necessarily the need to go back and repeat one of my previous posts about the difficulty to sometimes accept that Jesus is truly risen, but find this phrase particular striking...

However, I like to mention the fact that our faith is credible. One of the exams last week was "Fundamental Theology" and part of the exam was the "credibility" of our faith. It means it is "worthy of belief", it is not required to have a blind faith... We are made in the image and likeness of God, we are reasonable being, we can think, and God reveals himself to us in ordinary ways.

I like what St. Thomas Aquinas says about the need for God revealing things to us: "Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors."

St. Thomas is saying that it is possible to know about the existence of God even by reason alone, without God specifically revealing himself to us. This means that our intellect can help us to find God if there are times when that is needed. Most of the time it is not needed, in my experience. Initially I came to belief through looking at the credibility, but once a relationship with Jesus forms and we start to know him we don't doubt his existence anymore most of the time. Also, as St. Thomas points out, through revelation we deepen our relation with God to depths which would just by natural reason not be possible, take a long time and be mixed with errors.

Maybe I am trying to do too much in the little time I have of writing this article, but I just want to make the point that our faith is not blind. It is supported by everything we see around us, creation cries out that God exists. Some of the 11 apostles might have doubted if it was really Jesus standing in front of them, but eventually they understood, as can be seen by the testimony of their lives as all but one gave their life for the belief in Jesus. It might take a bit of time, but we should not worry that much about it. And sometimes it is helpful to look back at the credibility of our faith, and think about it so we draw closer again to the mystery that is God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

(I have another site called Christian Evidence on which am trying to put a few articles regarding the position of science and Christianity for anybody who is interested in those topics.)


Karinann said...

Bro. Luuk,
I love the point you make about our faith not being a blind faith. Truly if we have eyes to see, the evidence is all around us. Don't mean to oversimplify your post- just what I took from it.
Congratulations on the end of exams!

Dymphna said...

Hello Brother Luuk! I found your blog through Sunday Snippets. I wanted to mention how much I love your "moving" header! I've never seen anything like that. Very nice!

I'm definitely going to check out your "Christian Evidence" blog. Sadly, atheism is making great headway here. Thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

I also find your disertions very interesting - keep it up! :)
and ... have a nice holiday.


The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin