Last week we finished our celebration of the season of Easter with Pentecost. We're back to Ordinary Time, which will last until the beginning of Advent at the end of November.
But, first we celebrate two special feasts: today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and next Sunday is Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Both of these feast days are about doctrines of our faith: what we believe. That shouldn't lead us to think that they are just boring theological ideas. What we believe flows from the great love that God has for us, and today's feast of the Trinity is about the most important thing in the universe.
We start out in our first reading with Moses speaking to the people of Israel. He is reminding them of what God has done for them in freeing them from slavery in Egypt. "Did anything so great ever happen before?"
Moses is right in telling them they should be astonished because it is an astonishing event. God didn't just tell the Hebrews, "I'm your God and I want you to worship me," - he saved them. He revealed Himself as a God who loved them and would provide for them. He didn't just prove that He was more powerful than the gods of Egypt or another nation - He said they don't exist.
The Lord is God and there is no other. That is the foundation of the Jewish faith. There is only one God and He has revealed Himself to His people.
Then we fast forward to our Gospel reading and Jesus makes some startling statements.
First he says, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me." That's a claim that only God could really make.
Then he tells the Apostles, "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." Not only does he claim the power of God, but Jesus names three persons in whose name they will be baptizing.
All of this, along with Jesus' words throughout the Gospels and the Holy Spirit speaking in the other Scriptures of the New Testament have shown the Church that God is revealing Himself in a deeper way.
What we call the Trinity is simply God showing that He is a relationship. The Father and the Son give themselves in complete love and the Holy Spirit is that bond of love between them.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in a relationship of love - and that love is what created the universe and created us. God didn't need other people to give Himself to - He is self-gift. He didn't need anyone to love because He is love.
The fact that we exist shows us that God, who is perfectly fulfilled and complete in Himself, chose for us to exist because He wants us to participate in that love.
In our second reading, St. Paul tells us that we "did not receive a spirit of slavery" but "a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, 'Abba, Father!'” Abba is the intimate word for Father that Jesus used - and through our baptism we have the privilege, the grace to share that intimate relationship with the Father.
The doctrine of the Trinity is so much more than a complicated idea. It's so much more than trying to explain it with the leaves of a clover or whatever analogy that we come up with. It is the hope that we all share as Christians. We aren't serving a God who sees us as slaves but a Father who wants to adopt us as His children.
With Jesus as our savior and our brother, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are being invited into eternal communion with Our Father.