This weekend we celebrate the beginning of the summer season. For some of us it means opening up the cottage or lake house. For others it is a time to gather with friends or family for a BBQ. But for everyone, this weekend should be a time of remembrance. In some senses, Memorial Day weekend has been overshadowed by secular pursuits. What was intended to be a time of remembering the dead who had given their lives in defense of our nation, has instead become a time for frivolity and partying.
By happy coincidence, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity this weekend. When I was younger, this was a weekend when a missionary would come to preach an appeal. Instead of hearing about the Triune God, we heard about starving children in some far-off country. When we discussed the Trinity in religious education class, usually the teacher would end by saying, “Don’t worry about it, it’s a mystery anyway.”
It is true: the Trinity is a mystery. But that does not mean we shouldn’t attempt to understand the meaning behind it. Dominant and recessive genes were a mystery until Gregor Mendel began to study pea plants, paving the way for the modern science of genetics. Even though we know more about genetics than Mendel did, we’ve only but scratched the surface. There are many more mysteries to unravel.
The point is, God relates to us as three persons in one Godhead. God relates to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While one person of the Trinity may be more present to us at any given time, the other two persons are also acting. For example, when we speak of Jesus redeeming us by his passion, death and resurrection, we are also aware that he was working in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. One member of the Holy Trinity does not act alone. All three persons act in concert with one another to bring about God’s will.
As we gather this weekend to remember the Triune God and our deceased loved ones and those who have served in the military, let us also take time to discern how we can immerse ourselves into mystery. Instead of running from mystery or being afraid, may each of us embrace the mysteries in our lives. When we don’t understand, educate ourselves. When things don’t make sense, ask questions.
When God seems far away, seek Him out in prayer. Like Gregor Mendel attempt to penetrate the cloud of unknowing in order that we may enter more deeply into the presence of God.