The feast day we are celebrating today has often been called the preachers nightmare. What can you say about the Holy Trinity? Saint Augustine, one of the greatest intellectual saints spent many years trying to understand the mystery of God. One day he was walking along the beach he saw a little boy digging a hole in the sand. He asked the boy what he was going to do with the hole. He was going to put all that water out there into the hole. St. Augustine then understood what his own problem was. He was trying to understand the great mystery of God with an imperfect limited mind. One of the great Protestant theologians Karl Barth said: The central claim of our faith is that God has spoken. Now if God has spoken, that means: first that there is a speaker who is God, second that there is a word spoken who is God, and third that there is an interpreter who is God.
- There is a speaker who is God. There are many religions, philosophies, mysticisms that are based on intuitions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age Spirituality, they are based on our personal perception of the divine reality but Christianity, Islamism and Judaism are based on the conviction that God has spoken. God has spoken to his people he has revealed himself, he has taken the initiative, it is not our personal perception or intuition of God – divine reality. You can have a certain perception about a person by the ways he walks, talks but sometimes that perception is wrong when you get to know the person. In Christianly you don’t find intuitions, perceptions; in the Bible, you don’t find Abraham, Moses saying that this is what I think, what you have is that God has spoken, God has said this. You don’t find Moses, Abraham, Isaiah or the prophets speaking about their personal programme, you find a personal God speaking to his people, revealing himself to the prophets. You find this in all the prophets of Bible, Abraham, Isaac, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel, Saul, Ezequiel, etc.
- Second of all there is a word spoken. God has spoken to us thorough his Son – cfr. Letter to Hebrews. The letter to the Hebrews speaks about the pre-eminence of Jesus that He is more important than the angles and superior to anything in the Old Testament. That’s why Jesus said to Philip in St. Johns gospel: “he who has seen me has seen God”. First of all we have a speaker who is God, now we have a word spoken who is God, two persons, one God but we don’t stop here.
- In the gospel today we read: I have much more to tell you…” The Son who has revealed the Father says that a third person will come and will guide us to the full truth. He is the interpreter. We need an interpreter. There are things that are not very clear and that why young as well as not so young go to university, school where our teacher and professors interpret what certain things mean. The best interpreter would be the author himself. Your mathematics teacher can try to explain to you Einstein’s theory of relativity, but the best interpreter would be Einstein himself, your English teacher can try to interpreter what Shakespeare meant in Hamlet or Macbeth, but if Shakespeare himself came that would be the best. How can we interpret this spoken word of God? This is where the Holy Spirit comes in; as the gospel says today he will lead you to the complete truth. All three are divine and all three strengthen our claim and our conviction that the central claim of our faith that God has spoken to us.