4 jun 2020

Sermon - Holy Trinity

By The Revd. Ariel Irrazábal
Translation: Elizabeth Birks
If you see charity you see the Trinity (Vides Trinitatem Si Caritatem VidesDe Trinitate 8, 8, 12). We have a glimpse of the most real and profound mystery of God cited by Augustine of Hippo, who claims the main access, the main way, to the Holy Trinity is love.
Our Eastertide is over and we have started to navigate the ‘common time’ when our liturgy will lead us deeper into the life of Jesus of Nazareth starting TODAY with the great feast of Holy Trinity.

Starting point
I’d like to take as my starting point an expression that has become more “familiar” to us in this time: I want to send you virtual greeting. In fact, we have started to exchange virtual hugs and embraces, and to know that, to a certain extent, the lo virtual is likewise real. In other words, for you and me to be meeting at this time means there has to be a means, in this case a platform: YouTube, which makes it possible for us to connect. We are no longer I/You but I “and” You. Our relationships are marked all the time by an “AND” which makes it possible for there to be something more than only I/only you. In some cases, the I and You is defined by an application, like now, it can be YouTube/ WhatsApp, the telephone or if we go a little further back, the cable or the latter.
What I mean is that for the I/You encounter to exist, there must always be an “AND” to make it possible. I spoke of means of communication, but that “AND” that enables the can also be a language. If I say to someone “I love you” in a language unknown to that person it will not have any effect, or if I offer to shake hands with someone with a different culture or values, it will have the opposite effect to what I want to achieve.
In short, for an encounter to exist we need three elements: I, and, You. Life is charged with a variety of “AND’s” to propitiate it, which could be a technological element, language, the body, etc.

Babbling the mystery
The first reflections on the Trinity and its mystery followed this model that is so close to us, speaking of Trinity as an “I and You”, what would later be referred to as: a relationship between persons.
“The Father as the Eternal Lover, loving the Son as the Eternal Loved One, and Loved Again by Him in the Love eternally received and given”. There is the “AND” uniting Son and Father, the Holy Spirit, that personal love. Augustine of Hippo in the 4th Century babbles Trinity, Father/Son/Holy Spirit as The One who Loves, The Loved One and Love (Ecce tria sunt: amans, et quod amatur, et amor – De Trinitate. 8, 10, 14)
This reasoned Trinidad is founded in the Trinity narrated in the New Testament and in the Trinity professed for instance in the Creed we usually use on Sundays, known as the Nicene Creed, and which names the Trinity as creator Father, redeemer Son and vivifying Holy Spirit (Lord and giver of life).

Consequences for church experience and ecumenism
The trinitarian model of communion in the diversity of different persons is, analogously the church model. In other words, the Trinity implies a manner not only of understanding God but of understanding our relationships: our relationships in a Community of faith and with each other.
The Trinity speaks to us of God himself and speaks to us of a manner of being which we are called to live. Unity and diversity are not poles excluding one another, but interrelated elements. The Church should be a place of unity in diversity, one of the great banners of the Anglican Communion. The trinitarian model should be what structures our relationships: caring for unity and caring for diversity. Knowing we are different, in this case, is a value to build on, to build something new, which gives us one, beyond our own particular interests. It means walking the way and identifying the “AND’s” to enable dialogue and encounter.
Looking at the relationships between the different Christian traditions as a trinitarian model is extremely significant. This Sunday, when we finish the Week of Prayer for the unity of Christians, marked by the biblical quote from Acts 28.2: They treated us with unusual kindness, I pray the Holy Trinity will engage us, drive us and challenge us to live in concrete actions the ecumenical experience of unity in diversity under the mark of love.

This is the great invitation for this Trinity Sunday: to value all the “and’s” that bind us without annulling the diversity that distinguishes us. May we rediscover a God eternally loving the Son, the eternally loved one, in personal love, the Holy Spirit. May we rediscover the acknowledgement of the Trinity as creator Father, redeemer Son and vivifying Holy Spirit. May we rediscover the experience of Unity in diversity as a model among Christian churches, among Communities of one same local Church (Diocese) or, more concretely, in our own Community of faith (Parish).
Mysticism always opens up new horizons for us, to new manners of relating to God, to others, to nature. I would like to conclude recalling Juliana of Norwich, the great English mystic of the 14th Century, who in her book Revelations of Divine Love - Fourth Chapter: First Revelation, said:

"The Trinity is God. God is the Trinity, the Trinity is our maker, the Trinity is our keeper, the Trinity is our everlasting lover, the Trinity is our endless joy and our bless, by our Lord Jesu Christ, and in our Lord Jesu Christ".