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  • Fr. John Jennings

Trinity – The Mystery of God’s Hug

“I miss the opportunity to hug my grandchildren.” During our experience of Covid-19 these words have been a common refrain from grandparents. The closeness that we all long for in families and in friends has gone as we move into enforced distancing. This has been one of the losses in the course of the last several months. It is a necessary response to the virus, but still a loss.

We humans are social by nature. This is the way God made us and whether we are always aware of it or not, we seek to be with others. We strive to live in community. Rare is the person who can live life in full solitude. We need each other and we crave the relationships which come to us over our lifetime. In this we reflect the image of God.

As Christians, we describe our God as Trinity. This is one of the great “mysteries” of our faith. In faith, a mystery is more than just something we cannot explain. It is something the meaning of which we can never exhaust. Such a mystery takes us on a journey of discovery that will never end. In fact, we encounter such mystery in our own lives.

Think of any of our loving relationships from marriage, parent, to close friend. The closer the friendship, the more the mystery. We never fully know our partner. We struggle to describe or capture fully the meaning of such love. It is always beyond us. So, often we express in sign and action. In love, it is often in the hug or the kiss that we do this. But our love remains a mystery, always more to discover.

Our God is Trinity – Father, Son, Spirit. This is one of the deepest and the earliest beliefs of the Christian Tradition. It is also most expressive of our image of God. To have faith in God who expresses love and harmony, compassion and care, healing and comfort, is to have faith in the Trinity, a God who hugs us constantly to God’s own self, always and forever.

To see God as Mother or Father, a loving, life-giving parent is to see our God as the creative one, giving life to all that is. This is our God who gives and sustains life in all the universe. More than this, this is the God, who like a parent loves life into existence and supports it with this same inexhaustible love.

This loving, creating God has come among us in Jesus, the incarnation of God. So great is the love held in the heart of our God that it spills out in an overflowing flood as God takes on our humanity in the person of Jesus. God is ever with us, Emmanuel.

Such love cannot be just for a moment or a time.It is constant and forever.In the Spirit we are given the continuous hug of our God.We cannot win or lose it.God’s hug is ever with us, in our joys and sorrows, our good times and our bad.Like the hug of the mother, the embrace of the father, the love of our God, expressed in the Trinity has a warmth and comfort that draws us together.We are held in the heart of God.What an overflowing mystery! Truly, God’s hug.

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