In all my years of preaching, I still do not know if I have heard the perfect example to explain the Trinity. I am not sure why we even try to explain the mystery because it is unexplainable, but I do like the direction that Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians takes us because it is all about the best in relationships. It is all about extending goodwill and positive regard to fellow believers and maintaining the healthiest, reconciled relationships possible.
Corinthians outlines the positive relationships that believers must maintain. Paul says the first step is to mend your ways. That means that we have to be creative in the ways in which we try to resolve conflicts. Sometimes the examples we inherit by our families and teachers do not always work in every situation. We have to be courageous enough to realize there are other ways of approaching our problems. Think for instance about dieting: we try the same approaches again and again without success. Stop. This way is not working. Find another way that suits your unique situation, and realize you will need courage to radically alter your behaviors – if you really want to reach your goals. Maybe it means finding an entirely new way to reach your goal.
We have to be active in enhancing and stabilizing relationships. St. Paul tells us to greet one another with a holy kiss and to live in peace with one another. These are beautifully idyllic words and I believe they are achievable, but it takes a lot of work to arrive at this state. For instance, when I encounter an unkind person, I simply want to cut myself off from that person. Also, when I meet someone who is full of her own capabilities and self-worth, my desire to know that person is lessened. It is just the way I am built, and I have to work hard so that I do not cut that person off from a potential relationship. For the unkind person, I have to go out of my way to create a level of kindness without being unkind when the person speaks poorly. For the egotistical person, I have to recognize that she is working out of her unmet need and that there is something beyond this person that is in some pain.
We have to keep in mind the reason Jesus came into this word: so that the world may be saved through him. He did not come in order to condemn us, but we do that whenever we interact with others whom we do not know well. We make quick judgments about others that endure without clarification or testing. Our first impressions hold strong and we often do not give another person a chance to make himself known to us. We might find we are more alike than we think. Instead of condemning, we realize all of us need something beyond ourselves, something larger than us to accept our humanity and give us new life. Our focus can then shift to addressing how to help her fill those unmet needs that plague her, just as someone once helped us along the way to address our needs. We realize we are in the same boat and that we both need something beyond us, someone larger than us, to give us new life.
When we are comfortable in our relationships, we naturally see the best in each other. The Trinity gives us an example of the Divine’s comfort in being with one another. No one demands something from the other person; it is a natural sharing of souls with each other. You will not find a defensive posture in the Trinity. Let’s find ways of being more comfortable in our relationships because this is the time that magnificent things can happen. So, relax. Be your natural self and enjoy who you are. You will find that you will naturally want to share all your good qualities with others; and then the mysteries of positive relationships happen.