We believe in mysteries!

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We believe in mysteries!

By Dr Christine Wood, Director, Office of Evangelisation & Catechesis

During the lockdown I’ve been watching re-runs of the old TV show “Unsolved Mysteries.” Episodes feature an eerie parade of unsolved crimes, missing persons, and strange paranormal events. Host Robert Stack, resplendent in his trench coat, introduces stories with an invitation to “Join me. Perhaps you may be able to help solve a mystery!”

What could be more exciting than being part of the team that solves heinous crimes or UFO sightings?  Imagine being the one who delivers that vital clue to investigators, bringing a criminal to justice. The show exploits our natural inclination to ponder the unexplained and stretch reason beyond our day-to-day routine.

This invitation echoes Catholic belief that faith and reason go together. The Christian faith presents us with many mysteries and supernatural realities that are beyond our natural ability to grasp, but are not unreasonable to accept.

The greatest mystery of the Christian faith is the Trinity; that God is one and three. There are those who think Christians believe a mathematical contradiction; that one is somehow equal to three. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, Christians believe that there is one divine being (one God), and in this one God there are three Persons. So the one and the three refer to different aspects of God.

We cannot reason to this truth. Fortunately for us, God has revealed his deepest mystery to us in a very special way. Jesus reveals he is divine and in constant relationship with God the Father, and that God the Holy Spirit was sent into the world to sanctify and guide the Church. There are many Church documents that explain this in detail.

Importantly, Jesus has revealed that he wants a personal relationship with us, and this is brought about through the work of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of this is to reconcile us with God the Father. God wants to share his life with us!

At Jesus’ baptism, all three Persons of the Trinity are revealed: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father declares that Jesus is “my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” as the Spirit descends upon him.

At our baptism, we are changed interiorly as the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in and sanctify our souls. God the Father claims us for his own: this is my beloved son or daughter. We are made into the likeness of Christ and begin to live within God’s own Trinitarian life.

We will never fully comprehend the mystery of the Holy Trinity, but as we continue our Christian life, we can, through grace, draw closer to each of the divine Persons.