Last Sunday I had a very animated discussion about the Church as a picture of the Blessed Trinity, which came about from the introduction to Tertullian that I gave at the church history series on the Sunday School class that I am teaching.
The discussion led me again to reflect upon the nature of God as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures but also of its significance to me as a part of His Body – the Church, which gives us a salient picture of the divine truth of the Trinity.
“The Church is the community wherein we strive to mirror the Trinitarian image. While all humanity is called to be united with itself and with God under the headship of Christ (Col. 1:15-20), while all nations of the world are called to be made disciples of Christ (Mt. 28:19), there remains a distance “between mankind ‘gathered’ into a collectivity in principle and its actual manifestation in Christ.” The church is that portion of mankind which visibly gathered into a community with Christ as its center; it is a communion of men and women with one another in Christ. 1
In his book The Mystery of the Trinity in the Christian Life, Daniel Sta. Maria sought to develop a positive attitude toward the study of the Trinity that is equated with the Christian doctrine of the Church. There he emphasized that there are aspects of human nature –and human relationships – which conveys the divine truth of a God who reveals Himself as Father, Son and Spirit. The book puts great emphasis on living out the truth of the significance of the Trinity in our daily lives, which encourages the reader to translate Scriptural realities, and doctrine into acts of worship and moral behavior.
What’s interesting about the book is that it approaches that task of understanding the Trinity from the point of view of the Filipino Christian who may have little or no background in theology but wish to gain a solid foundation on Christian doctrine. Scriptural texts and early Church creeds are presented for reflection, which gives a theological exposition that is grounded on human relationship, a basic human experience.
1. Sta. Maria, Daniel – The Mystery of the Trinity in the Christian Life p.53