Earlier this week, before lockdown started, early on in the working day as I was arriving, one of my staff asked me a rather simple but exceedingly difficult question. Exactly what is the Trinity? I think most Christians can at least identify who the Trinity is: one God, three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And we could all acknowledge that God the Son became the human being Jesus of Nazareth without the loss of his divinity.

These are points we Christians can readily say and believe, but when it comes to explaining how this is the case, then we start to enter onto challenging waters. I certainly struggle to articulate an answer that is understandable, without being trite; and that one question asked in our office Tuesday morning led to five of us standing around trying to articulate in a meaningful way the nature of God as Trinity. God as a Trinity certainly grabs our attention, but it also eludes our grasp.

I think we should not worry too much about this struggle we all have to grasp the breadth and depth, the width and length of God. We are not God, and God is not us. As we often enough sing through the year in the responsorial psalm: How rich are the depths of God; how deep his wisdom and knowledge; unknown to us his ways. It took the great minds and saints of the early Church more than 700 years to work through and explain all the various intricacies and pitfalls of our teaching about the nature of the Trinity. We should not, therefore, overly concern ourselves with trying to know everything there is to know about the Blessed Trinity, as this cannot be done – otherwise, we would be God ourselves.

But what should we know, such that we might place our trust in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? For me at least, it is not the question of what the Trinity is – God in his "Godness" – that matters. The ‘what is God’ question might be fascinating in its theological intricacies, and give some people a whole lifetime of intellectual pursuit. But this is not what Jesus spent his time revealing to us. About as close as Jesus got to defining himself in his "Godness" with the Father and the Spirit was to use phrases like 'the Father and I are one,' or 'when I go I will send you the Holy Spirit,' or 'go to the nations and baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.'

In other words, Jesus did not so much explain his sense of being God, but rather showed it. Think of the transfiguration of Jesus, where he revealed his glory (or in other words his divinity) in his humanity. Or note what happened in today’s Gospel, where the disciples knelt down before Jesus after his resurrection, in a sure sign of their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and God. We do the same today: it is only to God that we genuflect in worship before the Blessed Sacrament, who is God-here-with-us.

There is the question that I think really matters; not the question of ‘what is God’ but the question of ‘who is God’ for us. It is here we might dwell and place our trust. A Father who would send his Son for the sake of our salvation; or the Son who ensures our share in the divine life through the grace of the Holy Spirit; or the Spirit who reveals our eternal pathway to the Father, through the Son. It is coming to know the Blessed Trinity, who is God for us and with us, that makes all the difference. This is the God who knows and loves us, and who we might know and love in turn.