Jun 15, 2019
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Have you ever wondered why there is even a world to begin with, or perhaps even a you and I right now? Was God so lonely and bored in His eternal existence that He created our world and eventually us to keep Him company? If there were one person in God perhaps this would be true. If we believe as Saint John emphatically states that God is Love, then the motivation for every atom, every molecule, every form of life from plant to animal, to you and I is Love. But did God only begin to love when there was a Creation and people to give that love to? Love is not an attribute of God as having a talent for singing might be for someone. The talent is not the defining reality of that person’s existence.
God is Love. It is not something God does but it is who God is. That being the case, if God has/is always perfect Love, how might things have been before that first millisecond of Creation? Does not love imply an object of that love, a beloved? If God were only a single person loving Himself, would that not be the most egotistical love of all? Content with loving Himself God would certainly have no need to create something so obviously beneath His greatness.
But love by nature is giving. It is not self absorbed, but reaches out as the beauty of the sky stretches endlessly across the universe. Therefore, for all eternity God must have had someone to Love. For all time, the Father loves the Son, pours His life, love and power into the Person of the Son…and the Son perfectly loves the Father, embraces His boundless Love and pours it back into the Father now with a Son’s unique love. We have then lover and beloved, what more is there?
Love is not a duality. Duality in love is extinction through exhaustion of self-giving. Love is triune or it dies. When love excludes itself to the two persons involved, idolatry is the result. It is like a boyfriend and girlfriend who are so enamored of each other that they shut out both their families and friends depriving others of the influence of God’s precious gift of love. Love by nature is fruitful…it sustains and generates new life so that the love between lovers is ever new. In the Trinity this is the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Love between Father and Son is so powerfully life giving, that for all time this love generates a third person the Holy Spirit. It is this that lovers mean when they speak of “our love” as something distinct from each…in the Trinity that distinction of “our love” is the Holy Spirit.
At the climax of Creation in the Genesis Story we hear: “Let us create man in our image and likeness.” Did you notice the pronouns “us and our” in the story? Man and woman are being created in the image and likeness of the Trinity. And the context within which Adam and Eve are given this life is Marriage. Therefore, marriage above all else is by nature Trinitarian. The Trinity is after all a Family of persons. Father and Son imply family relations and the bond of love that unites Father and Son together is the Holy Spirit. In marriage, you have the love between husband and wife. Their communion with one another is so great that they are able to conceive new life and love: a child. Remember love is not a duality. The husband and wife can see in another person their love their “our love”, smiling and sleeping, crying and shouting, running and playing. In the Trinity, the gift of Love and Self shared between the three persons is so unfathomably powerful and fruitful that it extends itself into a created universe, not out of necessity but rather desire. The Trinity extends its life and love to you and I, nowhere more completely than in marriage, which becomes for our culture the most visible presence of the Trinity here on earth.
Just as it takes three to make a Trinity it takes three to get married. The two spouses and the Love of God that has brought this gift of love together. However, the sad reality is that God is often invited to the Wedding but not the marriage. For many couples married in a Church, the next time they might return is at the baptism of their child. The Love of the Trinity is the superglue bond that holds a marriage together. Remove the roots from a tree and its branches and fruit will soon wither and die. If in our ambitions, we have to go through many years of exhaustive schooling to get a degree, why is it that when it comes to the most self committing decisions like marriage, we have only one marriage encounter preparation weekend? If we want to climb the career ladder of success, we about kill ourselves with efforts to acquire ever new and updated knowledge that will assist us in achieving these worthwhile goals. However, when it comes to our own Faith we assume the occasional Mass will more than provide for us the achievement of real happiness and salvation.
God has given us both the gifts of life and love and He wants to sustain those gifts, especially through the Sacraments, knowledge and practice of the Faith. Spouses have the ultimate power source of life and love in the Trinity and to know the Trinity is to Love God who is a family, our family.