SMARTPHONES & THE TRINITY

Smartphones have become an almost essential part of daily life. Devices that were once used for making and receiving phone calls are now used for so much more.

We use our smartphones for taking photos and videos, text messaging, surfing the web, connecting with social media, getting the latest news, depositing checks, viewing feeds from security cameras, storing pictures, participating in Zoom meetings, listening to music, navigating unfamiliar roads, and so much more.

We feel incomplete without our smartphones and we panic when we can’t find them.

While we use our smartphones and appreciate what they allow us to do, most people do not know the inner workings of those devices. If we were to open the case, we would not be able to identify all the parts within it or explain how each one functions. But that does not keep us from recognizing the importance of those digital devices.

It may seem strange to be focusing on smartphones as we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity this coming Sunday. But if we think about it, there is a connection.

We believe that God is a Trinity of Persons. We acknowledge that belief each time we profess the Creed at Sunday Mass, each time we make the Sign of the Cross, and each time we bring someone into the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. As Jesus commands us in this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 28:16-20), “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Yet we cannot explain the Trinity – that essential belief of our Christian faith.

We also believe that the Holy Trinity is active in creation. God the Father brings all things into existence and breathes life into those created from the dust of the earth. God the Son takes on flesh, frees humanity from its sins and failings and reveals the way to eternal life. God the Holy Spirit blesses us with spiritual gifts we need to live the Christian life and to make the Church a sign of God’s kingdom in our world. We believe in what the Trinity does, but we cannot fully understand, nor can we control the action of God.

It should come as no surprise that the One God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is far beyond human comprehension. Despite the efforts of theologians down through the centuries, God remains a mystery.

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is celebrated in the Church not to give homilists another opportunity to try and explain the unexplainable, but rather to give us an opportunity to recognize the wonderful, caring, and loving way that God is acting in our world and in our personal lives.

We enjoy our smartphones even though we are not sure how they work, so let us enjoy and appreciate the action of the Holy Trinity in our lives even though we cannot explain how God works!

© 2021 Rev. Thomas B. Iwanowski