The great feasts of salvation have run their course. However, before taking up ordinary time proper, the liturgy provides us with two doctrinal feasts in succession, beginning with the Holy Trinity. Perhaps the most fruitful way to reflect is to think of God — always greater than our minds and hearts — as relationship and relationality. Ultimately, this is what “God is love” must mean. It carries the corollary our experience of this triune God both precedes and exceeds any of our poor attempts at understanding.
Rublev’s icon of the Hospitality of Abraham / the Trinity is justly famous. Rowan Williams once wrote a poem in response to it, in which Rublev himself is made to speak:
One day, God walked in, pale from the grey steppe,
slit-eyed against the wind, and stopped,
said, Colour me, breathe your blood into my mouth.
I said, Here is the blood of all our people,
these are their bruises, blue and purple,
gold, brown, and pale green wash of death.
These (god) are the chromatic pains of flesh,
I said, I trust I shall make you blush,
O I shall stain you with the scars of birth
For ever, I shall root you in the wood,
under the sun shall bake you bread
of beechmast, never let you forth
To the white desert, to the starving sand.
But we shall sit and speak around
one table, share one food, one earth.
With best regards,
Kieran O’Mahony, OSA