What can an apple teach us about the Trinity?

After class, a student asked me, “Sir, was God lonely that’s why He created the world from nothing?”

I responded by asking him why he would think God was lonely. As he was trying to think of his answer, some of his classmates started listening to our exchange. My student finally said, “Perhaps because God was alone?”

I told the boys, “Well, gentlemen, God is one – but He is not alone.

If you are thinking, how come? Let’s read on.

Reason and revelation tell us that He is one.

Christians – whether Catholic or not – profess that there is only one God and this is rightly so for the Bible teaches us that. Read Deuteronomy 6:4 and Isaiah 45:21 among other scriptural passages. Common sense also will tell us that since the meaning of “God” is all powerful, all present, all good, and all knowing, it is logical to say that the one who possesses the fullness and completeness of all those attributes should be one.

Now, if that is the case, how come He is not alone?

He is a Trinity

Because God is a very happy family of three persons. He is a community. He is a Trinity.

God has revealed to us who He is – Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). Therefore, even before creation began, God was one but not alone. He is one God in three persons (1 John 5:7-8).

The Father and the Son love each other eternally and that Love which is so strong is the person of the Holy Spirit. This is also the reason why God is truly Love itself (1 John 4:7-8). In Him exists the Lover, the Loved, and the Love between the two.

That love made God immensely blessed beyond anything and anyone that is why He created the world to share and show His love and blessedness. Through the Holy Spirit, we experience the immense love, mercy, and compassion of God.

Analogies can help us visualize the Trinity

Now, what does the apple have to do with this?

Since the Trinity is the highest of all Christian teachings and mysteries (when used in theology, mystery doesn’t mean “mythical” or “mysterious” – it means something that reason alone cannot fully grasp), it would help to use some analogies to explain this better. The analogies are not perfect as God cannot be fully and completely comprehended in all of His glory, but these illustrations are helpful.

The Triangle

The classic analogy I learned from my college theology class was the triangle. The three distinct sides are in one triangle – just as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are different persons in one God – and each of them is fully God and not just parts of God. Being different, they also have different but equally important roles – the Father is the Creator, the Son is the Savior, and the Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier. More on this concept in future articles.

I understand that this can be confusing, but again, this is an imperfect analogy.

The Fire

My ethics professor also told us that the Trinity can also be explained by looking at the fire. The fire itself has heat and light. In a similar way, we could say that God is fire itself (Father) and the light is God the Son (Jesus is the light of the world) and the Holy Spirit is the heat (the warmth of God’s love).

The Apple

Finally, I recently learned from this blog that an apple can somehow represent (although again, imperfectly) the Trinity. The apple fruit has three parts – the skin, the flesh, and the seeds. The Father can be likened to the skin which protects, the Son can be seen through the flesh since Christ became human (flesh) and the Holy Spirit is the seed because it makes us grow deeper in our Christian faith.

What now?

Today, June 16, is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Let us spend time reflecting on this great teaching of our Faith and immerse ourselves in a loving conversation with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through prayer and reflection, most especially during the Holy Mass.

May we resolve to do the Sign of the Cross more reverently, remembering the trinity of love in which we are called to participate, and knowing that through that simple gesture we declare that we are sons and daughters of our Almighty God.

We only have one life to learn about our faith so we can best know, love, and serve God. Let’s read the Bible and study the teachings of Christ through the Church that He built. Your life will never be the same – it’s all worth it.

Do you have better ways to explain the Trinity? Let us know through the comments below.

 
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