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Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity. Since A.D. 200, Christians have described God as the Holy Trinity or three persons in one. It is the central belief or doctrine of the Church and has been celebrated as the feast of the Holy Trinity since the ninth century.

Despite this longstanding doctrine or belief, the Trinity, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church “is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the ‘mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God’” (237). So how can we better understand this mystery and live it out in our marriages and families?

The Holy Trinity is a divine community of life and love, the intimate community of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God created us “in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). We were created in the image of God who lives and loves in intimate community.

Throughout history, God has shown His selfless love. Christ has revealed the Father’s love in the power of the Holy Spirit. He has shown us the inner life of the Holy Trinity: a communion of persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit[1]

The Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – is an earthly model of this intimate community of life and love, lived in respect, obedience, and humility to God the Father and to each other. St. John Paul II, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, called for families to be an “intimate community of life and love,”[2] to mirror the Holy Trinity.

Marriage is a metaphor for God’s self-giving love. It is also a participation in it. Like all sacraments, Matrimony draws husbands and wives more deeply into the Trinitarian life of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (2205).

Have you thought of your marriage as an image of the Holy Trinity? Does your marriage reflect the self-giving love of the Most Holy Trinity?

Since we are created in the image of the Holy Trinity, husbands and wives, and any children they have, are to image this intimate community of persons. Every family has the mission to be in an intimate community of life and love with other families. This larger community of life and love (If you are thinking this looks a lot like the Church, you are right.) is called to be in intimate community with the whole world.

How do you receive encouragement to live out your mission of being a community of life and love in your marriage? We suggest that you form a community with like-minded, committed couples, dedicated to living Christ-centered marriages.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thess 5:11)

If you are not already part of a community where you can find support, start one. It is not hard. Here is a simple way to build community with other couples seeking to grow in their love of Christ and each other in their marriages:

Start a couple sharing group:

  • Invite four or five other couples.
  • Meet once/month – take turns hosting in your homes.
    • Share a meal – this can be a simple potluck or you can take turns cooking the meal.
    • Fellowship – spend time just catching up with the other couples.
    • Study – there are several programs already designed for group study. Choose one and take turns leading the discussion. (Couple Bible Study, Theology of the Body, Covenant of Love, Symbolon, Beloved, Be Devoted, etc.)
    • Prayer – take time to pray together as a group, interceding for your needs and the needs of your families.
  • Get together as families too! This can be as simple as a picnic, a trip to the zoo or picking apples. You could also consider a family retreat or an extended camping trip.
  • Be sure to plan events where the children interact with their peers while the parents enjoy adult activities. Children need to build friendships, too!

God exists in community. He invites us into this great mystery, to share in that eternal exchange of life-giving love. And He has sent us on a great mission to draw others into this love.

[1] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pastor Letter Marriage – Life and Love in the Divine Plan (Washington, D.C. USCCB, 2009), p. 35-37.

[2]  John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, §11, November 22, 1982; internet: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio_en.html (accessed May 21, 2021).