In this way we can experience the mystery of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.
When Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me”, does he mean the Holy Trinity?
Here is my reasoning. The Way can be understood as the physical aspect of our being. This is the walk that we walk. This is the life we lead. This is the body that we have. These are the actions we take. These are the actions that we decide. It is the body.
Truth can be understood as the mental or intellectual aspect of our being. This is the doctrine that we believe. This is the philosophy we follow. This is the analysis we understand. It is the thought, the concept, the decision and the dogma. It’s the head.
Life can be understood as the spiritual, intuitive, relational, emotional aspect of our being. These are the relationships we have. These are the emotions that we feel. These are the intuitions that we have. This is the life we live. It is the compassion we feel and the love we love. It is the heart.
These three aspects, Body, Mind and Spirit, make us little Trinities. Within us, the three are at war. They are discordant. They are not in harmony. The end of the Christian journey has to be done and completed and whole and in balance and “self-fulfilled” and be everything we were meant to be. In other words, to be saints. Saints have the three aspects of body, spirit and spirit in a perfectly gracious balance.
So if these three aspects of Body, Spirit, and Spirit are meant to be one, when Jesus says he’s Way, Truth, and Life, he’s saying he’s the fulfillment of Body, ‘Spirit and Spirit. He is the three in perfect balance.
It complements the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of who we are. Life in Christ is therefore a life that is fulfilled physically, mentally and spiritually. In Him we come to fullness. In Him, all that is lacking in body, mind and spirit is completed, purged, accomplished and made One.
And this is where the Holy Trinity comes in. If I am Body, Mind and Spirit – a little Trinity – then I am called to be three-in-one and one-in-three, total unity and total trinity. This is what I aim to become in Christ and by his grace and through his Church, because through his Church he gives me three aspects of my redemption and my sanctification. I have sacraments dealing with the Body, doctrine dealing with the Spirit, and Grace – the filling of the Holy Spirit, which redeems my Spirit.
The Church teaches us that what a person of the Holy Trinity does, all do. So, for example, when God created the world, He did it through the divine Word (which was incarnated in time as the Son) and through the abode and shadow of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, at the Incarnation, God the Father, who begotten the Son eternally, covers the Virgin with his shadow by the power of the Holy Spirit so that the Son may be incarnated. Likewise here, the Son speaks of being the Way, the Truth and the Life and thus indicates that he IS the physical aspect, the mental aspect and the Spiritual aspect of Man, and therefore also he is Father. , Son and Holy Spirit. A unit. Holy Trinity.
The Holy Trinity is therefore not an abstruse doctrine, but a living and vital concept which renews me from within and which is hidden in the simple evangelical teaching that Christ himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I often say that a mystery is something that can be experienced even if it cannot be explained. In this way we can experience the mystery of the Holy and Undivided Trinity even though we cannot explain it.
Read Fr. Longenecker’s blog to listen to “Triumphs and Tragedies” – his twenty-part podcast series on the history of the Catholic Church. Go to dwightlongenecker.com.