The Gospel of Beauty

The Gospel of Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Tony Crescio

As we celebrate the mystery of our Triune God this weekend, we are called not only to remember that this dynamic communion of Divine Persons has created all things, but also that all created things proclaim the dynamism of our God.

The words of Jesus in this Sunday’s gospel reading from John, though in an obscure way, reveal the Trinity.  However, though obscure, this revelatory language is quite fitting.  When speaking of the dynamic relationship of the Trinity in today’s gospel, Jesus uses language of common possession: “Everything that the Father has is mine…He [the Holy Spirit] will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:15).  The reason for this is that the Trinity is a dynamic communion of Divine Persons, wherein Each gives of Themselves in totality to the Other.  It is out of this radical sense of gift that the Trinity carries out the creation of all that is, as we see alluded to in our first reading from the book of Proverbs today.  Moreover, the act of creation did not end the Trinitarian involvement within that creation, rather, as the book of Wisdom teaches us, our God continues to sustain all that is in being (cf. Wisdom 11:24-26), and therefore, in a sense, is constantly creating all that is.  This constant and consistent relationship between our God and all that is, impresses upon all of creation the mark of the God which brought it into being; as St. Bonaventure wrote, ‘all of creation testifies that God is Three.’  Consequently, the beauty we find all around us, be it the trees that line our sidewalks, the birds that fill our air with song, or the sun that gives light to our world, is meant to lead us to contemplate the true essence of Beauty found only in our Creator.

However, though all of creation testifies that God is Three and reflects His beauty, none proclaim this deep truth like the human person, whom God has created in his very image and likeness.  “You alone are made in the likeness of that nature which surpasses all understanding; you alone are a similitude of eternal beauty, a receptacle of happiness, an image of the true Light; and if you look to Him, you will become what He is, imitating Him Who shines within you, Whose glory is reflected in your purity” (Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Song of Songs, 804A-808B).  My friends, it is precisely this likeness that both bestows upon us inviolable dignity and tells us that we have been created to share in the very life of the Trinity!  Moreover, a life lived in harmony with God has the potential to powerfully radiate His Beauty, and thus proclaim the very dynamic of His existence in a way with which no words could compete!

Today, as we celebrate this great mystery of the One Who is Three, I invite you to take a moment to see the presence of God reflected in the beauty all around you.  Allow yourself a moment to meditate upon the gospel of Beauty which every aspect of creation proclaims: the lily of the field, the stars that illumine our night, and most especially, those whom you love!  For all will lead you to the same place, to the One Who is Beauty Itself!

 

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