“For in Him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).
One way of reading the Scriptures is a story of love between God and His people. This story of love takes us through a journey of God proposing a relationship of love to humanity, our rejection of that relationship through sin and God’s mercy continually calling us back to Him. This is a true and beautiful way to read the Scriptures.
Another way to read the Scriptures is by perceiving another story of love. This story of love centers on the love of the Father and the Son. The Father infinitely loves His Son and out of this love creates all there is, the visible and the invisible. The purpose of this creation is to be a gift to His Son. This creation will be a kingdom for His Son to reign over as the just and perfect king. Also out of this creation, the Church will be called forth to be His bride. When the time of creation is complete, and all is subject to the Son, the Son will offer all to His Father in love (1 Corinthians 15:25).
This way of reading the Scriptures is a way for us to understand why God is a Trinity of persons. The Father is eternally begetting in love the Son and the Son is always offering all in love to the Father. The love of Father and Son is the Holy Spirit.
But why does the Father not have multiple favored children? Ultimately, we do not know. In faith, we believe that God has revealed to us that He is a Trinity of persons.
We can say, though, that this reality of God being a Trinity does make sense.
St. Thomas Aquinas used the analogy of God being a person wanting to speak. In a sense, the word used by the person is part of them. After all, it comes forth from their mind and heart. We would not say, though, that the word someone says is the same as the person. Thus, the Word, the Son of God, comes from the mind and heart of God. He is in union with the Father’s mind and heart. While united with the Father, He exists at the same time as a distinct person.
The Father in simplicity can say one perfect Word for all times and places: His Son. The Son is the perfect and only thought of the Father’s mind and heart. This differs sharply from us. We have many thoughts and need many words to understand and process these ideas. The Father says one word, Jesus, and it is the perfect expression always of His mind and heart. This is why it makes sense that there is only one Son of God.
Father Mayo is pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in St. Louis.