Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson
I have been a steady fan of the PBS program “NOVA.” I am particularly such when a program involves astronomy. The marvelous photos made by the latest telescopes present us with a universe we would never know without them. Of course the whole matter praises God, even if the show’s featured scientists dare not mention His name.
I cannot help but give a spiritual take to those scenes because they represent the awesome power of God the Creator. Just trying to calculate the distance those stars and planets are from our own dear Earth confronts us with an imagination beyond our ability to comprehend.
Such facts brought about by this machine-led exploration is not only fascinating in itself, but also humbling in the extreme to us when we plot a simple trip to Mars. The key word here is “exploration.”
When we set out to explore the notion of God, as revealed to us not by any machine, but by the Sacred Word of God in the Bible, we also enter a realm beyond our senses. Only through such revelation, direct from Jesus Christ, the Son of God via the Holy Spirit, would we ever know that God is One but Three distinct Persons. Our Catholic Church Catechism describes it thus: “The Trinity 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.’ To be sure, God has left traces of His Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.” (#237)
Believing that this same God loves us personally, there is an implied bid here to do some of our own exploring. Call it “internal research.” What does the doctrine of the Trinity mean for me? Is there really a place for me in the vast universe? Do I count with God? Jesus told us we do, but do we believe Him? For all of us, such research backed up by prayer could yield many new joys. “Nova” for short.
The business world has a saying that could apply to our need for this internal research. “The person who takes no inventories finally becomes bankrupt.”
God love you and give you His peace