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Trinity Sunday, Modern

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lectionary 165

Today is Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday following both Pentecost and the entire Easter season. Through the fifty days of Easter culminating with Pentecost we rejoice in the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the foundational event of Christian faith and the source of all authentic Christian hope. As that Easter season approached its crescendo in the days of the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost we heard a clear and consistent theme in both the scripture readings at mass and in the prayers said at mass that directs us to take up the mission of sharing with the whole world the Trinitarian faith we treasure as believers in the risen Lord.

Now that we pass into the long season of the Church year that is called “ordinary time”—a somewhat unfortunate name—we are urged once more by the readings to commit ourselves to the mission theme announced at the Ascension and Pentecost, and a Trinitarian catechesis launches us on our way.
The first reading today comes from Deuteronomy, and it extolls God for creating the world and all that is in it, for revealing himself to the people of Israel, and for leading them forth in triumph from their slavery in Egypt. Deuteronomy reflects at length on God’s loving words and deeds as they were made know to Israel, and in one of its most profound passages teaches that there is One God only (Deut 6:4-5). This is a touchstone of both Judaism and Christianity, and for Catholics it is a critical point to recall on Trinity Sunday: we do not worship three “Gods”—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—but rather one God, revealed to us as the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

Having learned that there is only one true God, the Psalms then teach us to call out to God not as some sort of abstract entity, but as One who genuinely loves us: “See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine” (Ps 33:18-19). Next, in today’s excerpt from the Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul teaches us that “we are children of God… and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”—witnessed to by the very Spirit of God (Rom 8:16-17). Thus we are affirmed in our faith that the one true God reveals himself to us as Father, Son, and Spirit, whom we normally call the Holy Spirit—and that we are considered by God to be his children, adopted in Christ the Son.

So then we rejoice in our adopted sonship or daughterhood and set out to live in the light of this joyous mystery. To do that, we return to the theme that ran strongly through the readings for the last two Sundays, that of mission. In the Gospel reading for Trinity Sunday Saint Matthew tells us: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28:19).

Strengthened by the love of God which is made visible to us in the risen Christ, let us resolve to enter into the long summertime of the Church year, living as though we truly believe that which we profess each week in the Creed, and thus helping to make the Good News of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit come alive both in our own homes and neighborhoods—and to the ends of the earth.

Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B.

 

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