First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
“For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God gives you for ever.”
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22
For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield. Let thy steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in thee.
Second Reading: Romans 8:14-17
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and while I have two degrees in theology, I confess that it is very intimidating to discuss the Trinity.
I am going to give it a try just for you.
My six year old has been coming up with lots of questions lately that catch me off guard and make me think, but when she asked me, “Was God lonely before He made the angels?” I could confidently reply, “No.” As to why, is slightly more complicated.
First of all, since God is eternal, there was no “before” creation for Him. He is outside of time, and time did not exist until the first temporal creatures existed. Furthermore, He has always known that He would create everything that He has created. And then there is the mystery of the Three different persons in the One God, which we as humans cannot fully comprehend. Even if God had not created at all, He would still never be lonely. He has the fullness of community within Himself. He created us in His image to participate in this community of the love of the Father and Son eternally self-giving to each other with Holy Spirit proceeding from them.
Trinity Sunday, very appropriately takes place on the Octave day of Pentecost, since the Holy Spirit descended upon the Church to stay on Pentecost. Moses reminds the Israelites in Deuteronomy that God, the Father, chose them to be His special people. He desired union with them through their devotion to Him and His statutes. And Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, before His Ascension, tells His apostles that all nations are to be made disciples and baptized in the name of the Trinity. And Saint Paul writes to the Romans that the baptized have received the spirit of sonship. Through our baptism we enter into the very life of the Trinity; and we are called to suffer so that we can be glorified. We are a part of the Body of Christ as God’s children.
In the liturgical year, after Pentecost, we are not simply in “Ordinary time,” but we are to remember our identity as children of God. We have waited for the coming of our Messiah, celebrated the birth of Jesus, persevered through our Lenten penances, celebrated the Resurrection, received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, and now we must live the Christian life everyday. We must live our participation in the Divine life. We must not let our spiritual lives slacken, but continue to persevere and do our part to make disciples of all nations.
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What resolutions can you make, to continue to grow in the spiritual life every day?
Susanna Spencer once studied theology and philosophy, but now happily cares for her three adorable little girls and her dear husband. She is awaiting the birth of her fourth child any day now. You can find out more about her here.