Holy Trinity Sunday

26th May 2024

Lectionary Readings: Dt 4:32-34, 39-40; Ps. 32: 4-6. 9. 18-20. 22; Rom 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20

Theme: The Great Commission

Trinity is a mystery that Scripture does not prove. The readings for this Sunday help us to enter into this holy mystery. The second reading of today’s liturgy, Rom. 8:14-17, closes with the words: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God .” The mentioning by Paul of God and the Holy Spirit is more a hint concerning the three persons in God, One and Unique, whom we want to encounter in our prayer. This formula probably has its roots in the Tradition of the early Church. 

In the first reading, Dt 4:32-34, 39-40, God is revealed to Moses: “The LORD (YHWH), the LORD (YHWH), a God (‘El) merciful and gracious…” The Tradition of Israel, anonymous,and ancient, quoted by Rashi, teaches that the LORD (YHWH), twice proclaimed, is doubly merciful: merciful before humanity’s sin and merciful after it. God is named LORD (YHWH). As such He is known as the Creator, whose Mercy envelops his Justice. The Jewish benediction Yotser, the first to be said every morning before the reading of the Shema Israel, is in full resonance with the teaching of Jesus about the Heavenly Father and His perfection (Mt 5: 43, 48). Indeed, God as the Creator, as the Father, is perfect (tam, tamim), that is to say not divided. He is merciful to all human beings: the just and the unjust, friends and enemies.

Our text continues and mentions “God (‘El) merciful and gracious”. The Jewish Tradition, again quoted from Rashi, teaches that the name ‘El’ signifies Mercy because the cry of the psalmist (Ps 22, 2): “My God, my God (‘Eli, ‘Eli), why hast Thou forsaken me?” cannot be addressed to the Attribute of Justice. We hear from this interpretation that Jesus crying the words of Psalm 22 before his death, according to the Gospel of Matthew (27:46) and of Mark (15:34), addressed his cry to his Father as the God of Mercy, ”Father, into thy hand I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). In the conclusion of the second reading: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” we hear:  “…the love of God…be with you all”. God, who is mentioned between the Lord Jesus-Christ and the Holy Spirit, is clearly the Father who is the Creator of the World and the origin of Love. This is a clue to help interpret the Gospel reading, Mt 28:16-20.

The first verse of today’s Gospel begins with the statement that “they worshiped him; but some doubted” but Jesus came to them and said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt 28:16-20).  We remember too that “God is love” is repeated in another letter and gospel (1John 4: 8.16) “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.  God loves the Son”, “The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands” (John 3: 35).  God loves Israel with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). To celebrate the Trinity is to be in  “Communion of the Holy Spirit”’ wherein we know that God loves us.

While the Holy Trinity is a mystery that cannot be proven by Scripture we come into contact, through our liturgy, with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you with the Great commission of Jesus to spread his teaching, baptize believers, and share the great message of salvation.” 

For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Do I believe that Jesus is part of the Holy Trinity? .2. Do I still doubt regardimg my faith in Jesus and in the Holy Trinity?

Bibliography: McKenzie, J.L. Dictionary of the Bible (New York: 1965), http://gcatholic.org/Catholic Study Bible (Senior D.), Brown, Fitzmyer, Murphy editors The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Prentice Hall, New Jersey 1968)

This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Dunhill Malunar Timkang, Israel-Jerusalem, Bat Kol Alumnus: 2023

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