TRINITY SUNDAY revised
Matthew 28:16-20 is chosen as the Gospel for the Feast of the Trinity because of the formula of Baptism: “…in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..”
This formula has been troubling to scholars and some have claimed that Matthew’s formula is a later intrusion of a liturgical text. George Montague states: “In Jesus’ own baptism, prototype of the Christian sacrament, the Father, Son and Spirit are already present. ..Decades before Matthew wrote, Paul used a Trinitarian formula to conclude his correspondence to the Corinthians 13:13 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (We are familiar to this formula from our Missal prayers.) Matthew is doubtless reporting a formula that was used in his community.”
Barbara Reid in her commentary on this Gospel says, “A liturgical formula from early Christian tradition has been placed on Jesus lips (v.19).”
Donald Senior comments on this formula saying, “One final element in their commission has little precedent in the foregoing narrative (the previous chapters of Mt. Gospel): They are to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”..This formula, similar to that in the Didache (7:1-5), is probably drawn from the liturgical practice of Matthew’s community.”
John Meier in his commentary on Matthew states: “The trinitarian formula arose at some point in the liturgy of Mt’s. Church, no doubt. Mt no more invents it than he invents the Our Father or the words of consecration over the cup.”
Meier summarizes the import of the final words of Mt. Gospel: “While he (Jesus) sent his apostles only to the land people of Israel during his public ministry (10:5-6), he now sends the eleven to all nations, with baptism, not circumcision as the initiation rite, and with his commands, not the Mosaic Law, as the final norm of morality.”
John Pilch concludes his reflection on Trinity Sunday: “Biblical scholars agree that the theological notion of the Trinity is a later development with roots in Scripture. Theologians trace the development through the various disputes in the first thousand years of the Church’s existence. Liturgists credit Benedictine monasteries of the ninth and eleventh centuries with being instrumental in promoting liturgical prominence for the Trinity.”
Elizabeth Johnson in her book QUEST FOR THE LIVING GOD (Mapping frontiers in the Theology of God) saves her reflection on the Trinity till her last chapter. She is concerned because there has been a disconnect between the Trinity and Christian life.
Introduction: We as Catholics have a rich tradition of using
symbols in our Church. You may have seen a fish on the back of a car or on a plaque in a house. Do you know why this is a symbol for Christians? The Greek word for Fish is IXTHOUS: Iesus, Christos, Theou, Huios, Soter. Jesus Christ Son of God Savior. For the Trinity we also employ symbols: Three intertwining circles, triangle, shamrock (trebol).
God as Father: Creation. Here in the valley we get something of the generosity and abundance with which God gifts us. Nature is speaking to us of God: We are reminded that God is as certain as the dawn. We go to South Padre Island and watch the sun rise and the sun set. But wherever we are the sun is rising and setting. There is abundance of crops in the sorghum and cotton and corn fields. The flowers around the church: the hibiscus just keeps blooming. After a rain shower one so gently blushed by a rain drop in the form of a tear. I wished I had my camera. Even the human act of procreation speaks of the prodigality of our God. In one ejaculation of sperm there are literally thousands of seeds. Only one must unite with the egg to begin a life.
We know that God is neither Father or Mother. St. Thomas has taught us that all language about God is by analogy. In Genesis we are told that we are created in the image and likeness of God: male and female.
God as Jesus. There are several religious orders under the title of the Sacred Heart. The month of June is the month of the Sacred Heart. We honor Jesus under his title as the Sacred Heart. Heart speaks of love. For me Jesus is
a passionate lover who calls me to receive his love and then in turn pass it on to others. The work of Jesus is redemption.
God as Spirit. The feast of the Holy Spirit is Pentecost. Two emphases of that feast were: fear and gifts. What fears do you have? What fears do people have? The promise of Jesus is that we can overcome our fears as did Peter from locked in for fear, to preaching on the rooftop and converting 3000 that day. What gifts do people have? The gift of friendship was told me by a young boy of about l0 years old.
Practise: one minute go over the high point of my day, share and thank the Father. One minute review the low point, share and thank Jesus and ask for help, forgiveness, etc. Spend one minute with tomorrow and ask Holy spirit for guidance.
We were baptized and are blessed in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.