May 31, 2015: The Most Holy Trinity
Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
“The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching…Catholic teaching calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.” From Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, USCCB
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm: 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20-22
Second Reading: Romans 8:14-17
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called “the Theologian”, entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:
Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . . the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendour. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. (256)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to The Most Holy Trinity, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
God, in Christ, redeems not only the individual person but also the social relations existing between men. As the Apostle Paul teaches, life in Christ makes the human person’s identity and social sense — with their concrete consequences on the historical and social planes — emerge fully and in a new manner: “For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” (Gal 3:26-28). In this perspective, Church communities, brought together by the message of Jesus Christ and gathered in the Holy Spirit round the Risen Lord (cf. Mt 18:20, 28:19-20; Lk 24:46-49), offer themselves as places of communion, witness and mission, and as catalysts for the redemption and transformation of social relationships. (52)
The new reality that Jesus Christ gives us is not grafted onto human nature nor is it added from outside: it is rather that reality of communion with the Trinitarian God to which men and women have always been oriented in the depths of their being, thanks to their creaturely likeness to God. But this is also a reality that people cannot attain by their own forces alone. Through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, in whom this reality of communion has already been brought about in a singular manner, men and women are received as children of God (cf. Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:4-7). By means of Christ, we share in the nature of God, who gives us infinitely more “than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). What mankind has already received is nothing more than a token or a “guarantee” (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:14) of what it will receive in its fullness only in the presence of God, seen “face to face” (1 Cor 13:12), that is, a guarantee of eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). (122)
The Face of God, progressively revealed in the history of salvation, shines in its fullness in the Face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; truly distinct and truly one, because God is an infinite communion of love. God’s gratuitous love for humanity is revealed, before anything else, as love springing from the Father, from whom everything draws its source; as the free communication that the Son makes of this love, giving himself anew to the Father and giving himself to mankind; as the ever new fruitfulness of divine love that the Holy Spirit pours forth into the hearts of men (cf.Rom 5:5).
By his words and deeds, and fully and definitively by his death and resurrection, Jesus reveals to humanity that God is Father and that we are all called by grace to become his children in the Spirit (cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6), and therefore brothers and sisters among ourselves. It is for this reason that the Church firmly believes that “the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in her Lord and Master”. (31)
On the holy mountain, a place of revelation, Jesus offers a missionary commissioning to the disciples. In the throe of worshiping the Lord, doubt permeated their praxis to subdue their exuberance, muffle their praise, limiting their authenticity. Jesus, sensing their doubt, said words, if believed, would eradicate doubt by affirming the absolute intersection of endless planes fusing humanity and divinity. Not retreating, but approaching the disciples, He offered reassurance of His transcendence of all power on heaven and earth. An act of empowerment towards His disciples to go and multiply their numbers not just by selecting people on the basis of their ethnicity, locale or profound preponderance to holiness—but all nations. All meaning the whole, as much as possible, every member. A welcome invitation of inclusion to baptize in the name of the Triune God. And not to stop with the sacramental ritual, but teach the newly initiated all the disciples had been commanded by the Lord. Again, the word all, to cut no corners in a realization to exclude a portion of the Lord’s commandments is to negate the significance and dignity of part of the human family. This may seem daunting, intimidating, arousing fear and inflicting a deep sense of responsibility. But Jesus assures and comforts the disciples, asking them to gaze with spiritual acuity on His accompaniment until the end of the age.
Two thousand years and the invitation still awaits those who embrace a journey to the holy mountain. A faithful, grace filled encountered with the Divine to infuse life with meaning and purpose. Challenges of shedding prejudices, defusing exclusion to learn the scope of all is not limited by our narrowness but limitless in the Trinitarian God’s abundance. A process of teaching, not condemning and judging, from all the peace and freedom Jesus offers in His commandments. Have our spiritual endeavors forgotten the Trinity’s desire for inclusion of all people, not listing footnotes of exclusions. The fine print of unworthiness, where everyone could be listed if the Trinity was not rooted with a foundation of love and grace. Jesus asked the disciples with the unfolding of the Church and asks His disciples today to teach all He commanded, not to waffle with issues that take us out of our comfort zone. Will we teach that we are to love our enemies, pray for those that persecute us, that the Lord loves justice, blessed are the peacemakers, that we are not to worry about our life, to stop judging and do to others whatever you would have them do to you. Yet when we hear prayers in our churches with connotations of us and them, hear peacemakers mocked, violence honored, especially in pursuing military aggression and judgment flowing like a raging river, it is time to contemplate the Holy Trinity’s intense devotion of affection and mercy to all. Is our faith sustained by the depth of this word? Do we live as disciples believing a three-letter word can make all the difference in the world and for eternity? If we doubt all, we doubt God. For only in understanding the Divine essence of all, can we be the disciples Jesus calls us to be.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 28:16-20
Which commandment of Jesus do you find most challenging to follow? Prayerfully, how will you live that commandment more authentically?
Family Reflection: Psalm 33:4-5, 6,9, 18-19, 20, 22
…“He (the Lord) loves justice and right…”
This summer what is a project the family might be involved with to promote justice in your community?
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, may we worship you with undivided attention. May we understand, as there is unity in the trinity, we should seek unity in our Church and world based on a love for all humanity. Help our eyes, hearts and arms be open to understand the spiritual meaning of the word all. Let us never shrink from teaching all that the Lord commanded us, the challenge to be people of peace, welcome and justice. Help us to shrink from judgment to live our baptismal promises in loving service as faithful disciples. In Jesus’ dear name we pray, Amen
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born, May 23, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.