May 29, 2015

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity / Msgr. Owen F. Campion

The Sunday Readings

Msgr. Owen CampionThe Book of Deuteronomy provides this feast’s first reading. Deuteronomy is among the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. These books form for Jews the basic revelation by God.

This reading describes an instruction given by Moses to the Hebrew people as they wandered across the Sinai Peninsula, fleeing Egypt where they had been slaves, and in search of the prosperous land that God had promised them.

In this reading, Moses tells the people that God created everything. God had spoken to them. God is in heaven. Finally, Moses said that the people must obey God’s commandments. Each statement is powerful in its implications.

They reveal God. God reveals himself through them. God had freely revealed himself to humans as their Creator, had related to them, and had set the standards for the people’s relationship with him.

For the second reading this weekend, the Church presents a passage from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. By the time Paul wrote this letter to the Christians of Rome, the reality of God, certainly as understood in the Jewish tradition and in the Christian tradition beginning to form, was accepted.

The marvel in Paul’s message is that Christians share the divine life. They are more than creatures of God. They are God’s adopted children. God is their father. Indeed, disciples are encouraged to address God as “Father,” indeed as “Abba,” an ancient term for fathers that was a particular gentle and loving endearment.

Paul continues. As children of God, the faithful are heirs to the eternal life of God. All this, of course, is accomplished in and through the individual Christian’s bond with the Lord Jesus.

St. Matthew’s Gospel supplies the last reading.

It is a resurrection narrative, clear and compelling. The risen Lord appears before the 11 surviving Apostles on a mountain. He spoke to them in human words. They understood. He conferred upon them all authority on Earth and in heaven. He then commissioned them to go into the entire world, bringing all whom they would meet into the one body, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) through baptism.

Then, Jesus promised to be with them until the end of the world.

Reflection

Overall, the teaching in these lessons is that God lives, and that he unites himself with us. He communicates with us. He meets us in our world. He speaks our language.

We belong to God because we are God’s children. We are much, much more than creatures or possessions. We are God’s children, heirs to God’s eternal life, and one with Jesus, the Son of God and Savior.

The Church makes these reassuring points. It tells us about God. It tells us about ourselves.

It tells us that God loves us. How? By giving us the Lord Jesus as our Redeemer. God loves us by giving us bearers of the divine word, such as Moses and Paul.

God loves us by giving us the Apostles. They were more than humans who simply had the opportunity to meet Jesus and to learn from Jesus. Jesus prepared them to go into the world to give us the words of salvation, words by which to live.

Their tradition, indeed their presence, endures among us. It continues in their successors, the bishops, and in the Church guided by the bishops.

In these lessons, the Church is frank. God is everything. He alone gives life and peace. Nothing else is lasting, secure or real. God loves us. He reveals the most intimate detail of his divine life to us, the Trinity, that we might truly know him. He reaches to us in Jesus. Jesus reaches to us and meets us in the Apostles. †

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