Year B. Deut. 4:32-34, 39-40. Romans. 8:14-17. Matt. 28:16-20
In spite of Israel’s frequent rebellious nature against the Lord their God, they always had a very precious relationship with their God. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One.” This belief was at the heart of their experience of Him. “The Lord your God goes before you….the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child” (Deut.1:3). In the first reading, Moses, in his farewell talk prior to entering the Promised Land is appealing to “the Memory” of the Israelites, jogging their memories of the many incidents in which their God’s active concern was experienced by them. Moses exhorts them to keep this ‘memory’ alive among the people by keeping God’s commandments, those expressions of the special, intimate relationship which they have had with their God.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul reminds the community of their entering into the relational life of this ‘Community of Love’, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This has come about through the Son and his living among us, and through his sending of the Spirit. Jesus told them “…the Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you (cf. John 15:26). As daughters and sons, the words ‘Abba Father’ will spring to their lips because they belong to this community of love.
Though we struggle to understand the Trinity, one of the first actions we learn as children is to bless ourselves in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each time we use this iconic formula and action we witness to the foundation of our belief in ‘one God in three persons’, a relational community, the Trinitarian presence in our lives – icon of bonding in love for a Christian community.
In the gospel to day we read that at a pre-arranged rendezvous on the mountain, which was one of their favourite places to meet with Jesus, he gave them a mandate to go and tell anyone and everyone who would listen, the Good News that he preached. He gave directions to the disciples to ‘Baptise in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit’ and to teach these new believers the ways of the Father, Son and Spirit, just as Jesus had taught them himself, reminding them that he would be there with them. This mandate holds true today. A very clear mandate addressed to all of us who are baptised in Jesus Christ, to live out to the best of our ability, the life modelled for us in the communitarian nature of the Trinity.
St Catherine of Siena in her Dialogue on Divine Providence prays: “… You are a mystery as deep as the sea: the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you…”
There you have it in a nutshell – total cosmic mystery.
Dominique Horgan op