Thoughts from Exploring the Sunday Readings, June 2005:
Understanding the Trinity by some feat of mathematics may be out of the question, but it is within our grasp to apprehend the Holy Presence through the power of the indwelling Spirit. To know God, start by making yourself known to God [opening yourself to God in prayer]. The Creator of the universe may seem too awesome for us. The Holy Spirit, as intimate as our next breath, may yet seem too mystical. But Jesus is the one in whom this God is completely present, and still we have been invited to call him friend. He is the one who knows us as one of us: He knew birthdays, hard work, good company, simple meals, and great feasts. He knew irritation, weariness, friendship, family, rejection, and suffering. Jesus is the one who can lead us through all that life has to offer us: there is no place we can go that he has not been.
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
From Celebration, June 11, 2006:
Deuteronomy means ‘a second law’ – it is written as if Moses is giving a farewell address to his people before they cross the Jordan river and enter Canaan. It is comprised of both early and late material, some perhaps as early as the 10th century B.C. and some as late as the 7th century B.C. It speaks of a God who not only created all things, but who wishes to also be involved with and care for all that he has brought forth.
How does this reading speak to you about our God? Do you feel this greatness of God in your life? Is it fixed in your heart?
2nd Reading: Romans 8: 14-17
Paul here is using Roman law and customs to explain how God wishes to relate to us. According to Roman law, the father’s power over the family was absolute. A son never came of age; he was always under the control of his father. To adopt a son was a major undertaking. It followed a long and exact ritual. But once done, the adopted person belongs forever to the new father. Here are some of the consequences of these legal adoptions:
- The adoptee gave up all rights in his former family and gained all rights and dignity of a legitimate child in his new family.
- The adoptee became the legal heir of his new father and even if others are born afterwards, his rights could not be affected.
- The old life of the adoptee was wiped out and all debts were cancelled.
- The adoptee was regarded as a new person and a true son/daughter.
(Celebration, June 11, 2006)
What do you find most important in this reading? How does it feel to know you are a child of God (Family!) and able to ENTER INTO this trinity?
The Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20
Matthew’s gospel began with the story of Jesus’ birth saying “and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.” (1:23). Now with this ending passage, Matthew has Jesus again assuring the disciples who are sent out to all the world (no longer just to fellow Jews) saying: “And behold, I am with you always . . .”
What strikes you most about this gospel? Isn’t it interesting that the moment the disciples doubted, that’s when Jesus sent them off with work to do? None of us are completely prepared, but we are sent anyway. Just as we are.