Commentary on the Most Holy Trinity readings for Cycle B

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40

Deuteronomy, or “second law” in Greek, is a later book composed as a reflective speech of MOses which sums up the meaning of the exodus event and the desert journey, and reaffirms the importance of the covenant law as a guide for Israel’s life in the promised land.  It is Moses’ “farewell speech” and supposedly taken place just as the people are ready to invade the promised land, “(L. Boadt’s Reading the Old Testament, p. 89-90)  

How does this reading speak to you about our God?  Moses speaks ardently about the people’s relationship with God, which is really what covenant is all about.  What is it for them to fix their experience of God in their hearts?   What is it for us?

Through the act of amamnesis (the remembering of things from a previous existence) we remember the saving action of God.  We remember and make present the gratuitous action of God in the salvation of the world.  This gratuitous action was and is made freely.  Thus, in times when there is great temptation to forget God, to doubt that God will act, we are to call upon our corporate power of remembering that God can, does, is, and continues to act in the lives of human beings, (M. Birmingham’s W&W Yr. B, p. 752).  Why might amamnesis of how God has worked in our lives be helpful to us now?  How does this relate to Trinity?

2nd Reading: Romans 8: 14-17

From Celebration, June 11, 2006:  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: 

  1. The adoptee gave up all rights in his former family and gained all rights and dignity of a legitimate child in his new family.
  2. The adoptee became the legal heir of his new father and even if others are born afterwards, his rights could not be affected.
  3. The old life of the adoptee was wiped out and all debts were cancelled.
  4. The adoptee was regarded as a new person and a true son/daughter. 

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?

Fr. Richard Rohr recently reflected on this unity with God in his Daily Meditations (5/26/2021):  To be in unity with the Spirit is to be in unity with one’s fellow people.  We see what this means when we are involved in the experience of a broken relationship.  When I have lost harmony with another, my whole life is thrown out of tune.  The recognition of the Spirit of God as the unifying principle of all life becomes at once the most crucial experience of humanity.

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 to just 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.

  • This took place at the Ascension…think of the difference between a vertical relationship with God to a now horizontal relationship.
  • The Trinitarian formula reminds us that God wants FULL relationship with us in every way.  The love within the Trinity is what God wants us all to enter into.

There are 2 ways to look at trinity:  economic trinity and immanent trinity.  The “immanent trinity” is God in relation to God’s self.  It is internal.  The “economic trinity” is God in relation to the world, (Introduction to the Trinity, L. Lorenzen, p. 45).  St. Augustine in De Trinitate came to this understanding of trinity:  The Father is the Lover, the Son the Beloved, and the Holy Spirit the mutual Love that passes between Father and Son…the human soul and its faculties is the best mirror of the Trinity that is available.  And so…this is the outward divine activity…that we move from the “economic” to the “immanent” tripersonal God.  (The Tripersonal God, G. O’Collins SJ, 135-142).  In other words, the more we have-our-being in God  (behave, relate, move through the world), the more we enter into God’s very self.  This is all very theological, but take time to consider what this might mean in your life.  What is it to live a Godlike life? 

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