Shikrot Mpwi – Sunday Synopsis with Fr. Justine J. Dyikuk              

Trinity Sunday: Year B – 30th May, 2021.

Readings: Deuteronomy 4:32-34; Responsorial Psalm Ps 32:4-6,9,18-20,22; Romans 8:14:17; Gospel Matthew 28:16-20.

Theme: The Trinity of Love

Sunday Synopsis

The first reading reveals a triune God who reigns “in heaven and above as on earth beneath.” In the second reading, St. Paul emphasizes that everyone who is moved by the Spirit is a son of God. He goes on to disclose that the Spirit which God gives is not a spirit of timidity but that which makes us cry “Abba Father!” The Gospel recounts the Great Mission. It reveals that this divine mandate would be executed in the name of the Trinity. In the Trinity of love, we are charged to celebrate the liberating mission of the Church through fighting for the oppressed, those unjustly detained and others under the yoke of slavery and sin as well as Christians who are persecuted like Leah Sharibu.

Introduction

Trinity Sunday provides us with one of the reasons why Catholics make the Sign of the Cross. It is not surprising to see altar servers, knights, footballers and even celebrities making the Sign of the Cross which is a trademark of Catholicism. As a spiritual insignia which defines and promotes our faith, the Sign of the Cross opens up reflections about the Blessed Trinity. It is truism that there are three divine persons in one God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

This further demonstrates that the Father is not the same person as the Son, the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as Father. As it were, each of them has a will and speaks to each other and to people. The use of the word “person” implies that each person of the Blessed Trinity is separate in self awareness, speech, will and expression.

Background and Summary of the Readings

The first reading (Deuteronomy 4:32-34) presents us with the encounter between Moses and the people of Israel in which he tells them in no mistaken terms that: “The Lord is God indeed, in heaven and above as on earth beneath, he and no other.” He maintained that they should keep his laws and commandments so as to enjoy and prosper in the land that the Lord gives to them. The text is indicative of a triune God who reigns “in heaven and above as on earth beneath.”

In the second reading (Romans 8:14:17), St. Paul emphasizes that everyone who is moved by the Spirit is a Son of God. He also states that the Spirit which God gives is not a spirit of timidity but that which makes us cry “Abbah Father!” He argues that our spirit and that of God works in unison enabling us to bear witness as God’s children. Apostle Paul further reiterates that we are heirs of the Kingdom who share in his sufferings so as to share in his glory.

The Gospel reading (Matthew 28:16-20) recounts the Great Mission Christ gave his Apostles. It reveals how this divine mandate was to be executed in the name of the Trinity: “Father, Son and Spirit.” Matthew also discloses that Jesus charged them thus: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” The Great Mission had a Trinitarian authority behind it. Besides, the Apostles were assured of divine assistance, divine  endorsement and the fact that God would be with them until the end of time.

Pastoral Lessons

1. Seek Unity of Purpose: In a world that is fragmented by racial, religious and ideological divides, we are called to a unity of purpose in defending the values of life and human dignity. As a Church such, we are reminded about our universality and our shared-spiritual heritage.

2. Seek Redemption: John 3:16 urges us to daily seek redemption while recalling the three redemptive epochs in human existence – original state of blessedness in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve enjoyed the bliss of God, fallen humanity when they sinned by eating the forbidden fruit and restored humanity when Jesus came for a rescue mission.

3. Proclaim God’s Liberating Mission: Trinity Sunday invites us to embrace Christ’s liberating mission by fighting for the oppressed, those unjustly detained and others under the yoke of slavery and sin as well as Christians who are persecuted like Leah Sharibu.

4. Seek Humility: Since Jesus who is truly God and truly man, as the theology of the hypostatic union teaches, we are left with the legacies of one who was God yet emptied himself to take up the place of a slave by embracing humility.

5. Rely on the Trinity: We are urged to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit by relying on the help of the triune God who grants us the gifts of healing, miracles, prophesy, recognition of spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues (1st Cor. 12:1-11) in the Church.

Summary Lines

1. [The first reading reveals] a triune God who reigns “in heaven and above as on earth beneath.”

2. In the second reading, St. Paul emphasizes that everyone who is moved by the Spirit is a son of God.

3. He goes further to state that the Spirit which God gives is not a spirit of timidity but that which makes us cry “Abbah Father!”

4. The Gospel reading recounts the Great Mission Christ gave his Apostles.

5. It reveals how this divine mandate was to be executed in the name of the trinity.

Conclusion

Saint Augustine tried to know the depth of the trinity so he could explain to his congregation. While reflecting on this quandary, he went to the beach and sighted a little boy trying to empty the sea into a small hole he had dug by the side of the shore. Upon telling the boy that it was an exercise in futility, Augustine got a shocker as an answer: “Likewise it is impossible to know the depths of the trinity” and the boy vanished from his sight.

In a country fragmented by tribal sentiments, we are reminded that God is a Trinity of Persons. As people from different backgrounds, our union with the Father, the Son and the Spirit must be supreme. The Trinity should be a springboard for unity, peace and progress in our nation. Since it is by the Holy Spirit that the Church superintends over ecclesiastical governance and administers sacraments, may it raise up leaders and friends who would support and encourage you now and forever. Amen. Happy Trinity Sunday!

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