Trinity Sunday

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27thMay 2018

Deuteronomy is a book aimed at reviving the enthusiasm of the Jewish people for their religion, and re-kindling their sense of community. The Jewish people, centuries before Deuteronomy was written, had been successfully lead out of slavery in Egypt, and eventually entered the land which they consider to be a gift from God.  The author puts into the mouth of Moses a whole series of speeches addressed to the people before they cross the river Jordan to enter this land.  In the first reading, what is said in the supposed context applies to the people at the time of its composition but also can be adapted to ourselves today:  Look what God has done for you, do what God wants of you and all will be well!


In the second reading Paul writes of the role of the Spirit.  The effect of the movement of the Spirit is what we read of last week on the feast of Pentecost.  The Spirit is part of what the Word of God reveals.  As the Son takes on our humanity, so we, by the influence of the Spirit, share in this sonship, forming a community of both suffering and glory.  Paul’s ideas are a radical development from the much narrower view of God’s activity that he would have had as a Jew.  It is he who wrote earlier to the Galatians (3:28) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”.


The last paragraph of Matthew’s gospel is our gospel reading.  He has found a good way to conclude his work.  The disciples see Jesus in Galilee; something that has been planned before when the women at the tomb, for example, are told the disciples will see Jesus in Galilee.  They recognise Him, but with some hesitancy.  What they must do, not just in Galilee but for all nations, is bring them into the community that they have; they will use the Baptismal formula that was in use in Mathew’s own church community; it names together the Trinity, which throughout the Gospel has been seen under the different roles, of Father, Son and Spirit.


When you begin to make friends with someone, you tell them a little about yourself; if they want to be friendly they respond positively.  On a larger scale this is how community is formed and how good relationships are maintained; it is by being somewhat open to others and positive towards them.  We know of God as one who reveals something of Himself in the universe, which is his creative work, through His Word in the Bible, and coming even closer to us by His Son joining our humanity.  We are privileged with this through the Spirit of God which draws all into existence and enables us to recognise and respond to God. This way of seeing God’s relationship towards his world and ourselves shows God as a community of Father, Son and Spirit, within which we also can participate.  To be part of it we must see the good in other people and respond to it, for it is the art-work of God and our response is His inspiration. We might pray:

All powerful Father, help our weakness and save us from our nothingness;

all wise and obedient Son, guide our thoughts and the things that we should do;

inspiring and enlivening Spirit, be the source of our energy in all we are;

community of God, help us see the good in others and want what is best for them, one God for ever and ever.  Amen