This Sunday and next Sunday's celebrations are both unique in the Church's calendar because they are not a part of the Easter Season or Ordinary Time. Rather they are designated as special solemnities, calling our attention to the central mysteries of our faith. Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast lets us ponder what we believe about One God in three Persons – namely, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Matthew's Gospel today moves quickly from the discovery of Jesus' empty tomb on Easter morn to the commissioning of His disciples to go forth and baptize in the name of the Trinity. This message is very similar to the one we heard on Ascension Sunday.
Throughout Scripture, many of the most important events happen on a mountaintop, and Matthew used this motif often in his gospel. In today's Gospel, the eleven disciples go the mountaintop in Galilee, as Jesus had instructed them through Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They see Jesus, and they worship and doubt at the same time. Jesus commissions His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; this is one of the clearest attestations for the Sacrament of Baptism, baptizing in the name of the Holy Trinity found in Scripture. Other New Testament references to Baptism describe it as being celebrated in the name of Jesus. As baptized Christians, we share in the life of the blessed Trinity and seek to invite others to share in God's love.
Yes, God is a Mystery – but not an abstraction. As we read in today's Gospel on this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we are reminded that this central mystery of faith is meant to be lived and not just professed. God is a Being: a life-giving, all-loving Being whose one desire is to share a fullness of life, which we call communion. This communion already exists within God's self. There, perfect, selfless harmony reigns. When God chooses to reach out beyond self, this perfect harmony is revealed as Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. When we allow the Spirit to transform us, we are drawn into the life-giving, all-loving, perfectly selfless Trinity.
Rev. Fr. Ben Ebcas Jr.