Holy trinity

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: Missionary Disciples

When the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in 2007 in Aparecida, Brazil, they proclaimed: “The Church is called to rethink her mission in depth … by confirming, renewing and revitalizing the newness of the Church. ‘Gospel rooted in our history. . “This statement comes from the document released as conclusions of this meeting. The first paragraph of this document says that the church is called to make disciples and missionaries of all its members, suggesting that you cannot be one without the other.The final version of the document was drafted by a committee of bishops under the leadership of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis.

While today’s holiday sounds as though it might call us into the intoxicating heights of dogmatic discourse, the readings invite us to a decidedly practical and down-to-earth reflection on God and who we are as disciples. .

Moses is the first person to address us in today’s Liturgy of the Word. We can listen to a homily he preached to inspire his people to strengthen their commitment. If we listen as heirs to his tradition, we hear him calling us to remember our own experiences of God. He took his people through their memories of the Exodus and hearing the voice of God. This suggests that we too could remember how and when we were aware of the presence of God, of the love of God, of the greatness of God. He recommends that we allow this Sabbath to take up some of our time so that we can remember and appreciate the ways in which we have come to know God in our individual and community lives. When we do this, we will be well prepared to sing, “Blessed are the people the Lord has chosen!

Paul’s Letter to the Romans advances Moses’ message by emphasizing how God’s own Spirit is active in us. Francis Thompson’s poem “The Hound of Heaven” offers a meditative picture of what Paul is suggesting. Thompson portrays God as the heavenly dog ​​who keeps trying to draw us to our divine destiny. Paul tells us that we know the Spirit of God as the one that leads us to seek Abba, the God whom we know as a loving parent.

Today’s gospel portrays the post-Resurrection group of disciples as a broken community that oscillates between worship and doubt, a description that also describes many today. The disciples had followed the instructions of their companions, the women who had been informed both by the angel at the tomb and by Jesus where the Lord wanted to meet them. When they met the risen Christ, he explained what his resurrection meant by saying that all power in heaven and on earth belonged to him. He was victorious and if they believed in him and his promise to stay with them, they would believe that no evil can overcome him – or them.

No wonder the disciples worship and doubt at the same time! Believing in Christ implies that they must also believe in themselves as his disciples. The Risen Lord believes in his disciples enough to pass on his mission, telling them to make their faith contagious, to spread the good news not as dogma, but in the form of a vibrant and appealing love and hope – the only powers capable of transforming ordinary people into other Christs.

The hesitant disciples who gathered on this mountain went to preach and it allowed their faith to overcome their doubts. They had to invent how to deliver the message of Jesus when he was no longer with them as a living prophet, a faithful son of Israel. It was only through this process that they were able to discover how he was with them in other, more universal ways.

The first disciples must have done in their day what the bishops of Aparecida call the church to do today. Like them, we must rethink our mission. As heirs of Moses, we are called to renew and confirm the faith we have received. Knowing that the Spirit is always with us, we need to take the time necessary to hear the exhortations of the Spirit, to let ourselves be drawn to the God who made us and calls us to an unknown but wonderful future.

As people chosen and loved by God, we are called to fulfill our vocation as disciples and missionaries, disciples of Christ who spread his message and his love. Like the early disciples, we must be prepared to rethink our mission and revitalize our gospel message. Moses tells us that we begin by remembering gratefully the works of creation and liberation of God. Paul assures us that the Spirit will move us towards our goal. Above all, the Risen Lord promises to stay with us. Although we cannot explain it this way, the process of being disciples and missionaries is what enables our Triune God to live in us and work through us.

[Mary M. McGlone is a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet who is writing the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S.]

Editor’s Note: This Sunday scripture commentary appears in full in NCR’s sister publication Celebration, a worship and homiletics resource. Request a sample number on CelebrationPublications.org. Sign up to receive email newsletters every time Spiritual Reflections is published.