Sunday Readings: Deuteronomy 4.32=24,39-40; Romans 8.14-17; Matthew 28.16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. When they saw him, they fell down in homage; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. Know that I am with you always to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28.16-20
We Catholics bless ourselves with holy water when we enter a Church. The Sign of the Cross reminds us we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This baptismal formula, which we still use today, is very ancient, stretching back into the Church’s earliest tradition and finding a place in the great commissioning that ends Matthew’s gospel. The risen Jesus promises to be with the eleven in continuing his mission of baptizing and teaching his new law of love.
Christians follow Jesus’ example in naming God in intimate, relational terms. As baptized Christians we follow Jesus in calling God Father; we claim kinship with God, creator and source. We claim Jesus as one of us, God’s Son, redeemer and liberator. We live in the Spirit, the animating giver of life, the sustainer and sanctifier, who brings to fulfillment all that God has begun in creation and revealed in Jesus the Christ.
Our God is no smug solitary being enclosed in egocentric self-regard but the living God, three persons in free communion, always going forth in love and receiving love. Three is one more than two, the starting point for social life, notes Brazilian theologian Ivone Gebara. A pregnancy calls married couples to make room in their relationship for another. Gebera grounds her reflection on the Trinity in our human experience of being diverse and multiple but one in origin and being.
As human persons we live in relationships that like molecules with a positive valence stay dynamically open to other bonds. In the social interaction at the heart of our thriving, we experience the dynamic at the irrepressibly generative, life-giving, love-outpouring heart of God.
What does creation tell you about God? What does the incarnation reveal about God? What does the activity of the Spirit in your life tell you about God?