Homily for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B - Mt. 28:16-20
Father Daniel Meynen
"Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, '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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.' "
"Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted."
On the morning of Easter, the risen Jesus ordered the holy women to whom he had appeared to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee: "And behold, Jesus met them and said, 'Hail!' And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be not afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.' " (Mt. 28:9-10) For Jesus, the Resurrection and Galilee are associated with each other: for it is there that his disciples must see that he has resurrected. However, Jesus, who was resurrected at the gates of Jerusalem, should have associated the Resurrection with Judaea, the land of his birth. This leads us to believe that there is in this a Mystery, something new that Jesus wants to reveal to us. This is indeed the case: if Jesus associates the Resurrection with Galilee, it is because he is already thinking of the final Resurrection, that which will take place at the end of time. "I am with you always, to the close of the age."
"And Jesus came and said to them, '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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.' "
Having arrived at the mountain in Galilee, Jesus wants to teach his disciples of the mission they will have to carry out when their Master has returned to Heaven and when the Holy Spirit will have been sent to them: they must announce the Good News of Salvation to all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is precisely there, in Galilee, that instruction concerning this mission must be given. For, if Galilee announces the return of Christ, then Galilee also announces the full Revelation of God, Trinity of Love and Wisdom. In the present time, it is not possible to "understand" the Most Holy Trinity, for it is a Mystery, that is, a concept which exceeds human intelligence. But, when Christ returns in Glory, the veil will be torn asunder and the communion of Love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit will be fully revealed, giving all the elect the capacity to "understand" it, not as God understands and knows himself, but insofar as it will be possible for each of the elect to understand God with an understanding of love, a love whose magnitude will depend on each person's personal merits.
Sometimes, certain people do not attach much importance to the concept of the Trinity in God. One readily believes in God, in Jesus, whom one calls Christ. One knows that he died and was resurrected. One also knows the Father, saying without hesitation, "Our Father, who art in heaven... " One also knows that there is a Holy Spirit... But when one tries to gather together all these concepts in one's mind, one gets confused, mixes everything up, and finally abandons the attempt... Is the "Trinity" so important? Yes! It is important, it is in fact very important! The whole of the Gospel of Saint John speaks of almost nothing else aside from the Trinity, and all of the first epistle written by this evangelist is dedicated to providing the reader with a certain "understanding" of the Trinity revealed in his Gospel. If one is content to say "God is love," and "Jesus died and was resurrected", that is not enough. There are other truths which must be our spiritual food: and that of the Divine Trinity is the most important of all.
Thus let us try to shed a little light on all this. Jesus descended from Heaven and came down to the earth: he took flesh of the Virgin Mary. This is the Mystery of the Incarnation. But Jesus did not come here of himself: it was not he who decided that he would come. It was his Father who sent him into the world. So Jesus has a Father with whom he is united with a quite specific bond: that of obedience. Having been sent into the world, Jesus came to carry out the command which his Father had given him. Jesus carried out this command of the Father by revealing to the whole world, but first to his disciples, that he is the Son of God, the Son of He who created the whole universe, and that he came to earth to redeem all men and, through this redemption, invite them to participate in the life of God. This revelation led Jesus to Calvary, because it was for having said that he was the Son of God that Jesus was condemned to death. The mission his Father had entrusted to him was thus fulfilled. Jesus could then enter into the Glory of his Father, not as God (for, as God, he is in Glory for all eternity), but rather as Man: so he rose from the dead. Lastly, in order that his body might be fully glorified, Jesus ascended into Heaven, forty days after his Resurrection. But that is not all. For, at that time, it was still only the man in himself that was glorified in God - that is, only the human nature that had been assumed by the Son of God. Thus, it was still necessary for this glorification, which God wanted for man, to be partaken by all who would believe this to be possible. This is the reason why the Holy Spirit was poured forth upon the earth on Pentecost. But the Holy Spirit also did
not come of himself: he was sent by the Father and the Son. He was sent by the Father, for it is the Father who is the Principle of the entire Divine Trinity: he is the first person, the one who commands within the Divine Trinity. And the Holy Spirit was also sent by the Son, jointly with the Father, for the Holy Spirit did not come to earth to fulfill a different mission, but rather to carry on the mission of Jesus, Son of God.
What should we learn from all this? Obedience! Jesus came to carry out the command of his Father; the Holy Spirit was sent to perpetuate this command and this mission. The disciples of Christ are always invited to obedience! "Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you." The Trinity invites us to obedience, and obedience leads us back to the Trinity. Each Sunday, the Church, in the name of Jesus Christ, invites us to participate together in the worship of God: each Sunday, the Christian must give thanks to God in the form and in the amount that the Church imposes upon him, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. He who was baptized in the name of the Trinity cannot be content with praying to God in his heart, he must also express his faith and his obedience to God by taking part in the celebration of the Eucharist, in which the Work of Obedience of the Son of God, who died and rose again for our sins, is made present again.
May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, perfect model of obedience to God, help us to live ever more in the contemplation of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!