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Blessed Trinity B

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"May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart's vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages." (prayer of Origin, 185-254 AD)

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Blessed Trinity B

  1. 1. Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity 27 May 2018 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1st Reading: Dt 4:32-34.39-40 Moses to the people • Moses said to the people, 32 "Ask now of the days of old, before your time, ever since God created man upon the earth; ask from one end of the sky to the other: Questions • Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of? 33 Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? 34 Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, all of which the LORD, your God, did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? Implications • 39 This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. 40 You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever." We focus on God, whom we believe as the FATHER.
  3. 3. 1st reading: Dt 4:32-34.39-40 Moses to the people • Moses said to the people, 32 "Ask now of the days of old, before your time, ever since God created man upon the earth; ask from one end of the sky to the other: Questions • Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of? 33 Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? 34 Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, all of which the LORD, your God, did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? Commentary • Vv. 32-34 talk about the greatness of the God of Israel. • The God of Israel (Yahweh) is an unprecedented God. No one was like him before. • Four Questions: • Did anything so great happen before? • Was it ever heard of? • Did a people ever hear…? • Or did any god venture…? • God is a God who does wondrous things for Israel. • No one can duplicate him.
  4. 4. 1st reading: Dt 4:32-34.39-40 Implications • 39 This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. 40 You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever." •V.39 reiterates that God is the one and only. It reminds us of the 1st commandment. •V.40 speaks of the implications of the greatness of God. •Keep his statutes and commandments… you and your children are enjoined. •V.40 also specifies the benefit of being obedient: •That you may prosper. •That you may have long life.
  5. 5. Reflections on the 1st reading •The Father we are worshipping is a great God. •He is a powerful creator-God and liberator-God, worthy of all our praise and thanksgiving. •We should also see Him as a law-giver God. •This is where the problem lies. •We don’t see Him this way, that is why, we consciously or unconsciously violate His laws. •If we want progress, we, including our children and our children’s children, should not violate God’s laws.
  6. 6. Resp. Ps 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 • R. (12b) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. • 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full. • 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their host. 9 For he spoke, and it was made; he commanded, and it stood forth. • 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. • 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you.
  7. 7. Resp. Ps 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 • R. (12b) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. • 4 Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full. • 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their host. 9 For he spoke, and it was made; he commanded, and it stood forth. Commentary • The responsorial psalm is a hymn inviting just people to exclaim how lucky are God’s people. • V.4 gives a positive outlook on God’s word and works. They are upright and trustworthy. • V.5 enumerates three priorities of God: • Justice, righteousness and kindness • Vv.6 and 9 speak of God’s creative powers. • God creates the heavens by his word. • God creates the hosts (heavenly bodies) by his breath. • As God speaks, things come into being.
  8. 8. Resp. Psalm: 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 • 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. • 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. • V.18 encourages people to believe in this God. • God is kind to those who fear and trust him. • In v.19, God saves them from death in spite of famine (crisis). • V.20 expresses the man praying in the hope that someday soon God will come to help. • V.22 is a prayer directly addressed to God that God may be with the people who trusts in him.
  9. 9. Reflections on the Psalm •With the psalm, we are helped to acknowledge God’s greatness. •God’s powerful words and deeds speak of his greatness. •We, humans, and believers cannot but put our hope in him, especially in times of trouble and crisis. •No believer should ever despair, because God can help even by the breath of his mouth.
  10. 10. 2nd reading: Rom 8:14-17 •14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, Father!" 16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. We focus on the Holy Spirit.
  11. 11. 2nd reading: Rom 8:14-17 • 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, Father!" 16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. Commentary • The reading mentions the names of the persons of the Holy Trinity: Spirit of God, Abba Father, Christ • V.14 makes a wonderful statement for those who are led by the Spirit of God. • They are considered children of God. • In v.15, the Spirit of God liberates us from slavery and fear. • It liberates / frees us to cry out, “Abba,” to enjoy sonship /daughtership under God the Father.
  12. 12. 2nd reading: Rom 8:14-17 • 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, Father!" 16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. •V.16 states that the Spirit of God bears witness (points to other people) that we are God’s children. •V.17 states how lucky are God’s children. •They are heirs with Christ and will be glorified with God. •But there is a condition. •Only if they also undergo suffering.
  13. 13. Reflections on the 2nd reading •We are God’s children because we are led by the Spirit of God. •We must consider it a big deal, a big thing in our lives to be counted as God’s children. •Let us not take it for granted. This is non- negotiable. It is a disaster if we compromise it. •If we stand by it, we will be more intimate with God. • We can call God, “Abba” (daddy, papsy). • We live in freedom and unafraid, not as slaves to anyone. •Do you live in freedom? •Are you free to give yourself to others, even if it pains?
  14. 14. Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20 •16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." We focus on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Holy Trinity).
  15. 15. Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20 Eleven Disciples • 16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Jesus’ command • 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Jesus’ presence • And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." A simple outline!
  16. 16. Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20 Eleven Disciples • 16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Jesus’ command • 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Jesus’ presence • And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Commentary • The eleven disciples go to Galilee (where Jesus ascends into heaven, acc. to Mt; but according to Luke, ascension happens at Bethany) (v.16) • V.17 tells of the mixed feelings of the apostles on the resurrected Jesus. • Vv.18-20 are tagged as The Great Commission: to make disciples. The new disciples must be taught to observe all commandments of Jesus. • The apostles will baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity. • The Greek form for name is onomati (not onomasi, plural) which is correctly translated into English. If Matthew used the plural form, the translation would read “In the names of the F,S.HS.” • Jesus assures us of his presence always in v.20b.
  17. 17. Commentary, con’t • The mention of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity) is in passing only. • It is mentioned in the context of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. • We must not forget that Jesus, who commissioned them, is the resurrected Christ. • The Trinitarian formula is expressed in the context of his resurrected body and ascension. • More particularly, the Triune God is mentioned in the context of making disciples, through baptism. • In the beginning of the gospel, there was baptism in water, then in the Holy Spirit, now in the name of the F,S, and HS.
  18. 18. Commentary, con’t •The picture of God-hood is now complete. God’s self-disclosure is now complete in its formulation. Never in the previous verses that the persons in one Godhead were put together under one singular name. •The encounter with the Trinity is experienced in the rite of baptism (immersion). •Baptism here is the beginning of Christian discipleship.
  19. 19. Commentary, con’t •The mark of a Christian disciple is obedience to God’s commandments. •With the great commissioning, the apostles become universal teachers. They will be teachers on the go, teachers on the frontiers, transmitting what they have learned from Jesus to their new contacts. •Jesus assures them of his ever presence.
  20. 20. Reflections on the gospel reading •We are not worshipping an abstract God out there. •The triune God is here to give us work. •No one is unemployed in the eyes of God. •As baptized Christians, we are enjoined to make disciples and teach them God’s ways. •There should be no such thing as un-catechized and un-instructed and un-committed Christians. •The one who is giving orders is none other than the Holy Trinity, the great One.
  21. 21. Tying the 3 readings and Psalm • 1st reading is the action of the Father. • The psalm expresses appreciation to God’s wonderful words and deeds. • 2nd reading is the action of the Holy Spirit. • 3rd reading is the mention of the Trinitarian formula (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), who commission us into action. • The psalm helps us to celebrate the goodness and kindness of the Triune God in our history.
  22. 22. How to develop your homilies/sharing •Begin with a short comment on the feast of the Holy Trinity. •This feast comes after the Pentecost. •Now, the three persons are celebrated on the same day. •We, catholics, are Trinitarians.
  23. 23. •The Holy Trinity is a mystery to live by (not something to explain). St. Augustine accepts the difficulty in explaining this mystery. •According to him, we must first believe in order to understand, not the other way around, otherwise, we will never come to believe. •We should emphasize what the Triune God does to us, humans.
  24. 24. •The 1st reading affirms that the Father does wondrous and great things. •He does the impossible. •He is a powerful God who saves his people from destruction. •He is also a God who exacts obedience from his loved ones. •Prosperity (material and spiritual blessings) is promised by God to those who fear the Lord and keep his commandments. •Evildoers (corrupt government officials, those who induce others to sin or who destroy others) cannot progress.
  25. 25. •The 2nd reading tells that the Holy Spirit helps us build relationship with the Father. •Through the Spirit, we become God’s children. •We can call God our Father. •Through the Holy Spirit, we can be intimate with God in the way we address ourselves to him. •We have a privileged place in the eyes of God. •We are entitled to inherit his kingdom. •We enjoy life here and now and in the life after.
  26. 26. •In the gospel reading, Jesus commissions the apostles to make disciples, baptizing in the name of the Trinity. •The great commission is also addressed to us, believers. •We are also commanded to teach. •We teach that in one God, there are three divine persons (Blessed Trinity). •And all the 3 persons in the Blessed Trinity are active in our history. •Each Christian should show his/her eagerness to make disciples and teach them how to love the Trinity.
  27. 27. •Education, according to the gospel, must lead students (disciples) to obey the commands of God (love, relationship, harmony, forgiveness, love for the poor, justice and peace, respect for the rights of others, etc.) •Education must teach human and spiritual values. •It must lead us to act and live like the Holy Trinity (for ever in love, for ever one, for ever acting for the other, communitarian).
  28. 28. • In the Eucharist, we receive Jesus in the form of bread and wine. • The Eucharist is a way of Jesus’ fulfilling his promise to be with us till the end of time. • The Eucharist reminds us of our communion, not only with Jesus, but with the Holy Trinity. • The mass contains many Trinitarian formulas: the Sign of the Cross, the Glory, the opening prayer, The Creed, the blessing, etc. • The mass is a celebration of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
  29. 29. Our Context of Sin and Grace • Apostates • Heretics • Failure to perceive God’s movements in one’s life • Waste of time and money in many schools, public and private, due to poor facilities • No interest in mission of many catholics • Feeling inadequate to carry out the teaching duties of Christians • No study habits • Fond of (dangerous) short cuts • Communitarian • Trinitarian • Fraternal • BECs • Creative and liberative communities • Teamwork, team building • Strong faith in the power of God • Formation • High educational standards • Human and spiritual values
  30. 30. Suggested Songs •God Father Praise and Glory •The Living God by Sebastian Temple • YCCP Let me be the bearer of your love • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExCwdme50V0 • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vACQabqBNs • YCCP – Father Bless Them • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cggRMpsgeZg&t=109s • https://youtu.be/Z6rFdzBj-uE
  31. 31. PRAYER: •"May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart's vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages." (prayer of Origin, 185- 254 AD)

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