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…” Matthew 28:19
Matthew 28: 16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Method: Lectio Divina
Commentary from Loyola Press
This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next Sunday, however, are designated as solemnities, special days that call our attention to the central mysteries of our faith. Today, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast invites us to consider what we believe about God, who has revealed himself to us in the Trinity, one God in three Persons.The Gospel for this Solemnity is taken from the Gospel of Matthew. In its conclusion, Matthew’s Gospel quickly moves from the disciples’ discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb and Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to the commission that Jesus gives to his disciples in today’s Gospel.
The final commission, as this part of Matthew’s Gospel is sometimes called, is given on the mountaintop. Throughout Scripture, many of the most important events happen on a mountaintop, and Matthew used this motif often. Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured on the mountaintop, and Jesus taught the crowds from the mountaintop in the Sermon on the Mount. 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 approaches them and commissions them to baptize and teach. It is a task for which Jesus had previously prepared his disciples; recall that Jesus had already sent the twelve apostles to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal. Yet earlier, the Twelve were sent only to the House of Israel; in this final commission, the eleven are told to go to all nations. The mission of Jesus is now to be taken to all people, and the task is to baptize and to teach.
Jesus commissions his disciples to baptize in the name of the Trinity; this is one of the clearest attestations for Baptism 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 we read this Gospel on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we are reminded that this central mystery of faith is meant to be lived. As baptized Christians, we share in the life of the blessed Trinity and seek to invite others to share in God’s love.
Questions for reflection:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What comforted you?
- What challenged you?
- What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of you?
- How can you share God’s love with the world?
Audio Divina and Video Divina Testify to Love, Wynonna
View the video and answer the reflection questions below.
- What emotions does the song evoke?
- What is the connection between the Gospel and this song?
- How do we experience God’s love?
- How do we help others to experience God’s love?
Visio Divina of The Holy Trinity by Anton Rublev
- Pray in quiet with your eyes closed. Bring yourself towards stillness.
- Gaze at the image. Let your eyes rest on the scene. Note your feelings as you examine the whole and parts of the work.
- Read the Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20.
- Gaze at the work again. Imagine that you are in this scene. What do you see from your vantage point? What you hear? smell? sense?
- How do you connect the passage with the painting?
- Read the commentary below. How does these insights enrich your understanding?
- How is the sacred present to you in this experience?
- How does this Visio Divina relate to your life now?
- What insight from this experience do you want to retain? How will you do that?
- Complete the Visio Divina by offering a prayer of thanksgiving.
Commentary on the Rublev Icon from the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
The icon of the “Holy Trinity” is the most famous work of the brilliant Russian artist Andrei Rublev. According to the testimony of one of the 17th century sources, it was painted “in praise of Sergii Radonezhsky” at the order of his pupil and successor Abbot Nikon. At the basis of the iconography is the Biblical tale (Genesis 18) of the appearance to saint Abraham of God in the form of three angels. Abraham and his wife Sarah entertained the three angels in the shade of an oak when Abraham understood that the angels were the embodiment of God in three faces. Avoiding details which were customary in the subject of the “Hospitality of Abraham”, Andrei Rublev achieved extraordinary symbolic profundity in his work. In Rublev’s icon all attention is concentrated on the three angels and their silent exchange. They are depicted as seated around an altar in the center of which there is a chalice of the Eucharist with the head of a sacrificial calf which symbolizes the lamb of the New Testament, i.e., Christ. The left and centre angels bless the chalice. God the Father blesses God the Son for death on the cross in the name of love for people. God the Holy Spirit (the right angel) is present here to provide comfort, confirming the high logic of sacrificial, all-forgiving love. The content of the “Holy Trinity” is ambiguous. The monument is multi-faceted in its themes. Firstly, it embodies the idea of the triune Divinity. During the times of Sergii Radonezhsky and Andrei Rublev, the subject of the Trinity was understood as a symbol of spiritual unity, mutual love, the world and readiness to sacrifice oneself.
See also the CARFLEO post on the Rublev Icon.
What Is Trinity Sunday All About? (printable PDF) from Busted Halo