Feast of Most Holy Trinity
“Don’t tell me what to do!”
“I am old enough to make my own decisions!”
“I can do it myself!”
Do these comments sound familiar? Have you ever yelled them or thought about screaming one of them? I know I have. A normal part of human development is becoming independent. Even as a baby becomes a toddler, there are signs of growing independence – wanting to do things for oneself. Part of the human condition is that we think we are self-sufficient, that we can handle life, decisions, and, well, everything on our own. We come to think that we don’t need anyone else’s help. We know what is best for us. We can do it! But in today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus’ Great Commission. This is what we are
told to do:
‘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 this ends with the ‘great’ promise:
‘And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’
We hear pretty clear directions from Jesus about what is to be our life’s work – our mission – and the promise of Jesus’ presence with us always. We are to go, make, baptize, and teach. But this is Trinity Sunday! What does this mission have to do with the Trinity. In Genesis 1:26 (NAB) we hear that we are made in the image and likeness of God – “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Notice the plural our. God must then be a community of persons – Father, Son, and Spirit. If we are made in God’s image, perhaps we are to operate like God – in communion with one another. One description of the Trinity from fourth-century Cappadocian Fathers is a ‘circle dance’ between the three Persons of the Trinity. We are called to be caught up in this divine dance, this dance of love.
While we certainly can dance or baptize by ourselves, on our own, we are not called to do that. (Did you know that in the Rite of Baptism, the directions indicate that even in the case of an emergency baptism, there should be people gathered?) We are sent forth at the end of each liturgy to spread the Good News (our Catholic shorthand version of the Great Commission listed above). In our parish a sign over the exits state “You are entering mission territory.” Jesus sent his disciples out two by two. We are never sent alone. Jesus promises to be with us always.
While I may not like being told what to do, whenever someone I love asks me to do something, I do it out of my love for that person. Our response to Jesus’ great commission should be love; that we love Jesus so much we will do what he commands. We respond in love. In love we go, make, baptize, and teach.