SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, YEAR B

CALLED, CHOSEN AND SENT: A HOMILY ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, YEAR B, BY FR. IFEANYICHUKWU HENRY NWOKORO CSsR, ST. ANTHONY’S AND MARY MOUNT, UITENHAGE

THE MISSIONARY GOD

Brethen: All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.: In this short reading we see the image of the Trinity. It speaks of us as being led by the Spirit, of us as children of God crying out Abba Father and of us being fellow heirs with Christ. This reading also recalls the story of Exodus when God led the people out of slavery into freedom. The Israelites suffered slavery in Egypt, until God saved them through the red sea. They were led by the Spirit of God, which we understand today as the Holy Spirit. This story is not just the story of the Israelites of the past, but our story as well. God does not only interfer in our lives, but He invites us to share in His life. God the Father, becomes our Father, because God the Son became our brother and God the Holy Spirit becomes our best friend, our greatest companion through life.

One thing that we can learn from the Trinity is that the Trinity is always on mission. God is never sitting back and enjoying His life, to speak in human terms. In the Old Testament, we see a God who is always involved in the life of the people. We see a God who is always appearing to someone and giving instructions, guidance, etc. He is like a restless God, either coming to us himelf or sending someone to us. That could be called the era of God the Father. In the New Testament, we see Jesus Christ, not just coming to us, but becoming one of us. He was born like any of us and went through all the experiences we go through, even death. He becomes our way to the Father. He was very busy teaching, instructing, healing, etc. He was always on the road; he was always on mission. We can say we have a missionary God. After his ascension, he sent the Holy Spirit. Even though we cannot see him with our physical eyes, we know that the Holy Spirit is with us leading us everyday through life. We get an image here of a very outgoing God, who within the Trinity (Intra-Trinitate) has no needs, but outside the Trinity (Extra-Trinitate) is very busy in our lives. Why? Because he loves us so much that he cannot be indifferent to us.

THE CHOSEN RACE

Moses spoke to the people, “Ask of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has God ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? “Know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God gives you for ever.: God invites us to share in his life and he does so strategically. He first chose the people of Israel and called them his Chosen race. By so doing, it would appear that God has chosen one group of people over and above another group of people. It would appear as if God, who is the Father of all, now has favorites. The Israelites did not understand why they were chosen. They were chosen, not in other for them to look down on, and condemn other people, but in order to reach out in mission to other nations. They were chosen so that through them, other nations will come to know the Lord. But they did not understand why they were chosen. They thought they were chosen because they are better than other nations. Therefore, God becomes one of them in order to establish this mission properly.

JESUS MISSIONS HIS DISCIPLES

At that time: 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, baptising 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 behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”: Let me first speak of the fact that when they saw Jesus, they worshiped Him. Worshiping Him is a sign that they did not just see him as a great man. They knew He is God. The word Worship is only used in relation to God. We can respect people, and we can honor great people, but worship is only for God. Jesus had chosen 12 disciples, corresponding to the 12 tribes of Israel. This number was deliberate to establish the fact that God is raising a new Israel, to do what the old Israel failed to do. At this stage, they were 11 because one of them had also gone astray like the old Israel. Later, they are going to choose Matthias to complete the number and to show the significance of that number. Jesus did not tell them that they are the best and that they should discrimite against others. Rather He told them to go and make disciples of all the nations. The way to make them disciples is by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is important because we are not just being baptised into the Church. We are baptised into the life of God. The disciples were told to make other disciples, who will make other disciples, who will make other disciples. It is like some of the get-rich-quick schemes you get, where you are told to register with a certain amount and that amount increases with the number of people you are able to convince to register like you did. The Isrealites registered, but they thought the registration was for them alone, and so their money did not increase. Maybe this is not a good example because these schemes are usually fraud. However, it helps us to understand our mission as Christians. We who have been baptised into the life of God are baptised into the mission of God. Just as God has always been missionary to us and has chosen us to be christians, so we are to become missionries trying to evangelize and bring other people into the fold. You and I, like the old Israel have been specially chosen by God. By virtue of our baptism, we recieve the Holy Spirit, which enables us to call God our Father, because we have been baptised into Christ. This is a great honor, a great privillege. But with great power, comes great responsibility. Our responsibility is now to go out and bring other people into the fold. The question we can each ask ourselves is: Since I was baptised till today, how many people have either become christians or become better christians through me? We have not just been called and Chosen. Most importantly, we have been sent.

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