Most Holy Trinity, Year B, Catechist

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Catechist Background and Preparation
To prepare for this session, read all the readings.

Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22
Romans 8:14-17
Matthew 28:16-20

Spend a few minutes reflecting on what these readings mean for you today. Is there a particular reading that appeals to you? Is there a word or image that engages you?

Read the following Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. Read the Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. These give you background on what you will be doing this session. Read over the session outline and make it your own. Check to see what materials you will need.

The Word In Liturgy
The text of today's first reading is taken from a theological introduction to an exposition of the covenant. Its words are attributed to Moses, since indeed the whole book has been conceived as a long oration by the great prophet. The passage evinces a liturgical style when speaking of creation and the Exodus, and summons from its listeners a sense of the profound privilege of the chosen people in their dealings with God. The deuteronomic author saw the events of history as words going forth from the mouth of God, and all of history as the matrix in which God's will is expressed. The chosen people, for their part, participated in the divine work of history by keeping the covenant, in faithful response to God's gifts.

This important passage from Deuteronomy therefore exemplifies what some theologians have seen as the threefold nature of God revealed in human experience before the doctrine of the Trinity was ever formulated. This triadic, or threefold, quality of God may be summed up as: (1) God's own self, (2) that which goes forth from God, and (3) the response that returns to God. The passage may also be read simply as a testimony to the greatness and generosity of God the Father, even as the gospel illustrates the grandeur of the mission of the Son. On this Trinity Sunday, each person of the godhead is celebrated.

Like many Old Testament theophanies and other great moments in Jesus' life as told by Matthew (4:8; 5:1; 17:1), the scene of today's gospel takes place on a mountaintop. Disbelief falls away as Jesus magnificently commissions his disciples to carry his gospel to the ends of the world. From its early chapters, in which Magi come from distant Gentile lands to worship the Christ child, Matthew's gospel stresses the universal scope of Jesus' mission. Matthew's gospel, written probably in the late first century by someone in the second generation of believers, responds to the situation in which Jewish Christian believers were no longer accepted by their contemporaries in the synagogues. The mandate to go out to "all nations" bypasses Luke's earlier stages of preaching to Judea (to the Jewish people), and Samaria (to the partially Jewish people), and reflects the changed situation of the Church in the 80s.

Catholic Doctrine
The Holy Trinity
One enters into the salvation offered by God being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Our faith as followers of Jesus, as Christians, rests upon the foundation of the Trinity. It is important to note that at baptism we are baptized in the name, not the "names," for we hold that there is only one God, the Father, his beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity. Catholic teaching describes the Trinity as the central mystery of our Christian faith and life because it is the mystery of God's very self. It is, therefore, the fount of all the other mysteries of faith, the doctrine which underpins all the rest.

Posted in: Sessions B