Liturgy of the Sunday

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Feast of the Most Holy Trinity
Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (+605 ca.), bishop, father of the English church. Orthodox Churches celebrate Pentecost.


First Reading

Deuteronomy 4,32-34.39-40

'Put this question, then, to the ages that are past, that have gone before you, from when God created the human race on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything like it ever heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you have heard it, and remain alive? Has it ever been known before that any god took action himself to bring one nation out of another one, by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors -- all of which things Yahweh your God has done for you before your eyes in Egypt? 'Hence, grasp this today and meditate on it carefully: Yahweh is the true God, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other. Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and live long in the country that Yahweh your God is giving you for ever.'

Psalmody

Psalm 32

Antiphon

Praise the Lord for his unfailing love.

Ring our your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.

Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp,
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.

O sing him a song that is new,
play loudly with all your skill.

For the word of the Lord is faithful
and all his works to be trusted.

The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love.

By his word the heavens were made
by the breath of his mouth all the stars.

He collects the waves of the ocean;
he stores up the depths of the sea.

Let all the earth fear the Lord,
all who live in the world revere him.

He spoke; and it came to be.
He commanded; it sprang into being.

He frustrates the designs of the nations,
He defeats the plans of the peoples.

His own designs shall stand for ever
and the plans of his heart from age to age.

They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his own.

From the heavens the Lord looks forth,
he sees all the children of men.

From the place where he dwells he gazes
on all the dwellers of the earth,

he who shapes the hearts of them all
and considers all their deeds.

A king is not saved by his army
nor a warrior preserved by his strength,

A vain hope for safety is the horse;
despite its power it cannot save.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,

to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
The Lord is our help and our shield.

In him do our hearts find joy.
We trust in his holy name.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,
as we place all our hope

Second Reading

Romans 8,14-17

All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God; for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share his suffering, so as to share his glory.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 28,16-20

Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

On this first Sunday after Pentecost the Church celebrates the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. This is not a random connection that binds the Church, which is taking its first steps on the day of Pentecost, to the mystery of the Trinity. The disciples, after receiving the Holy Spirit, leave the narrow and close walls of the house where they were "for fear," and they start communicating the Gospel and baptizing the first people who converted to the faith. They were obeying what Jesus ordered them to do before leaving: "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" (Mt 28:19). Well, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that today we contemplate in the Trinity, are the root, the fountain and the support of the Church born on the day of Pentecost, a sign of unity for all of humanity. The Church comes from on high, from heaven, from God. More precisely, from a God who is a "communion" of three people. They—as we try to babble some words—love each other so much that they are singularly one thing. From this communion of love the Church is born and towards that communion it walks, pulling along the entire creation. The Trinity is the origin and end of the Church as it is the origin and end of creation itself.
Therefore, those who listen to the Gospel with the are welcomed into the very mystery of the Trinity, in communion with God. We live in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. This is a great and inestimable gift, but itis also a task. The Church that is born on Pentecost is not neutral; she has at the heart of her constitution a vocation: to be at the service of unity and communion. While the world in which we live seems bewitched by the egoism of individuals, groups and nations that do not know how (and often do not want) to look beyond their own specific situation, beyond the so-called national interests, the Church of Pentecost, born of the Trinity, has the task of mending the lacerated flesh of the world and knitting back together the communion among the peoples. The Spirit infused in the community of believers gives it a new energy, as Paul writes in the Letter to the Romans: "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption" (Rom 8:15). And Jesus, before sending off the apostles, tells them: "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20).
The strength that the Lord gives his children heals humanity's flesh, wounded by injustice, greed, oppression and war, and generates the energy to get up and walk towards communion. Born from the communion to which it is also destined, the Church finds herself engaged in the living history as the leaven of communion and love. This is a high and urgent task that truly renders petty (and culpable) our internal quarrels and misunderstandings. Those who resist the energy of communion become accomplices to the work of the "prince of evil", who is the spirit of division.
The feast of the Holy Trinity is a pressing invitation to each of us to place ourselves within the very dynamism of God so as to live his life. The Lord realizes salvation, as Vatican II says, by gathering together men and women around him in a large and boundless family. Salvation is called communion with God and among all peoples.