Year B: Trinity Sunday
The Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20
For three years the disciples had travelled with Jesus from Galilee - through Judea and into Jerusalem. They had witnessed all that he had done and said. They had seen his show-trial and death - and witnessed his resurrection. Now, Jesus had told them to travel back to where their story had started in Galilee - to go back to their roots. In that familiar landscape, they again encounter the Risen Jesus - but are still unsure how to react or how they should relate to him. Their friend and rabbi still seems like Jesus - but they sense something more powerful in him. The human Jesus that they have known and loved now reveals his place in the life of God - his divine nature in which all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him.
Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus has opened the way for humanity to take its place in that life - through baptism every human person can enter into the life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Because most of us are baptised as babies, we often miss the significance of our baptism. It is a joyful occasion where families gather to celebrate and name the baby - to recognise it as a new and unique individual.
Every culture on earth recognises the importance of such a moment in the life of a child. However, as Christians, we add a new dimension. The name identifies the individuality of the child - but the sacrament initiates the child into the life of a series of communities. The first and, at this stage, most significant, is the child’s family. The parish welcomes the new member of their worshipping community - and the wider Church receives the new Christian into a world-wide family. But even beyond that, baptism initiates the person into the very life of God: he or she becomes a disciple and friend of Jesus - a child of God - and a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Rather like the disciples encountering Jesus, we have to look at our own baptism and that of others differently. Yes, we remain fully human - but through baptism, we carry the seeds of a new divine life which will find its fulfilment after death when we enter eternity. It is a gift which gives life a new purpose: where we are God is and in the graces of our baptism, we have been commissioned to sanctify the world - at least our own little bit of it!
What does it mean for me?
© 2006 Wellspring