Commentary on the Gospel: The Holy Trinity

Gospel for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Cycle B), and commentary.

Opus Dei - Commentary on the Gospel: The Holy Trinity



Gospel (Mt 28:16-20)

Now 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, 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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”


Commentary

Today, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church in her liturgy proclaims the final verses in Saint Matthew’s gospel. In this brief passage we find the divine mandate to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit” (vv. 19-20).

As Saint Josemaria said: “the Blessed Trinity has fallen in love with mankind … and has redeemed us from sin and desires ardently to dwell in our soul.”[1] Jesus sends out his disciples to evangelize and baptize, in the name of the Three Divine Persons, who want to make their “dwelling place” (cf. Jn 14:23) in every heart that freely opens up its doors (cf. Rev 3:20)

To encourage us to carry out this mandate, Jesus reminds us that he has received all “authority in heaven and on earth” (v. 18). In biblical language this is meant to express the whole of created reality. Jesus is all-powerful in all places, visible and invisible. His strength and power reach every corner and sector of the world, and all human hearts.

This truth about Christ’s ultimate triumph needs to penetrate more deeply into our souls, to the point of filling us with the great confidence and security the saints enjoyed. Although it may sometimes seem that evil spreads easily and without remedy, God continues working effectively in all men and women and awaits our free cooperation in redeeming and changing them.

With this clear declaration that “all authority has been given to me,” Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecies, particularly in the Book of Daniel, according to which the Son of Man will receive power, honor and dominion, and all peoples, nations and tongues will serve him (cf. Dan 7:14 ff.).

But God’s power does not seek to overwhelm our human littleness and subject us to a servile submission, to annul our freedom. Many people have this mistaken view and therefore refuse to accept God in their life. On the contrary, our Lord’s victory over sin and death exalts human beings, and enables us to draw close to him with love and trust, as his children and temples of his divine presence.

Jesus’ victory is so great that he “dares” to entrust to his disciples the immense task of illuminating the whole world with the truth of the Gospel and the grace of Baptism, teaching all peoples what the Son of God had taught them.

Jesus also makes a promise that fills us with security: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (v. 20). Pope Francis said: “Alone, without Jesus, we can’t do anything! In apostolic work our strength is not enough, or our means, our structures, even when necessary. Without the presence of our Lord and the strength of his Spirit, our work, even if well organized, is ineffective. And next to Jesus, Mary accompanies us, our Mother. She is already in the Father’s house, and is Queen of Heaven as we call upon her now. Like Jesus she travels with us and is the Mother of our hope.”[2]



[1] Saint Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, no. 84.

[2] Pope Francis, Regina Coeli, 1 June 2014.