“Go…and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus, in today’s Gospel Matthew 28:16-20.
‘Too often the Church has presented the process of a person becoming a Christian as joining the Church and adding Jesus to their team.…. They have gained a heavenly supporters’ club of the Holy Trinity and the angels. This is consumer Christianity but it‘s not discipleship.’ John McGinley in ‘The Church of Tomorrow.’
Today, Trinity Sunday, is the beginning of what is often called Ordinary Time after the great festivals that precede it. It’s a time when Christians celebrate the complex mystery of love at the heart of God, three persons and one God of community and in relationship. This is a God of unity who calls his followers to be in relationship and unified where, often, division or separation prevails when allowed to.
Matthew’s Gospel states that, as the eleven disciples go to the mountain in Galilee as Jesus directed, they worshipped Jesus but some doubted. Perhaps it heartens us to realise that even those who were close to him had difficulty in understanding what was happening, just as we may wrestle with faith today. It may also be a comfort to know that nevertheless, in the words of the Great Commission, Jesus tells those same disciples to go and make disciples using a Trinitarian baptism. Jesus does not choose perfect people but people with imperfect pasts and habits – like you and me.
When this commission happens, Jesus does not tell his followers to make people come to synagogue or go to church – they are to go to make disciples wherever they happen to be. In ordering them to do this, the command is given in the name of God the unseen source of all and reveals Jesus as the missionary God who in turn sends out his followers as witnesses filled with the breath of life that is God the Holy Spirit. Those of us who worship in buildings that may contain the focus of our faith need to remember that love can’t be constrained by them – as well as noting the event in Matthew 28:15. There, the story is told that, after the resurrection, the guards at the tomb were paid off and ordered to say that his disciples had come to steal Jesus’ body during the night. They took the money and kept silent as they were told – with the exception of at least one of them who spoke about this. As a result, ‘This story is still told amongst Jews to this day.’
What if that soldier or the disciples had kept quiet then – and what if we do now, when called to share the good news and be the good news today?
With my prayers; pob bendith,