May 27, 2018
We are viewing spectacular and frightening volcano eruptions on the Island of Hawaii. I remember my experience on top of a volcano on the Island of Maui. In the middle of the night we drove up the mountain to be in place at the top when the sun rises. It was so dark that we didn't realize that we were positioned inside the rim of the volcano. When the first rays of the morning sun pierced the darkness it was breathtaking, awesome, wonderful! It was and is for me an OMG moment on the mountain -- Oh My God!
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, there is an OMG encounter with Jesus, the Risen Lord, on a mountain in Galilee. The 11 disciples are gathered and Jesus appears to them. They see, they worship and they doubt. Jesus imparts power given to him and sends his disciples to "make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit ..."
Jesus is commissioning his disciples to initiate others into the precious life that they enjoy as the community of the Risen One. This "life" is the very life of God. Those who enter into the community of believers are entering into the intimate indwelling life of God. God is one. In the unity of God there is the relationship of three divine persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We use the word "Trinity" to describe the mystery of oneness and community in God. God is creating Father. God is redeeming Son. God is sanctifying Spirit. Human words can never adequately explain the mystery. Ultimately our response must be: silence.
Jesus ends his "commencement" address with the assurance that he will always be with us. "Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the ages." It is the the same angelic message that St. Joseph receives/hears at the beginning of the Gospel: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us." It is only in and through Jesus that we can dare to profess our belief in the Blessed Trinity.