SALFORD DIOCESE OFFICE FOR LITURGY

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The Most Holy Trinity (B)

When the Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, it is an attempt to sum­marise the whole mystery of our God into one day. This is not just a "theological feast" ` but a feast which should speak to us of this simple fact of faith: the Father loves us, has revealed that love in his Son, and has called into a relationship sustained by the Spirit. It is our joy that, as baptised members of the Church, we can somehow share in that divine life and love which is the Trinity~ becoming children of God. God has chosen us, and we are his own people, just as he chose the people of Israel long ago. The mystery of the Trinity is not meant to make this more difficult ‑ on the contrary it is to clarify and summarise all that our faith is about: that we are children ‑ with the Son, in the power of the Spirit ‑ of the one Father.

Notes for Readers

First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32‑40.

Although the Lord freed his people from slavery in Egypt, they still needed constant reminding of what this meant: here we see Moses in full spate, putting before the people the drama of what God did for his own people. As we listen to this today, we proclaim that this God is our God, who has chosen us. The first paragraph is a lengthy rhetorical question ‑ a device used to en­gage the listeners and make them think. It builds up hugely to the beginning of the second paragraph, and the central declara­tion of today's readings: “The Lord is God indeed ... he and no other.” This is what the reader should aim for. Start off gently, but insistently. Pause briefly after each question, to allow it to “settle in”. Allow the more dramatic words their full weight, without going over the top. Especially use the list half way down: “…by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome ter­rors…” Find a tone of utter confidence for the central declaration, and then almost fade away slightly. Above all, proclaim this reading with confidence.

 

Second Reading: Romans 8:1447.

This is a very dense little exposition of Trinitarian theology ‑ but don’t let that put you off! Given the feast we celebrate today, focus in your mind on three words: "Spirit", "Father" and "Christ". Read through this short passage with your mind fixed on those words, and see Paul's mean­ing coming out clearly. He is talking about a relationship which has been established by God, bringing us close as children. Allow the first sentence to stand quite simply and boldly: especially stress “…son of God”. Mentally underline the words “the spirit of sons…”, and think carefully about how to ‘cry out’, “Abba, Father!”. (“Abba” is the Aramaic for Father ‑ it is a very close and familiar term, almost like our “Dad”.) Be careful with the words “heirs”: it's not a familiar word in general conversa­tion and could easily be lost ‑ move slowly and emphatically over it. Watch “coheirs” even more carefully, for the same reason. The last line is full of wonderful promise: be aware that the reading ends on the word "glory", and modulate your voice accordingly