Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle B

Sunday, May 27, 2018


This Sunday’s Readings


First Reading

Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40
Moses teaches the people that Yahweh is the only God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 33:4-5,6,9,18-19,20,22
A prayer for the Lord’s mercy

Second Reading
Romans 8:14-17
Through the Spirit, we have been adopted as children of God.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus sends his disciples to make disciples of all nations.

Background on the Gospel Reading

This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next Sunday, however, are designated as solemnities, special days that call our attention to the central mysteries of our faith. Today, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast invites us to consider what we believe about God, who has revealed himself to us in the Trinity, one God in three Persons.The Gospel for this Solemnity is taken from the Gospel of Matthew. In its conclusion, Matthew’s Gospel quickly moves from the disciples’ discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb and Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to the commission that Jesus gives to his disciples in today’s Gospel.

The final commission, as this part of Matthew’s Gospel is sometimes called, is given on the mountaintop. Throughout Scripture, many of the most important events happen on a mountaintop, and Matthew used this motif often. Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured on the mountaintop, and Jesus taught the crowds from the mountaintop in the Sermon on the Mount. In today’s Gospel, the eleven disciples go the mountaintop in Galilee, as Jesus had instructed them through Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They see Jesus, and they worship and doubt at the same time. Jesus approaches them and commissions them to baptize and teach. It is a task for which Jesus had previously prepared his disciples; recall that Jesus had already sent the twelve apostles to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal. Yet earlier, the Twelve were sent only to the House of Israel; in this final commission, the eleven are told to go to all nations. The mission of Jesus is now to be taken to all people, and the task is to baptize and to teach.

Jesus commissions his disciples to baptize in the name of the Trinity; this is one of the clearest attestations for Baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity found in Scripture. Other New Testament references to Baptism describe it as being celebrated in the name of Jesus. As we read this Gospel on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we are reminded that this central mystery of faith is meant to be lived. As baptized Christians, we share in the life of the blessed Trinity and seek to invite others to share in God’s love. 


Gospel Reading
Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus sends his disciples to make disciples of all nations.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Young children like to share important news with other people. When Jesus left his disciples and ascended into heaven, he shared with them the power to make disciples of all nations through Baptism.

Materials Needed

  • combination lock

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Bring a combination lock to class. Open the lock without disclosing the combination to the children. Say: I have the power to open this lock because I know the combination.

  2. Ask for a volunteer to try to open the lock. After a few attempts, whisper the combination to the child. Say: Now you have the ability to open the lock. In our Gospel reading today, Jesus reminds his disciples that he has all authority over heaven and earth. He has the power to allow anyone who believes in him to enter heaven.

  3. Read aloud today’s Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20.

  4. Ask: What did Jesus tell his disciples to do in this Gospel? (He told them to teach and to make disciples of all nations; he told them to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.) Did this remind you of anything when you heard me read this? (the Sign of the Cross) Whenever we make the Sign of the Cross, we remind ourselves that we became children of God at our Baptism.

  5. Say: In today’s Gospel, Jesus gave his disciples the power to baptize people everywhere in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus also told his disciples to pass along the power by teaching others what he had taught them.

  6. Ask the child who volunteered to open the lock to pass on to someone else in the class the power to open the lock by telling him or her the combination.

  7. Conclude by praying together that we will remember that we also have been given the power to teach others about Jesus through our Baptism. Pray together the Glory Be to the Father.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus sends his disciples to make disciples of all nations.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Older children recognize that symbols and signs are used to indicate affiliation with a team or other group. As Christians we identify ourselves with the Sign of the Cross, which was first traced on our foreheads at our Baptism when we became children of God, sharing in the life of the blessed Trinity.

Materials Needed

  • examples of team mascots or team emblems/logos
  • a cross

 Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Bring to your session some examples of team mascots or team emblems/logos. Show these items to the group and invite them to identify the sports team represented. Finally, show them a cross. Ask them what group is identified by the cross.

  2. Say: As Christians, we claim the cross of Jesus as a mark of our identity. In fact, there is something we do as Catholics when we gather to pray that also shows our identity as Christians. What do we do? (make the Sign of the Cross) What words do we say as we make the Sign of the Cross? (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.)

  3. Say: When we make the Sign of the Cross, we name ourselves Christians by saying the name of God, who is three Persons in one—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Does anyone know what we call this teaching of our faith? (the Trinity) This Sunday is called the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and on this day we remember that God has revealed himself to us in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  4. Say: Our Gospel for today reminds us of our Baptism, the first time that we were marked with the Sign of the Cross. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel.

  5. Invite one or more volunteers to read aloud today’s Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20.

  6. Ask: In today’s Gospel, what does Jesus tell his disciples to do? (teach all nations about Jesus and baptize in the name of the Trinity) The Church today continues to teach all people about Jesus and to baptize in the name of the Trinity. When we were baptized, the priest, our parents, and our godparents traced a cross on our foreheads. The priest also spoke the name of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—as we were baptized with water. These signs remind us that through our Baptism, we share in the life of the blessed Trinity.

  7. Conclude in prayer together that we will remember that we also have been given the power to teach others about Jesus through our Baptism. Conclude by praying together the Glory Be to the Father.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus sends his disciples to make disciples of all nations.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

When we make the Sign of the Cross, we name ourselves Christians as we pray the name of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Sign of the Cross is also a symbol of the mission we received at Baptism to teach all people about Jesus. 

Materials Needed

  • Symbols associated with different professions (for example, apple for teachers, scales of justice for lawyers and judges, caduceus for the medical profession)
  • Cross

 Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. One at a time, show the symbols associated with various professions.  Challenge the young people to identify the occupation represented and to name the mission shared by those in this profession (for example, teachers: to educate; lawyers and judges: to seek justice; medical professionals: to heal).

  2. Say: As Christians, we also have a symbol of our identity and mission. Show a cross. When we pray the Sign of the Cross, we name ourselves Christians by saying the name of God, who is three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Does anyone know what we call this teaching of our faith? (the Trinity) When was the first time that we were marked with the Sign of the Cross? (at our Baptism)

  3. Say: This Sunday is called the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and on this day, we remember that God has revealed himself to us in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel.

  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 28:16–20.

  5. Ask: What does Jesus tell his disciples to do? (teach all nations about Jesus and baptize in the name of the Trinity)

  6. Say: Today the Church continues to teach all people about Jesus and baptize in the name of the Trinity. When we were baptized, the priest, our parents, and our godparents traced a cross on our foreheads, and the priest spoke the name of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This sign reminds us that through our Baptism, we share both in the life of the Blessed Trinity and in the Church’s mission to teach all people about Jesus.

  7. Conclude in prayer, asking that we remember that we also have been given the power to teach others about Jesus. Pray together the Glory Be to the Father or the psalm for this Sunday, Psalm 33.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus sends his disciples to make disciples of all nations.


Family Connection

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity invites us to remember that God has revealed himself to us as one God in three Persons. As Jesus departed from his disciples, he shared with them the power to make disciples of all nations. He taught his disciples to invite others to share in the life of the blessed Trinity by sharing with others the gift of Baptism. This continues to be the mission of the Church. Each of us who has been baptized shares in the life of the blessed Trinity and also shares in the Church’s mission of inviting others to share in God’s love.

As you gather as a family, bring out pictures and other mementos of family celebrations of the Sacrament of Baptism. Talk about the significance of Baptism with your family. Read together today’s Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20. Notice that Jesus taught his disciples to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. What else does this remind you of? (the Sign of the Cross) Recall that whenever we pray the Sign of the Cross, we are reminding ourselves that we are united with God through our Baptism and share in the life of the blessed Trinity. Conclude by thanking God for sharing his life with us. Pray together the Glory Be to the Father.