The Commissioning of the Disciples – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

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Lesson Overview

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus commissions His disciples to baptize the world in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, Jesus fully reveals the Holy Trinity to us. In this lesson, students will reflect on the meaning of the Trinity using sacred art.

Lesson Materials

Directions

  1. Read the Gospel passage aloud to your students as they follow along. Then discuss the focus questions with them as a class.
  2. Lead your students in a discussion about the painting Holy Trinity by Hendrick van Balen using the questions below:
    • What do you first notice about this painting? Why? Accept reasoned answers.
    • Where is Jesus in this painting? On the left side.
    • Where is the Father in this painting? On the right side.
    • Where is the Holy Spirit in this painting? In the top center (as a dove with rays of light surrounding Him.)
    • What is Jesus holding? What do you think this represents? A flag of victory, representing His victory over sin and death.
    • What is the Father holding? What do you think this represents? A scepter, representing His authority over all things. Kings hold scepters. God is king of the universe.
    • What are Jesus and the Father standing on? What do you think this represents? They are standing on a globe, or the earth. This represents their shared authority over all of creation.
    • What do you notice about Jesus’ hands and feet? Why do you think the artist chose to paint Jesus in this way? Jesus’ hands and feet bear the wounds of His crucifixion. The artist likely chose to paint Jesus in this way to show that Jesus ascended bodily into Heaven, where He sits in His glorified body at the Father’s right hand.
    • Do you think this is a good artistic representation of the Trinity? Why or why not? Accept reasoned answers.
    • If you could change on thing about the painting to make it better, what would it be? Why? Accept reasoned answers.
    • If you could ask the artist one question about this painting, what would it be? Accept reasoned answers.

Answer Key

Focus Questions

  1. They worship Him.
  2. All power in heaven and on earth.
  3. Make disciples.
  4. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
  5. All that He has commanded them. 
  6. Always (to the end of the age.)

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