Three Equals One

It is a scene that I have witnessed countless times in my brief time as a deacon. The parents present their beautiful child for baptism. The infant, dressed in a pristine white gown, is about to encounter the Trinity in a unique and beautiful way. I trace the sign of the cross on the baby’s forehead and invite the parents to do the same. This rite of baptism culminates in the pouring of water over the baby’s head, as I baptize this child in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity dwells within us. We live this mystery every day of our earthly lives. In John, chapter 14, Jesus tells his disciples, “The Father and I are one.” He speaks about sending “another Counselor,” the Holy Spirit, who will speak to their hearts. God continually reveals Himself to us as one God, who exists in three distinct persons.

I remember sitting on my deck one beautiful summer evening a few years ago. We have a lovely pond just beyond our back fence, and occasionally we see some of God’s creation in the form of ducks or deer feeding near the pond. On this particular evening, I looked down and saw three deer standing together, taking a drink from the pond. This was indeed a sign of the Trinity! I gazed in wonder for a few moments before they spotted me and dashed away. I was reminded, in that moment, that God is Father, Son and Spirit. I felt privileged to witness this “trinity of wildlife” in my own backyard.

This weekend, we celebrate the Trinity. We are constantly invoking the Trinity in the many practices of our Catholic faith such as in the Mass, when we sign ourselves in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The priest greets us with an invocation taken directly from scripture, “May the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.”

Our gospel for this Trinity Sunday is taken from the final lines of the last chapter of Matthew’s gospel. We read that the disciples worshipped Jesus, but they still doubted. Jesus says these words:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Jesus called his disciples to go out and bring people into this communion of love, called the Trinity. He reminded them that he would never leave them. Do you and I believe what Jesus said?

Our life in Christ is intimately connected to our baptism. The reality is that something special happened on that day. We became sons and daughters of a loving God, who made a way for the sin of our first parents to be wiped away. We were set free from original sin, welcomed into God’s family and given the gifts of the Holy Spirit to guide us on our earthly journey. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit took hold of us on that important day. God never lets go of us! As disciples, we are called to bring others to Christ. Our daily encounters may bring us more often into the presence of those who have strayed from the faith, as opposed to those who have never heard the Good News. Regardless, the grace of our baptism equips us to enter into our call to be disciples. We never know when or under what circumstances we will be called to testify to our faith, so we should always be prepared!

God is all around us. He is present in our hearts, in the sacraments and in the created world. Today, we recall the great mystery of God as a Trinity of persons united in love. Each of us is united to heaven by the indwelling of the Holy Trinity. We are enfolded in a three-fold bond of love that surrounds us throughout our earthly life.

Today as you dip your finger in the holy water or pray grace at a meal, remember the Trinity of love that is God!

In the love of the Trinity,

Deacon Tim

 

 

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