Periodically, bodies ask me, “What is your admired allotment of actuality a deacon?” Well, first, I think, is preaching. I’m advantageous to accept a lot of opportunities to do that here.
But my additional admired affair is baptisms.
There is a babyish blooming book that priests and deacons use for the rite of baptism. It has aggregate spelled out in there, all the readings and prayers. On the aftermost folio of my own copy, I accept accounting “Margaret Flanagan, July 1, 2007.” That was the aboriginal babyish I anytime baptized. A little Irish girl. I don’t apperceive why, but Irish women accumulate appearance my life. I affiliated one, and then, miraculously, for my aboriginal baptism, I baptized one. Little Margaret, I should add, was actual able-bodied behaved.
She didn’t cry. I was bawling. But she was actual calm and quiet.
Baptisms are about blissful occasions. It’s a day of amazing achievability and achievement – alike added so, I think, than weddings. At a wedding, added generally than not, it’s all about the dress and the cake. But at a baptism, it’s all about the baby. A new activity actuality accustomed into God’s church.
And there is article actual particular, actual specific, about the ablution ritual. It is in the words that are spoken. We alarm it the Trinitarian Formula. Which is: I admit you in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s not advised a accurate ablution unless those words are used. Back bodies appear to us for RCIA and appetite to convert, one of the aboriginal things we charge to analysis is if that being was baptized, and how. If those words were not a allotment of the ritual, the Catholic Abbey does not admit those baptisms.
On this Trinity Sunday, if you appetite a admonition of how important the Trinity is, THAT is it. From the actual alpha of our lives as Christians, we are closed in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Without it, it doesn’t count. It signifies the amazing accent the Abbey places on this atypical belief, this one abundant dogma: one God, in three persons.
It all comes bottomward to Trinity.
That is one of the affidavit we bless this august feast, one anniversary afterwards Pentecost – the Trinity has been appear to a cat-and-mouse world, Father, Son and Spirit, and we mark this abundant gift.
You may accept noticed that the words in the additional account are actual familiar. From that letter we get the words the priest uses at the alpha of Mass. He invokes the Trinity in a admirable and allusive way – Christ’s grace, God’s love, the Holy Spirit’s fellowship. He offers it to us, and we affirm it aback to him.
But that’s not the aboriginal time we accept mentioned the Trinity at this Mass. This morning, it began with article that best of us apparently booty for granted, and hardly anticipate about. We do it so often.
It’s the assurance of the cross.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
It’s not aloof a action that we use to accent prayer. It’s not aloof a assurance of our Catholicity.
It is a re-statement of our baptism.
The words I said over little Margaret Flanagan…the words a priest said over anniversary of us as baptize was caked over our heads…the aboriginal words that fabricated us associates of the Body of Christ. Those words we allege again, and in effect, re-Christen ourselves. We cast ourselves with God in His three persons. And whatever we do or say afterwards is in the name of the father…and the son…and the Holy Spirit.
We become icons of the Blessed Trinity.
What an absurd gift.
What an absurd responsibility.
Just anticipate of what that simple action means.
We blow our active for the Father – the one whose bald idea, whose aboriginal thought, created us. This is area we began, in the apperception of God.
We blow our hearts for the Son – the one whose amaranthine adulation took him to the cross, and the one who accomplished us, as well, how to adulation through his own Sacred Heart.
We blow our amateur for the Holy Spirit – the one who gives us strength, and who carries us on His amateur — on His wings if you will – and who enables us to be God’s arms, alive on earth.
When we accomplish the assurance of the cross, and adjure the assurance of the cantankerous with those words, we accomplish of ourselves an offering, and a prayer. We actualize what the Trinity represents. And we seek to accompany that with our lives and with our accomplishments to all those we meet. We do it in the name of God – all that He is, all that He does.
We do it in the name of the Trinity.
Near the end of the ablution ritual, there is a admirable moment back the parents accept a lit candle. The priest or affect says to them “Receive the ablaze of Christ.” Thinking about that moment, I’m reminded this Sunday of article the abundant Anglican preacher John Wesley already said about the Trinity. He explained it this way: as three candles, giving off one light.
Let us adjure to alive in that ablaze – to consistently be fatigued to it, and to consistently strive to accord it to others. In the name of the one God in three bodies …in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Originally preached on Trinity Sunday, May 17, 2008.