From the very beginning of our lives as Christians, we are sealed in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Without it, a baptism doesn’t take place. It signifies the extraordinary importance the Church places on this singular belief, this one great dogma: one God, in three Persons.
That is one of the reasons we celebrate this glorious feast, one week after Pentecost. You may have noticed that the words in the second reading are very familiar. From that letter we get the words the priest uses at the beginning of Mass. He invokes the Trinity in a beautiful and meaningful way; Christ’s grace, God’s love, the Holy Spirit’s fellowship. He offers it to us, and we proclaim it back to him.
But that’s not the first time we have mentioned the Trinity at this Mass. We invoked the Holy Name of God in a way that most of us probably take for granted, and hardly think about. We do it so often. Of course, I am talking about when all of us made the sign of the cross in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s not just a gesture that we use to punctuate prayer. It’s not just a sign of our Catholicity. It is meant to be a re-statement of our baptism.
These same words were said over each of us as water was poured over our heads which made us members of the Body of Christ. Those words we speak again, and in effect, re-Christen ourselves. We brand ourselves with God in His Three Persons. And whatever we do or say after is in the Name of the Father…and the Son…and the Holy Spirit.
We become icons or images of the Blessed Trinity which is an incredible gift as well as an incredible responsibility. Just think of what that simple gesture means. We touch our heads for the Father; the One whose mere idea, whose smallest thought, created us. This is where we began, in the mind of God. We touch our hearts for the Son; the One whose unceasing love took Him to the cross, and the one who taught us also, how to love through His own Sacred Heart. We touch our shoulders for the Holy Spirit; the One who gives us strength, and who carries us on His shoulders, on His wings if you will, and who enables us to be God’s arms, working on earth.
When we make the sign of the cross, and pray the sign of the cross with those words, we make of ourselves an offering, and a prayer. We embody what the Trinity represents. And we seek to bring that with our lives, our words and with our actions to all those we meet. We do it in the Name of God – all that He is, all that He does.
Near the end of a baptism ritual, there is a beautiful moment when the parents and godparents receive a lit candle. The priest or deacon says to them “Receive the light of Christ.” Let us pray to always be drawn to it, to live in that light, and to always strive to give it to others; in the Name of the one God in three Persons … in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.