Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”
The words spoken by Jesus to the Apostles as he sent them into the world were invoked at our baptism. We were baptised in the names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A name can be little more than a convenient identification, but at times it is a great deal more. The names of those we love are taken to heart, form a bond and express a relationship with the person named. Such is the significance of our baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In faith, we do more than simply acknowledge the Trinity as the three persons in one God. We confess that what we are, and all that we hope to become, is the work of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our lives become a deepening and personal relationship with each person of the Trinity.
We confess that the Father, the Creator, has called us into life. He was with us as we were being formed in the womb. He knows our trials and tribulations, healing our brokenness with a Father’s love.
Such was the faith of Moses. He acknowledged God as a Father who had called his people into being, who had delivered them from bondage, and had established an enduring relationship with his people. “Understand this today, and take it to heart. The Lord is God indeed. Keep his laws as I give them to you today so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that the Lord your God gives you.”
St Paul proclaimed Christ as the revelation of the Father’s love. He spoke of a Father who had loved us before the foundation of the world. In Christ Jesus he had claimed us as his own, calling us to live through love in his presence.
We cannot, of ourselves, love as the Father has loved us. It is the Holy Spirit that brings us to the Father, makes us one with Christ, enabling us to become the children of God. “The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are the children of God: heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his suffering so as to share his glory.”
This article first appeared in the latest edition of the Catholic Herald magazine (29/5/15).
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