The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
BAPTIZED IN THE TRINITY
By Emily VanBerkum
Lately, I have been reflecting on my participation in our parish’s baptismal preparation program and what a great joy it is for me to meet parents that desire baptism for their children. Our program has changed a little in the past few months, so that it focuses on a spirit of discipleship that is rooted in the most Holy Trinity: “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”
At St Basil’s, our baptismal classes are held on the last Saturday of every month. With at least three families present, myself and another catechist explain that all Christians are baptized in the name of the Trinity. To become consecrated to God and empowered with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are anointed with oil as a recollection of how Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King. This means that in baptism, we take on a threefold priestly, prophetic, and kingly mission.
Ordained priests fulfill many roles. They teach, preach, counsel, and significantly, they offer the sacrifice of the Mass on behalf of the community. Yet, Jesus himself did not wear a roman collar as we know it today. He welcomed the lame, poor, and downtrodden into his inner circle of disciples. He sacrificed his time, energy, and ultimately life, in an outpouring of compassion and love. Although it may not be our vocation to join religious life, we too are called to follow Christ’s model as the perfect sacrifice, and make sacrifices in our own lives. Sometimes we make joyful sacrifices for family, friends, spouses, partners, or our children, and other times these sacrifices are more difficult.
In fulfillment of our prophetic mission, we are meant to be counter-cultural. A prophet serves as God’s mouthpiece by calling people to conversion. How are we called to conversion and renewal in our lives? How does this conversion deepen our relationship with Christ? How do we acknowledge the presence of the Trinity at work in our world today?
As for our kingly role, we are called to serve others. Often times, we refer to Christ as a King. But instead of a gold, bejeweled crown, Christ wore a crown of thorns. Christ the great Messiah was born in a humble stable because his Kingdom was not of this world. So too are we asked to humble ourselves before God and model Christ’s service to those most in need. How do we serve people in our families, workplaces, schools, and parish community?
Therefore, by virtue of our baptism as Priest, Prophet, and King, we too are called to “go out and make disciples of all nations.” We create disciples by becoming a witness to the inner workings of the Trinity when we make sacrifices, act counter-culturally, and serve others.
The Trinity is our most profound mystery. By being consecrated to God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and made participants in Christ’s threefold mission, baptism becomes our way of entering into this great mystery of the Trinity. This is why I find it very rewarding to share this mystery with parents who want their children to become disciples of Christ. By the end of our time together, it is my hope that these parents realize that the Trinity is not an abstract construct, but a dynamic, living reality that is distinctly present in their family’s faith journey as every member strives to live out their priestly, prophetic, and kingly baptismal calling. I wish you all a blessed Trinity Sunday!
Readings: Deuteronomy 4.32-34, 39-40, Romans 8:14-17, Matthew 28:16-20