Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Trinity, Baptism, and Eternal Life

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 2015:

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 2015

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
May 31, 2015

Today is Trinity Sunday, a Solemnity we celebrate throughout the Catholic world.

Our challenge is to try to put form to the idea of three persons in one God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are taught that the Father is the Creator, and at the Word of the Father we have His only Son, with the Love of the Father and Son we have the Holy Spirit. We are also taught that the three persons of God are One. By the way, if you can figure this all out give me a call cause I want to know.

Quite a number of years ago even before I was ordained I either read or heard of a hypothesis that makes sense. And have meditated much on this idea since. It goes something like this.

God, who created all things and has given each of us a body, whether that body is human, an animal's or even plant's. That gives us a good start, at the bottom of the Trinitarian ladder. This idea goes on to claim that each of us whether human, animal or plant are gifted with a soul. Now we might shudder a little bit but hear me out. By this hypothesis the soul gives form and animates the body. Here is where there becomes a distinction between humans and the rest of God's creation. For in order for us to hold to the idea of eternal life there has to be an intimate relationship with the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, that is the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that gives life to the soul.

To clarify: every living thing on earth that has been created by Almighty God will completely return to dust, except the soul of man that has been gifted of the Holy Spirit. The final gift of the Holy Spirit given to man then is the restoration of his body at the end of the world.

I'm sure some of you already thinking, there is something missing? And you are right! The missing factor here is Baptism. In order to give eternal life to the soul one must be Baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Sacrament of Baptism fills out this hypothesis that could easily be summed up again as: the body created by God is animated by the soul which is given life by the Holy Spirit.

A point to be made about baptism: when we are baptized we are made sons and daughters of the Father with the same hereditary right of his firstborn Son. The point here is to understand that this is our right, given by the sacrament, the right to everything that belongs to the son now belongs to the new baptized. That is Eternal Life. And of course it's good to remind the adult that it is sin that destroys this beautiful gift granted at baptism and can be restored by a good confession.

To my way of seeing things this completes the Trinitarian comparison between God's creation of man and his own Trinitarian life.

I'm not trying to tell you that this is the only way to look at our relationship with the Trinity but I think it's certainly worth our meditation!

So you all be Good, be Holy, preached the Gospel using Words and Holy Actions.

'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.

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