THE SIGN OF THE CROSS IS MORE THAN A ROUTINE PROCEDURE TO BEGIN AND END A PRAYER
A biblical reflection on TRINITY SUNDAY – 30 May 2021)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40; Psalms: Psalm 33:4-6,9,18-19,20,22, Second Reading: Romans 8:14-17
The Scripture Text
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt 28:16-20)
The Sign of the Cross is more than a routine procedure to begin and end a prayer. It is a prayer; a very profound one. This visible sign is a powerful profession of our faith in the existence of the Holy Trinity. In fact it is a mini-liturgy, doing and saying something that is distinctively religious.
One of the ways to augment today’s celebration of the Feast of the Holy Trinity is to concentrate on the reverent use of this sacred sign.
We touch our heads showing our assent of faith, as we pronounce the name of the Father, our divine Creator. It is a dedication of our minds to God. Our fingertips next come to rest at the base of our hearts, symbols of love. We speak the name of the great Lover, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God-Man and Savior. The sign is concluded as the fingers move from one shoulder to the other, signifying eagerness to give our arms and hands to good works under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Finally the hands interlock, showing we are united and single-minded in our efforts. With this conclusive gesture we say “Amen” – so be it.
In the name of the Trinity we were signed in baptism, have had our sins forgiven and received many blessings. Although basic to our faith, the Trinity is not to be understood but professed and admired. Some people, desirous of solving every mystery, overly simplify God and claim to know His intimate nature and thoughts. They “interpret” the Bible avoiding scholarly assistance, which they say only complicates matters. This approach may be attractive but is not honest, for God is not simple, nor is religion.
We believe God is one nature but three persons, but the full meaning of those words is far beyond our poor comprehension. However, the Trinity is a unique model and sign of harmonious unity – a unity God expects to see in the daily lives of His children.
Every blessing of the Church flows from the Trinity, traced out through the Sign of the Cross. Under that sign we sealed our wedding vows, and that same familiar sign will bid us safe passage to the eternal Kingdom. May the Trinity Sunday inspire each and everyone of us to manifest faith with our minds, love with our hearts, service with our hands, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Jakarta, 29 May 2021
A Christian Pilgrim