Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson
This past March I had the honor of baptizing my second great nephew, one Benjamin Anthony. One of the great thrills we priests have is to do such things in and for our families. In a happy coincidence, the parents are now members of the parish from which I retired as pastor. So it was memories galore surrounding the event. But as I poured the water on that tiny forehead the present moment was the supreme one. As I did so, I repeated the words of Our Lord recorded in today’s Gospel. They comprise what has since become known as “the Great Commission.”
Those familiar words we all say as we make the sign of the cross were originally Our Lord’s parting words to the Eleven Apostles, and constituted His marching orders, so to speak. What deep mystery is wrapped in Jesus’ use of the singular word “name” applied to three Persons with different names!
Whatever temptation enters a preacher’s mind to explain the Trinity is risky, because it is inexplicable. Analogies have been made, such as St. Patrick’s shamrock, and the modern use of H2O, which remains in the liquid, ice and vapor form. We remain incapable of grasping the inner nature of our Creator, so far beyond our experience as creatures.