As Catholics the Sign of the Cross is engrained in our lives, we start and finish our prayers using it, we may use it as we pass a Church building or see an ambulance pass by, it starts and finishes our highest of prayers, the Mass. Using the Sign of the Cross is not superstition, it is confirmation that the Apostles and those who have followed in Apostolic Succession have obeyed Jesus by baptising throughout all the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is confirmation that the Cross; which the Romans used as a sign of shame, cruel punishment and death; has been elevated to a sign of salvation by the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus.
Through our Baptism we have become adopted sons and daughters of God, we are permitted, like Jesus, to call God our Father and through our Baptism the Holy Spirit lives in us and acts through us. How do we know this? We know this because Jesus told us in today’s Gospel that He will be with us until the end of time.
Today’s readings give an insight into the Trinity. In Deuteronomy we hear how God, the Creator, singled out one group of people and bestowed His favour upon them; rescuing them from slavery and actively interjecting in their lives. This tells us that there was to be a relationship between God and this people. In his letter to the Romans St Paul emphasises how Jesus changed that relationship to a far more intimate relationship; being allowed to call God ‘Abba’ which is a similar word to ‘Daddy’ and as I mentioned earlier, the Apostles were instructed to expand that intimate relationship from a chosen people to all nations. Thanks to Jesus and the Apostles who obeyed Him, people in every nation have the right to call God our Father.
The Gospel used yesterday (Saturday week 8; Gospel – Mark 11:27-33) has the chief priest, scribes and elders asking Jesus whose authority was He under? Jesus asked them a simple question relating to John the Baptist, which they deliberated on and refused to answer because it would show them up as being unworthy for their office. Therefore, Jesus refused to tell them under whose authority He was. In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives the answer, when He said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, then and make disciples of all the nations”. As Bishop Robert Barron has said, “this is not an ordinary prophet speaking. This is the very Word of the Father, the exact replica of the Father’s being.”1
As I said earlier, we use the Sign of the Cross so often in our everyday life. Do we ever stop to think about what it means? When we use the words; “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen”; we are uniting ourselves with the Holy Trinity; we are identifying ourselves as followers of God; three persons in One God. We are calling God Our Father, we are calling Jesus our Brother and acknowledging that the Spirit which guided Jesus through His life on earth also guides us during our life on earth. This same Spirit, which Jesus gave to us, inspires us, drives us, prompts us, this Spirit is an outpouring of grace from God Our Father, to guide us home to our place in His Eternal Kingdom. Do we allow the Spirit to guide us? Do we listen to and act on his inspiration?
The feast today helps us to acknowledge both the immensity of God; who made everything; and that He allows us to have an intimate permanent relationship with Him when we follow His commandments; to love God and love our neighbour.
Please keep in your prayers
- The 4 children being Baptised in Holy Ghost Church this weekend.
- Those starting the Belong and Believe course this Monday. (not too late to sign up see Upcoming Events (stmandsto.org.uk) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
- Those attending the RCIA Course on Wednesday.
- Those preparing for ordination to the Priesthood and Permanent Diaconate.
- The Year of the Eucharist, which starts next Sunday.
- Those who have been unable to receive the Eucharist during the pandemic.
29th May 2021
1 Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire Daily reflections, Feast of the Holy Trinity 2018.