|Feast of the Most Holy Trinity|
Every Sunday is dedicated to the worship of the Triune God, and is called accordingly the Lord's day; but the first Sunday after Pentecost is appointed by the Church a special feast of the Most Holy Trinity, because this mystery, as the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, began at once to be preached by the apostles, as soon as they had been enlightened and strengthened by the descent of the Holy Ghost.
What thoughts and affections should occupy our minds on this feast?
Although the mystery of the Trinity is incomprehensible to us, we must consider:
1. That God would cease to be God, if our limited understanding were capable of penetrating the substance of His nature.
2. The mystery of the Blessed Trinity, though incomprehensible to our intellect, is yet not without fruit in our hearts. The records of revelation show us God the Father as our Creator, God the Son as our Redeemer, God the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier; and should not this move us to a child-like gratitude towards the blessed Trinity?
he Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans, xi. 33-36. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made Him? For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory forever. Amen.
The ground of St. Paul's admiration in this epistle is the unfathomable wisdom and love of God, by which He permitted the Jews and heathen to fall into unbelief, that He might have mercy on all, and make all perceive that they were justified, not through their merits, but only through His grace. But the Church makes use of these words to express her reverent admiration for the greatness of the mystery of the all Holy Trinity. Though we can neither measure nor comprehend this mystery, yet no man of sound reason will hesitate to believe it, if he considers that it is most plainly revealed by God; that as God, the Infinite, cannot be comprehended by the spirit of man, so also He can reveal more than we can understand; and that, finally, there are many things in man himself, and in nature, which we acknowledge as true, but cannot comprehend. Besides, does not our holy religion assure us, that one day we shall behold face to face the Infinite Whose image is now reflected dimly in the mirror of nature? Let us add hope, therefore, to our faith, and if true and sincere love be based upon these two, our understanding and heart will have abundant consolation in regard to this great mystery.
he Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to St. Matthew, xxviii. 18-20. At that time Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth; going therefore teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
Is Baptism a sacrament?
Yes, for by it we receive the grace of God, through an outward sign instituted by Christ.
What is the outward sign?
Pouring water on the head of the person to be baptized and pronouncing at the same time the words: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
What is the effect of the grace of Baptism?
Through water and the Holy Ghost, the baptized person is cleansed from original sin, and from all actual sins, if he has committed such; is spiritually new-born, and made a child of God and joint-heir with Christ (John iii. 6; Rom. viii. 17).
What is the use of sponsors?
1. In the name of the child, they express the desire to be baptized, and make the profession of faith, together with the promise to live according to the doctrine of Christ. 2. In case the parents should die, or neglect their duty, the god-parents may provide for the instruction of the children. 3. They are witnesses that such a person has been baptized.