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The Most Holy Trinity

Once I was at a meeting with representatives of various religions. On a coffee break, a man from another religion mused to me: “You know, with all our differences, all religions are really about being good people.” I lowered my cappuccino and said as warmly as I could, “That’s not what mine’s about.” His quizzical look begged for clarification. “Mine is about plunging into the life of God,” I said.

Just before Jesus ascends into heaven, he commands the eleven apostles, “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 behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20). The word “baptize” means “to immerse in, to plunge into.” It presupposes the use of water. But what does it mean to be immersed in God’s name? In the Bible, God’s name is identical to God Himself. So, to be baptized into water, using Jesus’ formula, is to be plunged into the life of God. Said another way, it is to die with Jesus and rise with him as a member of his body.

The Trinity isn’t a doctrine simply to accept and ponder. It’s more like an ocean: a mystery into which we are baptized … inserted, immersed, dunked, plunged. Baptism gives us power to live our lives as beloved children of God, patterned after Jesus himself, who is always with us, until the end of the ages. Hardly the same as being good people. Stranger, but much better.

— Father John Muir ©LPi


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