God Shows Us the Way to Life

Jesus Saves

The Eucharist Strengthens Us to Live the Life of Love

“We Are One Body…”

Opening Our Hearts to Receive the Holy Spirit

Living in the Communion of Divine Love

Msgr. Joseph Prior

“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The prayer we use many times throughout the day is simple and basic. It is an invocation calling God to be present among us. It is an announcement, proclaiming God as Trinity. It is a prayer seeking God’s intercession. It is a statement, declaring what we do, we do in His name, under His authority. Along with the accompanied sign of the cross, we use it to begin Mass. We use it to begin every sacrament and celebration of communal prayer. We use it to initiate a period of private prayer. This basic prayer is woven into the fabric of our lives.

The formula comes from Jesus Himself. Before He ascends to the Father, Jesus gives his final instructions to the Church. He gives them a mission. He tells the apostles and disciples to go out and make disciples of all the nations “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The prayer given by Jesus is used for baptism which unites the baptized with Jesus Himself and through Him with the Father and the Spirit. The baptized person is now a child of God and has a share in divine life, eternal life. This is the life of which Saint Paul speaks in today’s second reading from the Letter to the Romans.

Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. In doing so we have the opportunity to reflect on God’s love for us.

The greatness of God can not be fully understood by us His creatures. We know of Him in many ways but ultimately, He chooses to make Himself known in a very personal way. He does this by becoming one of us.

Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, three persons in One God, takes on human nature. He becomes one of us to make known the divine love Who created us, the Father, the first person of the Holy Trinity. He teaches us, by His life and death, how to live the life of love. After His resurrection He sends the Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, to empower us to live the life of love.

“God is love,” Saint John reminds us in his first letter. Love is never isolated. Love exists only in relationships. In reflecting on the Holy Trinity, we find the source and destiny of love, God Himself.

Three persons bound together in perfect union as One. God’s love overflows to us who are created in His image and likeness. We are created to love, to love God and to love one another. In this life of love we are never alone. We are united with Him and with each other in the communion of love.

While He is perfect (complete), we are not so our lives involve a striving, yearning and desire to be with the One who loves and to love one another. It is written, so to speak, in our nature.

We are made by love for love. Saint Augustine beautifully describes this longing in his Confessions. He famously writes, “O God, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Jesus commissions the Church to be the vehicle of divine love. We are to proclaim the Lord and invite others to share in His life of love.

The life-giving activity happens in word and deed. The words we speak, the invitations we offer, the thanksgiving we proclaim, the encouragement we share, and the prayers we utter are all opportunities to proclaim.

The compassion we offer to those suffering, the feeding of the hungry, clothing of the naked, the giving of drink to the thirsty, the care we offer to the sick, the formation we provide for our children, the shelter we offer for the homeless and the assistance we give to the immigrant are all opportunities to proclaim.

As we live this life of love, in word and deed, we do so “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”


Msgr. Joseph Prior is pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Penndel, and a former professor of Sacred Scripture and rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

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