Signed by the Trinity
Trinity Sunday (B)

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

The first prayer most of us learned was the sign of the cross. We were introduced to God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In our culture, people of the older generation make the sign of the cross when lightning strikes, when going down stairs, before pouring the water when taking a bath, and when passing by the church or cemetery. The younger generation have lost the habit. They only make the sign of the cross when they start or close a prayers. Some do not want to make the sign of the cross at all.

Action starter: Act like you belong to God.

A sign is something visible or perceptible. On one level of understanding, to sign means to leave a visible mark. On legal documents, those who can write sign their names. Those who cannot write simply place their thumb mark. Whenever we make the sign of the cross, we are showing that we believe in God as Father, Son and Spirit. Our inner faith is made manifest through an outer sign. On a second level of understanding, to sign is to affirm and to give witness. When I sign my name on a document, I affirm its contents. I give witness that I have read and I abide by the terms of what is written.

The Trinity has made its sign on us through our baptism. By the visible pouring of water and the pronouncement of the Trinitarian formula, we were invisibly marked. We became heirs of God (Rom. 8:17). No matter what we do, even if we sin and distance ourselves from God, we are still children of God. That character cannot be erased. We are heirs of the Kingdom.

The story of the lost heir is a favorite theme of folk tales and modern movies. In these stories, an heir to the throne or to great wealth is lost or abducted. It takes years for the heir to be found, oftentimes he is portrayed to be in miserable conditions. When he is discovered and it is proven that indeed he is the heir (more likely through a mark on his body), then he claims his throne and wealth. No matter what has happened in the intervening years, he is still the heir.

We are true heirs God. We belong to God. He has placed his mark on us through our baptism. He claimed us for all time. Shouldn’t we claim our birthright? Once we claim that right, we also have to live by our obligations us children of God. We cannot claim to be God’s children and act like we belong to the devil.

Each time we make the sign of the Cross, let us be reminded of our dignity us children of God. We have been marked by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.