Trinity Sunday The Gospel Mat. 28 v.18. Saturday Meditation
St Augustine Baptizes the Cathechumens
GOSPEL Matt. 28:18-20At that time, Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: "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."
O Jesus the Saviour and Redeemer of the world, why didst not thou command thy disciples, when thou didst send them abroad into all the world to preach & baptize, to do it in thine own name? was it God the Father, or God the holy Ghost that died for our salvation?
Was it not thy self alone? why then doest not thou command that baptism the first Sacrament of Salvation, and the door or entrance unto the rest, should be administered in thy Name alone?
Or when they did it in thy name alone (as they did a little while in the primitive Church, to make thy name more honorable ) why didest thou not command it to be so still, but wouldest have thy Church; for what she hath done therein is thy will to relinquish it, and baptize according to thy institution here, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost?
Do not all men use when they build themselves fair palaces, or houses , to erect & set up their own names, titles, & arms in the forefront thereof?
And doest thou build thy self such a goodly house as is the holy Catholic Church, and purchase it with thy most precious blood,and wilt thou not set up thy own name in the frontispiece or fore-front thereof, the Sacrament of baptism, but the names of the Father, & the holy Ghost, as well as thy own, and thy Fathers before thy own?
Herein Christ taught us three lessons.
The first, that as these three persons be equally named in the Sacrament of Baptism: so be they equal in deity, power, co eternity, & the like, against those Heretics that have impugn the verity thereof.
The second is, that as Baptism is administered in the name of all three persons: so do all three concure together in the work of our salvation, that is to say, God the Father in creating and conserving us, God the Son in redeeming us, God the holy Ghost in sanctifying us with his holy Ghost in sanctifying us with his holy grace, by means whereof we are enabled to apply our Redemption unto us, by such means as Christ hath ordained: & that as all the three persons have most mercifully and bountifully concurred to gather to our salvation: so would the Blessed Trinity have us to concur together, to help and comfort one another: and this doth our holy Mother the Church, insinuate unto us by appointing a second Gospel to be read in the holy Mass this day, by way of a commemoration, as it is an ordinary Sunday, as well as an extraordinary Festival day of the Blessed Trinity, in which Gospel we are exhorted, that as God the Father, God the son, and God the holy Ghost is merciful to us, we should be to one another; & that we judge not rashly and uncharitably of one another, least we be judged of God;and that we forgive one another, and that God may forgive us; and that we give to one another, that God any give unto us, for what measure we make unto others, the same shall be made unto us again; and direct one another, especially in matters of salvation, for if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch of sin, the one for his blindness, the other for not leading him aright, that he fall not into the ditch, or not helping him out when he is in, and yet with all that we be not such, as see a moat in another mans eye,and not a beam in our own, that is, to say, that we be not over forward in reprehending or rebuking of others for faults, but rather look into our selves.
Lastly in the words aforsaid.(Baptising them in the name of the Father, and the son,and the holy Ghost) we may learn, that as Christ though he was the person that only died for our salvation, and therefore is only called our Saviour; and though as he himself said, God the Father had given him all power , in heaven and in the earth and therefore might have ordained baptism in his own name, and yet would not appropriate the honor to the Father & the holy Ghost together with himself:
So we may learn to do what good we can to others, but to put of the praise & commendations thereof, from ourselves,unto God, to whom all praise and honor belongeth.
Likewise,not only not to assume,or appropriate to ourselves more then is due, but for some good end, or only for humility sake, sometimes to relinquish even that, which is due unto us,and give it unto others that have not so much right unto it as we, or to take it patiently if our due praise and honor be not given unto us,or be given unto others, knowing as the Scripture sayth, that he that commendeth himself, is not approved, but he whom God commendeth, that is to say, not he that goeth away with other mens commendations, is commendable before God,but he that deserveth it indeed.
And concerning our care and zeal of giving God his due honor, we have this notable example in the Scripture: when Joab the general of King Davids army had besieged a certain city, he sent letters to his King in these words: I have sought against the City, and they are not able to stand out: wherefore now gather together some other of thy people and come and besieged it, and take it, least if I take it, the victory be ascribed to my name; So ought we, when we have fought against our enemies the Devil, the world, or the flesh, and overcome them, to transfer all the glory thereof, from ourselves, unto God our King, by whose grace, and power we did overcome.
A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634