Reflections - Jan. 11, 2015

“It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John…….And a voice came from the heavens.  ‘You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased’.”  Mk. 1:9-11.
 
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  Ordinary time begins after this feast day.  It is a time that continues until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  It is also a time to grow in our faith and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ from whom we have received the grace of Baptism.
 
Perhaps it would be a good on this day of the Baptism of the Lord to reflect on our own Baptism.  We hear many questions asked about Baptism for example:  Why should we be baptized.  Other people say:  “Wait for children to grow up to baptize them”.  It would never occur to these parents to say:  “Wait for the children to grow up so that they can decide when they go to school”.  And so with that religious indifference we find many young adults coming from different countries and from our own city coming to receive adult classes (RCIA) because their parents did not concern themselves with the religious growth of their children.  Many are unaware that there is a biological human growth as well as a spiritual human growth.
 
Baptism is a gift, a gift of life, which we are given through the merits of Jesus Christ, “The beloved Son of God”.  How well Paul explains it!  “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life”.  Rom. 6:4.
 
“Baptism belongs forever to Christ:  indeed, it is marked with the indelible seal of Christ”,  (character).  Catechism #1280.
 
In summary we can say that the meaning of baptism is:  to die to sin and live for Christ breaking with all that that dehumanizes us and prevents us from living freely and consciously for Christ and the teachings of the Church.  In the case of parents with young children it is their responsibility to baptize them and educate them in the faith choosing godparents who are examples of Catholic the faith.
 
Remember that our ultimate goal as people who have been baptized is not the death of sin but life.  “It is the joy of feeling that we are beloved children of God”, and a brother or sister to Christ fulfilling, as baptized people, his will to do “good”, Acts 10:38, in our family and community.