This week we remember the baptism of the Lord. One of the things I love most about our Church is the fact that every year we journey through the life of our blessed Lord. We enter into His birth, His ministry, His death and His resurrection, and today we focus on His baptism.
Here at the Cathedral, I am privileged to teach the baptism preparation class to parents and Godparents. It is a great blessing, and since we are on the subject of baptism, let me give you some tidbits you may not know.
The Sacrament of baptism is over two thousand years old. It is the first Sacrament of Initiation into the Faith and is known as the “gateway” to all the other Sacraments. Baptism is not magic! Sometimes people think that if one is baptized then they never need to go to Church again. Wrong answer recruit. This is not true. Baptism is a new birth into the body of Christ and into all of the supernatural graces that God has for us. It frees us from the stain of Original Sin, and we are born anew in water and the Holy Spirit. It is a starting point, not an ending.
If a child is born physically, we do not leave them in the delivery room and say “have a nice life, I hope you make it”. If we did this the child left alone would die. It is the same thing spiritually. If we do not nurture and take care of those seeds implanted at baptism by praying and going to Church and the partaking of the other Sacraments, then our spirituality will wane away and die.
Did you know that parents are responsible for their children’s souls until that child reaches the age of reason and can choose Jesus for themselves? Many parents don’t realize that they are agreeing to nurture and bring up that child in the Faith unto which he was baptized.
Again, it is not magic. So this week as we reflect on our Lord’s baptism, let us think about our own baptism and renew our own soul by reciting the Nicene or Apostles Creed slowly and affirming each line. Finally, let us teach our children well, and the seeds of their own baptism will grow and provide shelter and nourishment to a starving society. Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!