The Baptism Of The Lord
January 11-12, 2020
As we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, it is only fitting that we contemplate the sacrament of baptism and what our own baptism means. The Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] defines baptism this way, “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.”
Baptism is the first of the sacraments validly conferred by a washing of true water and the proper form of words. This valid baptism can only be received once. Whether received as an infant or adult, vows made through our parents and godparents or our own, we promise to be true to our baptismal promises. We hear that phrase, baptismal promises a lot, and whether we realize it or not we ‘renew’ those promises each time we recite the creed.
At our baptism, the celebrant explains the responsibilities of the parents and godparents and then asks, “If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism. Reject sin, profess your faith in Christ Jesus.”These are our baptismal promises. Our baptism incorporates us in the Church and gives each of us the responsibility to help carry out her mission. That mission we hear in Matthew 28:19, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” This is our mission as baptized Christians; this is what our baptism calls us to do in both word and actions, observe all that Jesus has commanded us through His gospel. That mission starts in our own homes and incorporates all we encounter in our daily lives.
-Deacon William “Chuck” Hoppe