Friday, January 09, 2009

May the flame of baptism be upon us!

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Gospel: MARK 1 : 7 - 11
Photo courtesy of: A Catholic life


We appreciate occasions of baptism. The babies are cuddly and cute. We are fond of watching them in their baptismal attires. We feel proud when we could invite dozens of guests and godparents for the occasion.


Sad to say, in a study conducted in a parish, 80% of the parents of these children are not married in the Catholic Church. What is the sense of baptizing a child when the home that will nurture it is not attuned to God’s ways?

We remember on this day that Jesus himself was baptized. If we could rekindle the meaning of our own baptism, then truly, the description of Jesus’ baptism would also apply to us, i.e. the heavens would open and the Holy Spirit like a dove would come down from it.


Baptism orients us to who we are and what we are. We belong to God. We are not just flesh and bones. We are not even sinful. We are cleansed by the dying and rising of Jesus Christ. We are who we are: adopted sons and daughters of the Lord.


Baptism opens the world before us. It opens us to the world of our neighbors, fellow families. I am saddened by daily news of hatred, or crimes, of abuses done to our neighbors. But there’s no news about the positive things we do to others. Baptism opens us to the world of families.


Finally, baptism opens us to the world ahead of us. Our task is to develop the family of God. Our task is not to gain money. Our task is not even to survive but to live in love. It is our task to love and to go to heaven. Baptism opens us to the future. And what we do today accounts to how we can reach the future. Could vices lead us to heaven? Could abuses lead us to heaven? Certainly not.


Baptism is life. It is also fire. May the flame of faith arise in each one of us to remind each other of the commitments that we made during baptism.

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