Friday, January 8, 2010

The Baptism Of The Lord: Day-by-Day-by-Day-by-Day.

The sacrament of Baptism is received only once, when the water is poured over our heads during the Baptism Ritual.

The lasting significance of the Sacrament of Baptism is our entrance into a new life -- a life of faith in Jesus Christ -- a life that God intends for us to develop and to mature into eternal life.

Living our Baptismal Vows is a repeat performance, a day-by-day consigning of our lives to Our Lord Jesus Christ. A day-by-day self-offering, until we go to encounter the Lord face-to-face, to offer Him the persons we have made of ourselves.

You know, at the beginning of Catholic Funerals, there is a solemn reminder of the identity and dignity we receive in our Baptism – a reminder of the honor of having God's Son dwell within us through Baptism, a solemn reminder of the honor of having had the Holy Spirit live and breathe within our every breath and movement.

As the Funeral begins, a very long white cloth -- called a Pall -- is unfurled over the casket containing the deceased Christian's body. The Pall is a symbolic remind­er of an infant’s little white Baptismal garment and an adult’s R.C.I.A. neophyte robe.
A tiny white garment was draped upon us when we were babies, when we were being Bap­tized. After we die to this world, during our Funeral Mass, our body will be draped symbol­ically with the Pall, because on the day of our Baptism we were clothed with Christ; in the Day of Christ's Second Coming, we hope to be clothed with Christ's glory.

The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus -- like our own Baptisms -- was a public vow. For Our Lord Jesus, His Baptism was His avowed declaration -- identifying Himself as The Savior who came into our world to proclaim God's Kingdom to us all, offering redemption and salvation to us all.

Our Baptism was our public vows to do more than the minimum for God's Kingdom;
Our public vows to accept the responsi­bility to become more and more Christ-Like;
Our public vows to remain holy, to put others first and ourselves last, to be identified as Christ's sister, Christ's brother.

Suppose that we, as grown-ups, try to wear the tiny robe placed upon us as infants. We'd look ridiculous if we walked around wearing that tiny white robe!
Yet, in the realm of our spiritual lives, we really are wearing a robe: an invisible white robe: a spiritual robe -- that starts out tiny, just right for a cute little baby. But, that spiritual robe must widen and lengthen and grow to match our age and physical maturity as fully committed, fully adult, fully responsible Christians!

If the spiritual robe of your Baptismal dignity is stained, or tattered, and in need of some alterations so it will fit you better, then you and I have something in common: Our need for the Feast of the Baptism Of The Lord!

We need the Feast of The Baptism of The Lord in order to renew our promises to God,
to the members of our local parish commu­nity, and to the entire worldwide community of the Church.We renew our commitment to work hard to fully live the Catholic Faith we have been Baptized and Confirmed into.
  • We renew our resolution to pray constant­ly, and to confess our sins frequently. 
  • We renew our deep love and reverence for Christ­'s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucha­rist, and our love for all seven of the Church's Sacraments.
  • We renew our single-mindedness at doing any­thing necessary and every­thing possible to renounce our selfish­ness and sins, so as to live as God's children, not Satan's children.
The lasting, lifelong significance of being Baptized is this:
We have entered into a new life -- a publicly identifiable life of faith in Jesus Christ -- a life that is intended to grow and to mature into everlasting life.

Living our Baptismal Vows is a day-by-day consigning of our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ. Day-by-day-by-day-by-day: until we go to stand before the Lord face-to-face.

When we arrive at that encounter, you and I will be wearing the spiritual robes we have woven from living out our Chris­tian identities.

Let's not show up under-dressed, or with the stains of sins, or wearing a robe that is way too small to fit us properly!

May the New Year ahead reveal us as faithful and zealous in our responsibility for living in the fashion that Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church have taught us.

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.