Recapturing Baptism

The Baptism of Christ, Joachim Patinir, 1515
The Baptism of Christ, Joachim Patinir, 1515

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for January 10, 2016

Recently, my high school daughter attended a baptism at a non-denominational church of one of her friends. A decent group of girls, from all different denominations, attended and congratulated her after the service. The photos from the event show faces full of joy and the love the girls had for their friend. The girl had been planning this event for many months, seemingly against her mother’s wishes, but in the end, her mother and grandparents attended the service as well. I guess since it meant so much to her daughter in the end, she couldn’t help but give in and put aside her bias against religion and attend.

And it was very important for this girl. She not only wanted to belong to the Body of Christ, she wanted to begin a new chapter in her life. Yes, she was a new creation in Christ and that made her very happy, but we sometimes focus so much on the theology of the Sacrament that we can minimize the experience of a fresh start in life. Who we were previously exists no more, and God only sees the unblemished lamb before Him.

When Jesus sought out the Baptism of John, it was not the same baptism that you and I receive. There was no sin to wash away and no dying and rising, but it was a profound new beginning, the start of a ministry that would lead to the death and resurrection into which we then are baptized.

After your baptism, what was your new life like? Do you not remember because you were a baby? If you came into the Church through RCIA later in life, maybe you can answer this more easily. But if you were baptized as an infant, perhaps it is time to recapture that moment and reflect on being a new creation. It will make your stewardship way of life more meaningful and provide the strength to answer the Lord’s call everyday.

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