Living Our Baptism

Baptism of the Neophytes, by Masaccio (1401 - 1428) (wikipedia.org/commons)

A blessed feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which in the novus ordo normally falls on a Sunday, standing for the first Sunday in Ordinary Time.  This year, with Advent being as long as it could be, the feast is on this Monday.  It would be good, as we proceed into the ferial days which will eventually bring us into Lent, on the effects and purpose of our own Baptism, what it means for us. The common profession of faith is what binds us together as Catholics, a store of beliefs, customs, mores, worship, that guides and shapes our conduct, our thoughts, our culture and civilization. We should have great gratitude that we are given the truth, gratis, freely, as an inheritance of our birth into a Catholic family, a truth that we are bound to share with others, when and how we can.

So onward Christian soldier, in the true ‘warfare’ for all that is true, good and beautiful, not with guns and bombs, but with humility, charity and goodwill, along with a healthy and supernatural dose of courage, humour and resolve, willing to die for our faith, rejoicing our way into heaven.  In that light, to paraphrase Saint Paul, all our travails, struggles and sufferings will seem as naught.

I will leave you with the exhortation of Saint Gregory Nazianzen, whose feast we just celebrated a week ago, from this day’s Office:

Today let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received – though not in its fullness – a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.