Dear Faith Family,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.
This Sunday, we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. Within the Gospel, we recognize the humility of John the Baptist. We also see the pride that God the Father has for His Son, when he says “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased”.
At first glance, this makes all the sense in the world. Of course God, the Father, would be pleased with the actions of His perfect Son. Jesus is truly God, so he would never fail at pursuing what is asked of Him. At second glance though, we need to recognize that this Baptism, is to remind us of our own Baptisms as well.
Sometimes when we think of the Sacrament of Baptism, we think that it is a necessary step for us to be card-carrying Catholics. Original Sin must be washed away from us to we can cease to be scumbags or something.
In reality though, when we were Baptized (or when we are Baptized), we are not only without Original Sin, but it is also an establishment of a covenant with the God who loves us.
So, that sounds nice, but what exactly is a covenant? We tend to think that a covenant as an agreement between two parties, a fancy way of saying contract. In terms of our faith, though, it is quite more profound than that. A covenant is an act of establishing kinship. We see this throughout Salvation History (Adam, Moses, David, etc.). Simply put, a covenant is an agreement between us and God to be family. He is our Father and we are his children.
Because of that, whenever one is Baptized, God essentially says the same thing to us as he did to Jesus, “You are my beloved son/daughter, with you I am well pleased”.Not only does Baptism purify us from Original Sin, it also is a Sacramental Act where we accept God as our Father and God accepts up as their kin. It is quite a beautiful Sacrament and a really big deal!
While we celebrate wonderful feasts and holidays throughout our liturgical year, I also recommend that we find ways to celebrate our personal Baptism days! We celebrate birthdays in celebration of the past, why not celebrate our formalized kinship with the God who loves us?