This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord Jesus. I always love doing baptisms, because it gives me the opportunity to speak about all the graces and blessings that are released into a person’s life when they are baptized. Sadly, many people these days choose to delay having their child baptized, until they are of an age to make the choice for themselves. But consider this: does any parent wait until a child is of an age to decide for themself, before giving him or her food, clothing, shelter, education. NO, they realise that these are good thing that every child needs, and they make the decision to give these things to their child straightaway, without waiting to have a debate with them about it. It should be the same for having a child baptized. Once you are aware what blessings being baptized brings, it should be a no-brainer to have the child baptized.
So let us remind ourselves with the help of our second reading this weekend, from Paul’s letter to Titus, what graces are released into our lives through baptism:
(a) Rebirth and renewal – we are reborn as a child of God and given a new, holy, nature, that of Jesus.
(b) The Spirit is poured out in us richly – the Holy Spirit makes us children of God, makes us sharers in the divine nature of God, releases gifts of grace in our life
(c) We are justified by his grace – in other words, we are cleansed from the stain of original sin, inherited by our first parents, Adam and Eve, and all sins we have incurred before our baptism are also forgiven. Plus we are given a new grace not to sin in the future
(d) We become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, and our inheritance is life forever with God in heaven
(e) We have the hope of eternal life- no earthly creature or power could ever give us this, only God
These are only some of the graces and blessings provided by our baptism. Doesn’t it make sense that we should cherish our baptism, be so grateful to those who had us baptized, and seek to grow in the life of our baptism, and have our children baptised as well?