Happy Feast of the Baptism of the Lord!
This New Year Pope Francis is going to be offering Catecheses on the sacraments. Since today is the feast of Jesus’ baptism, and baptism has been on my mind as we await the arrival of our second little baby (which could technically be any day now that I am 37 weeks!) I was really struck by what he said this past Wednesday (January 8th) at his general audience:
I have asked this question two or three times already, here, in this square: who among you knows the date of your Baptism, raise your hands. It is important to know the day on which I was immersed in that current of Jesus’ salvation. And I will allow myself to give you some advice… but, more than advice, a task for today. Today, at home, go look, ask about the date of your Baptism and that way you will keep in mind that most beautiful day of Baptism. To know the date of our Baptism is to know a blessed day.
So that’s a pretty reasonable request, eh? I know I have looked it up before, I think when I needed to request a copy of my baptism certificate for our wedding, but do I remember? Not exactly. I want to say it was January 25th? But maybe not… maybe February 25? Yeah I guess I need to look it up again. I remember Clara’s, does that count? August 12 (almost the feast of St. Clare! Double special day, totally unplanned, but a neat coincidence) and I do intend to make her baptism day a special day we celebrate every year, but maybe I need to do something special myself (after finding out for sure which date is right!) to remember the huge gift of Baptism that I received 27 years ago.
I leave you to think about this: (also from the January 8th audience)
We must reawaken the memory of our Baptism. We are called to live out our Baptism every day as the present reality of our lives. If we manage to follow Jesus and to remain in the Church, despite our limitations and with our weaknesses and our sins, it is precisely in the Sacrament whereby we have become new creatures and have been clothed in Christ. It is by the power of Baptism, in fact, that, freed of original sin, we are inserted into Jesus’ relation to God the Father; that we are bearers of a new hope, for Baptism gives us this new hope: the hope of going on the path of salvation our whole life long. And this hope nothing and no one can extinguish, for it is a hope that does not disappoint. Remember, hope in the Lord never disappoints.