Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Baptism anniversary!: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

           Today is a very important day in my life because on April 29th, 1984 I was baptized.  While I recently celebrated my thirtieth birthday, I am now thirty in our Christian faith!  (I’m getting old).  To my parents’ credit, we celebrated our Baptismal anniversary every year and lit our candle.
            Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born anew…” and this is precisely what Baptism is for.  Here are a few fun facts about Baptism.
            This first sacrament is so important that in emergencies anyone can baptize.  This even includes non-Christians so long as they pour water three times and say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
            We know of no other ordinary way for salvation than through Baptism.  (Having said this, in extraordinary circumstances we always trust God’s grace to save).  Baptism is a requirement for salvation.  While obviously critical to our faith, receiving communion isn’t always a condition for salvation (for example, a baptized child who has not received Eucharist yet).
            An easy way to remember the effects of Baptism in the soul is a simple definition my seminary professor used to say: sin out, God in, in the Church.  Baptism takes away all sin—original and actual.  God enters the soul in a completely new way and one becomes part of the family of our faith.
            Finally, we are baptized into the three munera of Christ (there’s a good cocktail party word for you).  These munera—duties or functions—of Christ include his role as priest, prophet and king.  We are baptized into his priesthood and are commissioned to sanctify the world.  So too are we called to be prophets to share God’s Word in the world.  And as Christ, the King of kings, came not to be served but to serve, we are called to be humble servants in the world.
            I thank God for the gift of Baptism in my life and for the priest—Fr. Jude—who brought me into the Church.  I’m also grateful for the honor it is to baptize little babies and adults as a priest.
            Remember your baptism today.  You are in a special relationship with God and the Church and are commissioned to be Christ’s priest, prophet and king to help build up His kingdom.

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