‘It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John.’ – Mk 1:9
I was recently contacted by someone through social media and they wanted my opinion on the phenomenon of young Catholics in higher institutions of learning who leave the faith for other Christian denominations. While it is a very interest and curious subject, I wish to limit myself to the more pressing question of identity and dignity. Most young Catholic are ignorant of who they are and what they have received by way of their Catholic faith. Let me explain. The Catholic faith is a treasure chest containing an infinite amount of divine goodies. Every Catholic has been offered a golden key in the Sacrament of Baptism to unlock these treasure chest. Here are some things you probably do not know about Baptism and how it unlocks immense spiritual treasures for you:
- Baptism makes you a child of God. At Christ’s baptism, the Father declared, “You are my beloved Son”. God claims you as His child when you were baptised. This is a once in a lifetime spiritual transformation which is irreversible. You are God’s child for life.
- Forgiveness of Sins. Through the purifying act of Baptism your sins (original and personal) are washed away. Seek to maintain this spiritual purity at all times.
- Members of God’s Household. You are introduced into the family of God’s children, sharing with them the status of heir to God’s kingdom along with the wealth of teaching and tradition that goes back to Christ himself.
- Love. Baptism teaches us how much God loves us in sending Jesus Christ as the means of our redemption and reconciliation. In your turn, you must love your brothers and sisters.
- Out of this World. You are taking out of this world and away from its false ideas of love, one which is self-seeking, and made a disciple of Christ who teaches us selfless and sacrificial love as the royal road to true freedom.
- Growth. You are steadily nurtured and groomed in your faith. You are enjoined to seek God in the Scriptures. Be curious enough to use available Catholic literature and an ever-growing online resource facility to deepen and strengthen your faith. Join a society in the Church; that way you learn new things from others.
- Witness. There are three witnesses; the water of Baptism, the blood of the Eucharist and the Spirit of Confirmation. All three empower you constantly to grow in your faith and share their fruits with others.
- Fruits. Baptism as well as the other sacraments sow in you the seeds of faith, hope and love. These seeds are watered and bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) which are in turn strengthen by our constant seeking of divine knowledge and wisdom in the heart of the Church.
While these and many more gifts are at our disposal, we must seek them through due diligence. Many people complain about insufficient knowledge about the faith, when what they really lack is sufficient strength to seek it. Make the effort to grow your faith daily. Christ’s baptism in the Jordan (which marks the end of the Christmas season) is a reminder of your own baptism and the responsibility it places on you to grow and be fruitful in works of faith, true love and lasting hope in God’s promises.
Lord, thank you for making me your child and pardoning my sins through baptism. Give me the willingness to grow daily as your child.
Isa 55:1-11; Isa 12; 1Jn 5:1-9; Mk 1:7-11