This Sunday marks the end of the Christmas season! Are you surprised? The baptism of Jesus is the beginning of his public life of ministry. Jesus is baptized by John and in the depths of the Jordan River takes on the sins of all and begins the journey to the cross, the cross that brings all of us salvation. The will of the Father becomes his focus, even unto death.
At St. Francis, the community baptizes children and adults during the liturgy. The assembly, the community gathers to welcome this new “holy child of God.” We all renew our baptismal promises, we invoke the saints to help us lead a new life in Christ. We sing, “You have put on Christ” and “You have been baptized.” The newly baptized is given a candle, the light of Christ. We pledge to help the parents, to be the community that surrounds and uplifts them.
What happens to us then, when we witness and experience Baptism in the midst of the gathered community? What memory of our own baptism do we have? How and when do we reclaim deeply the meaning of our baptism?
Our baptism is the most important credential we own. How do we give witness to that? Recently, I framed my baptismal certificate as a reminder. How will we remember our baptism this week? How will we “begin again” our ministry of proclaiming Christ?