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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rosary Reflections: Remembering Baptism

Meditating earlier on the Baptism of the Lord, the first Luminous Mystery, and I realized just how important it was to be reminded of our baptism frequently. Perhaps it's human nature, given that we are time-bound beings, that we fail to appreciate past events enough. Baptism is something that probably most Catholics do not remember, as they were very young then. Yet this sacrament that was not only instituted by the Son (whose disciples went baptizing soon after his own talking to Nicodemus about baptism), but participated in by him at his own baptism. I think I heard Mark Shea describe on one of his past podcasts how this baptism had the wondrous affect on the water: whereas Jesus did not need to be washed, justified and sanctified, the element of water was thereby itself blessed by him as an instrument of grace. And each baptism is of such significance that.. our lack of appreciation for it is tragic. By baptism, we were washed, justified and sanctified. Original sin was forgiven, we were made right with God and made his sons and daughters, and we receive in ourselves the Holy Spirit. Thus, called and gifted, we should then proceed like Christ on our mission. This mission is one of those things lost or underestimated as a consequence of neglecting the wonder of baptism. Hence we might proceed in life, marked and consecrated, ignorant of our calling, gifts unused, lives unfulfilled.

Which is why the inclusion of this Luminous Mystery in the Rosary is such a blessing. We should remember baptism often, and hear in our minds the wondrous words uttered from above to the Son: "This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased." To think that the Father also said these words at our baptism is to remember who we are, and to confirm us in a life of mission.

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