Passing on Faith from Generation to Generation

2012-10-21 09.48.37Every fall, as parish life kicks into full gear, young and old alike have a variety of opportunities to deepen their faith in the Lord Jesus.  This is important because it doesn’t matter how young or old we may be, we need to be led by the light of Jesus Christ as we journey in holiness. 

When did this journey begin?  On the day of our baptism!  Baptism, according to our Catholic faith, is the gateway to holiness.  It is our birth as children of the Church.  Pope Francis has said that the day of our baptism should be as readily known to us as is the date of our birth.  In a couple of settings Francis has asked:

Who among you knows the day you were baptized?  So few, so few . . . now, here is your homework!  Find out the date of your baptism.  It’s a very important date, because it is the day of your birth as a child of God.  What a gift it is to be the Church, to be a part of the People of God!

I will have to admit that when I first heard him ask that question I didn’t know the date of my own baptism.  I knew the date of my birth.  But, on what day was I baptized?  I knew where I had been baptized and who my godparents were.  After looking in a couple of places, including a bible that was given to me at my ordination, I discovered that the date of my baptism was a month after I was born.  On that day, only four weeks old, I was called to holiness.  Called to enter into a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.

At the beginning of our baptism ceremony, the priest or deacon asked our parents, “What do you ask of God’s Church for this child.  They responded, “Baptism.”  After that response they are told that it will be their duty to bring us up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and neighbor.  We were then claimed for Christ by the sign of the cross that was traced on our foreheads.  Once baptized, a lit candle was handed to parents and godparents with the command, “This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ and is to walk always as a child of the light.  May she keep the flame of faith alive in his heart.” 

Since then our parents and family have been teaching us what it means to be holy by their life and actions.  Just how do they do this?  Loving each other.   Loving us with unconditional love.  Their prayer life.  Taking us to Mass, helping us understand the meaning of the sacred things that were in our homes, teaching us about Jesus and our faith, and teaching us to pray.  Their relationship with the Lord Jesus.  The values they embrace and instill within us.  Passing on faith from generation to generation.

Do you know your baptism date?  If not, are you willing to find out?

           

October 30th, 2013 |