15th Week in Ordinary Time
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
You shall reckon it the first month of the year. (Exodus 12:2)
Most of us celebrate significant anniversaries: our birthday, our wedding day, or our graduation day. In today’s first reading, God invites the Israelites to set apart the day when he delivered them from slavery. He tells them not only to celebrate a past event, but to mark a new beginning as well.
Each of us has experienced a day just as significant as the day of the Israelites’ Passover: the day of our baptism. Like our spiritual ancestors, we too were delivered from slavery; we too were given a new identity; and we too were welcomed into a covenant relationship with the Lord.
If you were baptized as an infant, your parents and godparents made promises on your behalf. But every Easter, you are invited to make those promises your own. You can reject sin and all the ways the evil one lures you into sin. Profess faith in the God who is your Creator, Redeemer, Inspirer, and Friend. Affirm the Church as your home. And celebrate that the life you were given in Baptism will last forever.
When you emerged from the waters of baptism, you were anointed with chrism, a symbol of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. Cleansed from sin, you were also clothed in white—a symbol of the innocence that you can recapture every time you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You received a candle as a symbol of the risen Christ whose inextinguishable life you have shared from that day forward.
If you’re not sure of the date of your baptism, try to find out when it was. Mark it on your calendar, and do something special to commemorate the anniversary. Light a candle, maybe, or look at old photos or make a special visit to church. Remember and give thanks, for that is the day when God brought you into his kingdom, made you a part of his people, and united you with his Son forever.
Of course your baptism, like your wedding or your graduation, is only the beginning of your story. So be sure to ask how you can continue to grow into the life you have received!
“Father, thank you for plunging me into your gift of eternal life!”~WAU