According to St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, The Father chose us through Jesus Christ, we became His adopted children. That he loved us. Even before creation, we were destined to be His children. Christ came into the world and became flesh and He welcomed us to His family after He shed His blood for the redemption of our sins.

The sacrament of Baptism is a sacrament of initiation in which we recognize as the key to all other sacraments. It is derived from the Greek word “baptezein” meaning to “plunge” or to “immerse”. The one who is baptized is immersed into the death of Christ and rises with him as a “New Creature” (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). Also, this sacrament is called the “bath of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (cf. Ti 3:5); and “Enlightenment” because the baptized becomes “a son of light” (cf. Ep 5:8).

Given that most Filipino Christians know this and has a strong religious identity, it is very shocking to know that to some baptism is only viewed as social events and sadly less interest is given to the sacrament itself. As a result of these many Filipinos baptized as infants never have the chance to “grow in Faith” and thus there is no personal conviction and commitment to Christ. But what do we really know about baptism? Aside from the lavish feast and numerous ninongs and ninangs here are five major facts that a baptized needs to know:

I am amazed by the writer of the PSALM.  He must have thoroughly enjoyed and experienced the reality of God’s Word that he was able to composed 176 verses extolling it without boring his singers and listeners, and even us, his readers today.  How did he do it?

First and foremost, he loves God, the Lawgiver.  He is a superb wordsmith.  And he has a superb imagination that enables him to spin rich images to describe God’s laws.  More than that, he makes God’s words true and real by being able to prove that what He says can be experienced.  They can be applied, claimed in the noisy confusion of life.  He relates the Words of God to the here-and-now.

Studying the Bible, without relating to the world and its many problems can actually hide the message of the Gospel.  It is so important to relating Scriptures to reality or its power is lost.

Many of us, in and out of the Church, are guilty of failing to relate the Bible with real life.  We think the Bible is kept for use on Sundays only – effective for quoting to bring home profound – sounding thoughts.  We consult it when we have so-called “spiritual problems” but soon forget when we face a personal crisis.    To confine God to purely spiritual things is to imprison Him and separate Him from the world He made, the very same world for which Jesus suffered and laid down His life.  The great teacher tells us that man does not live by bread alone, thereby implying that man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  The Christ that tells us not to be anxious about what we shall eat or drink is the same Lord that saw the hungry multitudes that followed Him, and He fed them – in the miracle of the loaves and the fish – until they were filled.

In all these social involvements, is the underpinning of the Word.  Unfortunately, despite the lip-service we give to the Holy Scripture many still perceive it as a “religious” book.  They view it as nothing more than a piece of literature we need experts like priests, pastors, theologians to decode for us, or a reading material appropriate only on some specific occasions or activities or church programs.

We should spend more time to study and reflect on the Holy Scriptures.  It doesn’t have to be scholarly done, but spiritually discerning applicable to our personal life.  The power of the Word will be seen in our life.  Our life of forgiveness, humility, righteousness are clearly scripture – rooted.

St. Timothy tells us:  “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the task God has for us (2 Timothy 3:16-17, The Message).

The Good News about Jesus is for telling.  So tell what you know!  Because there are people who are frustrated, they are eager to hear.  They are infinitely more than eager to find an answer than we can ever believe.

You can win souls!

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Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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