Focus on Baptism

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:

1. Baptism establishes a personal relationship with each of the three persons of the blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit fills us with sanctifying grace, which makes us “partakers in the divine nature”. That means we are adopted sons of God, in Jesus Christ, who is himself the One Son of the Father.

2. Baptism also makes us sharers in the priesthood of Christ, in his mission of priest, prophet and king – that means it enables us to offer ourselves with him to the Father, to bear witness to the Gospel and to consecrate the world to God. This is known as common priesthood to the faithful.

3. Baptism also wipes away Original sin; it achieves theforgiveness of all our personal sins and makes us children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ himself. As members of his body (Church) it makes us brothers and sisters of one another.

4. Baptism is valid for all eternity. No one can take it away or repeat it, for it marks, or seals, the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark of his belonging to Christ. No sin can ever erase this mark.

5. Baptism is also a “seed” sown into us by God; that we have to spend our whole lives trying to make it bear fruit, that someday we may enjoy the rich harvest made bountiful with the grace of God.

Having stressed some important facts regarding our baptisms, we should live out the promises we made during that day. Either you are a Godparent or the newly baptized, knowing this is half the battle. And living it is the real battle, living the new life given by God. That someday we will be with him in paradise.

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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