After our granddaughter’s baptism, one person commented on the beauty of the service. I agreed wholeheartedly, “The baptism was wonderful!” He walked on. In my heart, I exclaimed: “Actually, it was more than a beautiful service. Baptism is everything! It’s the dying and rising in Christ. It's being born of the Spirit! It's becoming an adopted child of God! It’s salvation! What could be more important? Isn’t this the entire point of life—to share in God’s life here and in heaven? This is our faith!” At baptism, each parent has been entrusted to pass on the light of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Those who believe, see; they see a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star that never sets (Lumen Fide, 1).
Faith. This Sunday’s readings are all about faith—the faith of Abraham and all those throughout the ages. In a culture that glorifies death and violence, it's hard to have faith. And yet faith—only faith—sustains one for a lifetime. Faith believes God walks with us and is for us. Faith believes God works all things for good. Faith understands man and woman as created by God—sacred, infinitely and unconditionally loved. Faith believes what God has promised will be fulfilled. Faith believes evil never has the final word: through Christ’s death and resurrection, love conquers fear, hope overcomes despair, life rises from death. Faith believes—despite all contrary evidence—life is worth living.
Faith “offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane (Evangelii Gaudium, 10).
I pray our granddaughter, whose baptismal name is Sophia, will wisely “see” life through a different lens, a higher plane, a greater reality, with heaven as our true home. I pray she rises above the pebbles of pettiness, the mud of mediocrity, the boulders of bullying, the wasteland of consumerism. I pray she sees life as a beautiful journey of loving God, others, and herself.
Faith is not a light that scatters all our darkness, but a lamp that guides us in the night and suffices for the journey (Lumen Fidei, 57).
I pray Sophia follows the light of Christ, which leads to love, life, and wholeness. I pray when she suffers from confusion, loneliness, discouragement or fear, she follows Christ’s lamp guiding her to wise voices, good counsel, loving family, and a community of faith.
“Let us not make faith an abstract theory where doubts multiply. Rather, let us make faith our life. Let us try to practice it in the service of our brothers, especially the neediest,” (Pope Francis, 09-21-16).
I pray Sophia will learn to serve others and in that, have her faith fortified. I pray she’ll gladly help a classmate, invite a neighbor child who is lonely, serve those less fortunate, and be thankful for all she has been given.
“Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly” (Rite of Baptism).
Having a child is a game-changer. Much more is at stake. Parents have been entrusted with the soul of their child. Thankfully, God strengthens parents to keep the light shining. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Sophia's baptism was glorious and I trust her parents to pass on the treasure of our faith in Jesus Christ. Now, that’s good news!
As parents, how are you living out the promises made at your child's baptism?
What difference has faith made in your life?
Photo by Altehir Nagini on Unsplash
Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To read more reflections or to connect with Mary Pedersen: www.marypedersen.com
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.