Our Baby's Baptism
|Greetings in the peace and love of Jesus Christ,
We welcome and thank you for coming today to witness one of God's greatest gifts of His Grace, the free gift of Holy Baptism. By the Grace of God alone through the ministry of his Church our daughter, Maria Therese Fallon physically born on August 7th, 2000 will be spiritually Born Again by the power of the Holy Spirit this day of September 3, 2000.
"The sign of the cross, on the threshold of the celebration, marks with the imprint of Christ the one who is going to belong to him and signifies the grace of the redemption Christ won for us by his cross". "The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be 'born of water and the Spirit" (John 3:5). -- Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1235, 1238.
In Christ Jesus through the Sacrament of Baptism she will be cleansed of the original sin of Adam and Eve. By the grace of God and desire of her parents and the body of Christ, the Church, Maria Therese will become a new creation spiritually alive as a new member of Christ's body the church. She will become an adopted child of the living God. She will receive the Sacrament of Baptism and will be anointed with chrism (blessed oil).
"The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one 'anointed' by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king. "The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized has 'put on Christ,' (Gal 3:27) has risen with Christ. The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In him the baptized are 'the light of the world.' [Mt 5:14; Phil 2:15 .] The newly baptized is now, in the only Son, a child of God entitled to say the prayer of the children of God: 'Our Father" (CCC 1241, 1243). She will be sealed with the Holy Spirit and will receive the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit -- WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING, COUNCIL, FORTITUDE, KNOWLEDGE, PIETY AND HOLY FEAR OF THE LORD (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
Now begins Maria's journey as a newly baptized Christian. A journey which must be nourished by God's grace in and through his sacraments, the teaching of her parents, Godparents and Christian community (a reason why the parents and godparents must be practicing Catholic Christians and know their faith that they may convey it to their Children or godchildren).
"For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents' help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism" (CCC 1255).
Maria's Baptism is the beginning of her walk to everlasting salvation as an eternal member of heaven. She must make this faith her own and freely embrace this gift of Jesus our Lord and His truth which is fully proclaimed in his One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. By virtue of her Baptism she now shares in the common priesthood of all baptized Christians and is called to the mission work of Christ to share her faith and spread the Gospel of Christ to all (1 Peter 2:9, 3:15).
Baptism in Christ is the gateway to the other sacraments and entrance into his Church. Baptism is the beginning and not the end of the journey to salvation. The Word of God says, "He who endures to the end will be saved" (Matthew 10:22) and "not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only those who do the will of God who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). We all must continue to strengthen encourage and walk with Maria Therese on the journey of faith in Jesus our Lord, our God and our Saviour.
The Holy Spirit will dwell in Maria's soul and will empower her with the grace of justification and sanctification being made right before God and empowered to grow in holiness "The baptized have become 'living stones' to be 'built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.'[1 Pet 2:5]. By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that (they) may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called (them) out of darkness into his marvelous light.'[1 Pet 2:9]. Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers. Reborn as sons of God, (the baptized) must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church' and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God" (CCC 1268, 1270).
Now in this graced filled relationship with Almighty God, Maria will be able to grow in the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love by this free gift of grace He has given her today. She will be freed from the total dominion and power of satan whom can only harm her if she allows him to by her free will to turn away from God's gift of grace. Through repentance and confession (1 John 1:8-10; John 20:21-23) she can embrace God's free gift once more and continue to carry her cross throughout life's ups and downs (Matthew 16:24).
The parents, godparents and church community promise on our behalf (a promise we one day must make our own) to live our lives for love of God imitating Christ Jesus, not for selfish love of self or choosing sinful desires over God in imitation of satan the father of lies. We promise that we will love God with our whole heart, mind and soul for God created us to know Him to love Him and to Serve Him in this world and to be forever with Him in Heaven. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing for He alone is the Way the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6). So much is the Love of Jesus our God that he took on the sins of the world and died in our place as our ultimate sacrifice for our sins upon the cross of
Calvary. Shedding his precious Blood and Dying our Lord destroyed our Death. Rising on Easter morning he restored our life which makes this Baptism in Christ Jesus our God and Saviour possible (John 3:16). Today Maria will go down into the waters of Baptism and die with Christ and with Christ she will rise as a new creation in Christ!
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