We mark the end of our Christmas Season this Sunday as we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. As we celebrate this feast, we are reminded that the Sacrament of Baptism is the gateway to the other sacraments. Jesus began His public life after having Himself baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan.
As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (CCC 1279)
The Catechism further notes, “Since the earliest of times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church.” (CCC 1282)
As reported in the Catholic publication CRUX, commenting on infant baptism, Pope Francis stated that we give children “a treasure, in baptism we give them a pledge: The Holy Spirit. The child leaves with the strength of the Holy Spirit inside. The Spirit which will defend them, help them, throughout their lives.” He urged parents to take charge of their children’s growth in the faith, ensuring “that they grow with light, with the strength of the Holy Spirit through … instruction and the example you give them at home.”
The following “Baptismal Blessing” prayer focuses on the baptism of a child:
Lord Jesus Christ,
hear our prayers and with Your unfailing protection,
watch over and cherish this child,
whom You have blessed with the grace of baptism.
When this child has grown, grant that one may confess
Your name in willing faith, be fervent in charity,
and persevere courageously in the hope of reaching Your kingdom,
where You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
(“Readings for Baptism”, ‘Rites’, iBreviary)
As we reflect on this prayer, and as we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, we are encouraged to understand and appreciate the spiritual fruits of this great sacrament.
Baptisms at Saint Brigid generally take place on an individual basis on weekends in our Day Chapel. As noted in our parish bulletin, “Parents of the child to be baptized should be registered parishioners and are required to attend a Preparation Class before the baptism.” Additional details concerning baptismal requirements can be obtained from the parish office. We urge parishioners to avail their loved ones of the Sacrament of Baptism if the appropriate requirements are met.
For more info visit www.saintbrigid.org/baptism.