(c)Mary TV 2011
Granddaughter Emelia's Baptism in September!
January 2, 2012
St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! Also today, in my arms I am carrying my Son Jesus to you, for Him to give you His peace. Pray, little children, and witness so that in every heart, not human but God's peace may prevail, which no one can destroy. It is that peace in the heart which God gives to those whom He loves. By your Baptism you are all, in a special way, called and loved, therefore witness and pray that you may be my extended hands to this world which yearns for God and peace. Thank you for having responded to my call." (December 25, 2011)
This message is so beautiful. I am especially intrigued by Our Lady's reference to our Baptism, and that we are called and loved in Baptism. It may be that many of us who are baptized really take our Baptism for granted. Many of us were baptized as little babies. We were anointed and washed in the waters of Baptism but our parents and God parents made all the promises for us at that time. We may not even hear the words of consecration and promise until we go to our own children's Baptisms. But we truly are called at Baptism.
God calls us into His family at Baptism. We are made adopted sons and daughters of the Father, through the redemption of Christ. It is a call from the Father addressed to each of us individually. We are called to live our lives in communion with the Trinity through Baptism. What an invitation!
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church I found a quote from St. Gregory Nazianzen about Baptism. Since it is his feast day today, let's listen to his words about Baptism:
"Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift...We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is calledgift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship." (St. Gregory of Nasiansuz, Oratio 40, 3-4; PG36, 351C)
Each of these titles tell us something of the call we receive in Baptism. We are called to receive the gift of salvation from God. We are called to accept the grace of forgiveness even while we are still in sin. We are called to be buried in the water and rise again. We are called to be anointed as priestly people. We are called to be bathed in Jesus' blood, which washes us clean. We are called to be sealed with the promise of God through Jesus Christ! We are called to be the most blessed of people on earth, called into the Family of God!
May we enter 2012 with the joy of this radical and fundamental call from God, the call to be His own children!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!